Tag Archives: hush money

POTUS, a lifelong New Yorker moves to Florida

What do you know about this? Donald Trump, a native of New York City, the guy who built his business there, who has called Trump Tower in Manhattan his official residence since 1983, now has changed his residence to Florida.

What gives? I wonder if it has something to do with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s subpoena demanding eight years worth of Trump’s tax returns relating to the DA’s investigation into that $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, the porn queen with whom Trump (allegedly) had a one-night fling in 2006.

Do ya think? Well … I do.

I’m not sure if Trump’s declaring Florida as his official residence makes it more difficult to obtain those returns. Still, it sure looks to me as if the president is trying to keep something out of someone’s hands.

Tax returns: Are they going to be released … finally?

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has invoked the legal power of his office to seek to obtain something that has been on the minds of millions of Americans since the moment Donald Trump announced his campaign for the presidency of the United States.

Vance has subpoenaed Trump’s tax returns. Yep, he’s on the hunt for information relating to that hush money payment Trump made to a porn star to keep her quiet about a fling that Trump says never happened.

Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, is back in the news. 

Clifford said she and Trump had a one-night tumble in 2006 in a hotel room. Trump said it didn’t happen, but he paid her 130 grand to keep quiet about it anyway. Go figure.

Vance wants to see Trump’s tax returns over the past eight years to find out the details of how the payment was made and whether the president violated campaign finance laws to make it.

Well now. How do you think this will turn out?

I happen to one American who believes I have a right to know about the president’s finances. I want to know whether he’s as rich as he says he is. I want to know whether he has profited from his high office. I want to know how much he has given to charity. I want to know the kinds of things Americans have known about past presidents and presidential candidates dating back more than four decades.

You see, Trump once promised he would reveal his taxes. Then he changed his mind. Then he said he would do so again. Then he backtracked again. He contends the Internal Revenue Service is auditing his taxes; the audit bans him from releasing the returns, he said. The IRS said, um, no … the audit does no such thing.

Donald Trump has lied and dissembled over the tax returns.

Vance reportedly informed the president’s accounting firm(s) of his desire to see the returns. Trump no doubt will fight it like hell, which I guess is his right.

The liar in chief, though, promised full transparency regarding his tax returns. He has failed to deliver on that promise, just as he has failed to “make America great again.”

Count me as an American who wants DA Cyrus Vance to get his hands on the tax returns. While he’s at it, he can let the country know what they contain.

Is POTUS above the law?

Federal prosecutors are making some serious allegations against the president of the United States.

They are alleging that Donald Trump orchestrated the illegal payments to two women with whom he allegedly had sexual relations; the payments were made to keep them quiet about the encounters, which — quite naturally — Trump says never happened.

The allegations bring to mind a key question. Does the U.S. Constitution protect the president from indictment?

Trump in trouble?

I cannot pretend to be a presidential scholar, but I’ve read the document from beginning to end several times over many years. I am not at all aware of where it says in there that the president is immune from criminal prosecution if he commits an offense such as, oh, authorizing illegal payments to women with whom he took a tumble . . . allegedly!

Is it contained in Article II, the part of the U.S. Constitution that deals with presidential power and authority? Is it somewhere in any of the amendments that were added to the document? If it’s in there, someone will have to tell me where to look.

We keep hearing all the time that “no one is above the law” in this country. Does that include the president?

I believe that when we declare that the law excludes “no one,” that the president must be included in the masses of Americans who can, and do, face criminal prosecution if they mess up.

Avenatti won’t run for White House . . . hooray!

I cannot let the day pass without acknowledging my joy at the news that Michael Avenatti, the loudmouth lawyer and cable talk show blowhard, won’t seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for president of the United States.

Avenatti was an unknown lawyer before he agreed to represent a woman named Stephanie Clifford, who’s better known as Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who alleges she and Donald John Trump engaged in a one-night tumble in a hotel room in 2006.

She then took a $130,000 payment from Trump to stay quiet — about an event Trump said didn’t happen. Go figure, man.

Well, Avenatti thought he would parlay his instant celebrity status into a presidential candidacy. Now he says he won’t do it. He has talked to his family and decided he has better things to do. The allegation that he struck a woman also might have had something to do with his decision to pass on a presidential campaign.

Count me as delighted to know we won’t have to listen to Avenatti make political pledges he can’t — or won’t — honor. I just wish he would forgo all those cable news show appearances. I am weary of the sound of his voice and the sight of his face.

Waiting for a more ‘presidential’ president

There you go, Mr. President. Donald Trump has vowed to be “more presidential” during his time in office.

Then he does this: He fires off a Twitter tirade that includes this gem about a woman who had sued him for defamation related to a payment his one-time lawyer made to the woman.

Trump wrote:  “Federal Judge throws out Stormy Danials lawsuit verses Trump. Trump is entitled to full legal fees. @FoxNews Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas. She will confirm the letter she signed! She knows nothing about me, a total con.”

You need to parse through the mangled syntax, shoddy punctuation and, oh yes, the epithet he hurled at woman he mentions by her(misspelled) name in the tweet.

Yes, he calls Stormy Daniels “Horseface.”

Daniels alleges she and the future president had a one-night tryst in a hotel. Trump later ordered his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, to pay her $130,000 to keep quiet about the event … while denying it ever happened. Go … figure.

I won’t get into what we all know to be the obvious, which is that we won’t ever see the president of the United States on a GQ magazine cover. Oh, well. I guess I just did.

Still, the president’s oft-stated vow to be “more presidential” has yet to be kept.

Shameful.

Another campaign kicks off? Seriously?

“Our troops didn’t die in Yorktown, didn’t take Normandy beach, didn’t rebuild Europe and secure the postwar peace that you are now destroying, Mr. President, for you to live as a Manchurian candidate in our White House.”

Who do you suppose made this statement today?

OK, I’ll give it up. It came from Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represents Stormy Daniels/Stephanie Clifford, the porn star who alleges she took a one-night tumble in a hotel room about a dozen years ago with Donald J. Trump Sr.

Why do I even mention this? Why devote any blog space to this guy?

Because he annoys me. That’s why.

Avenatti is becoming the ubiquitous lawyer who seems to my way of thinking to be more interested in promoting his own interests than in protecting the interests of his most famous client.

Avenatti delivered some kind of speech today in front of the White House in which he called Trump a “Manchurian candidate.”

I need some help on many matters. One of them involves whether the content of Avenatti’s speech has anything to do with Daniels/Clifford’s beef with Donald Trump.

Yes, Trump deserves criticism. I’ve delivered my share of it from this forum. Yes, Avenatti also is entitled to criticize the president as well. His public celebrity status, though, is due to his legal representation of a woman who received a hush-money payment from a guy who once was the president’s lawyer/Mr. Fix It.

I am believing now that Michael Avenatti is branching out.

Is there another political career in the making before our eyes?

I’m tired of this guy already.

Strange legal bedfellows?

This is weird.

Lanny Davis, one of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s better friends, is now representing Michael Cohen, who until just recently was supposedly a friend of and legal adviser to Donald J. Trump … although I am unclear just how many “friends” the president actually has.

Cohen is now declaring some form of independence from Trump, the guy he used to work for as a “fixer” and, oh yes, for whom he wrote that $130,000 check to keep the porn star Stormy Daniels quiet about the tryst she had years ago with the man who would become president of the United States.

As The Hill reported: Cohen, who previously worked for Trump, told (ABC News’s George) Stephanopoulos last week that his “first loyalty” lies with his family, not the president. 

I don’t know about you, but this is looking to me as though Cohen is about to unleash all he knows about Trump’s behavior. I am pretty sure the special counsel, Robert Mueller, is going to be all ears.

What about Cohen’s relationship with Lanny Davis? I guess there’s something to be said about strange bedfellows, yes?

It’s not really our business, however …

Donald J. Trump’s lawyer of the moment, Rudy Giuliani, has decided to speak about the first lady’s view of one of her husband’s, um, episodes involving other women.

Giuliani said Melania Trump “believes” the president when he says he didn’t have a tryst with a pornographic film actress, Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, in a hotel room back in 2006.

So, how does the former New York City mayor come to that conclusion? Do you think he asked Mrs. Trump directly? Did he ask the president himself? Or is he just making a conclusion based on nothing at all?

None of this in reality is anyone’s business. However, since one of the principals involved in this idiocy happens to be the president of the United States, it sort of morphs itself into the public domain.

I have difficulty accepting that Mrs. Trump would even answer such a question, even if it comes from the man who’s now representing her husband in his myriad battles to fend off investigations of all sorts. They include this matter involving Clifford/Daniels … allegedly.

I still circle back to the one aspect of that tryst that makes it all so very believable. It’s the payment of 130 grand in real American money that another lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to Daniels to keep her quiet. One must ask: If there was no sexual encounter, why would he have to pay the hush money?

As for whether Giuliani is relying on Donald Trump’s assertion that his (third) wife believes his denials about a one-night stand with Daniels — sigh! — I only can fall back on the many lies Trump has told since he began his political career in 2015.

If it were me — and I am so glad that it isn’t — I wouldn’t believe a single word that flies out of the president’s mouth.

Trump contradicts himself again … imagine that!

When the talk show hosts on the Fox News Channel look nervous while talking to Donald J. Trump, then you know the president is treading where he shouldn’t go.

“Fox & Friends” had the president on the air this morning and Trump took the opportunity to fly off the rails. Take, for instance, what he said about Michael Cohen, his lawyer who now plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights regarding Stormy Daniels, the porn star who allegedly had a one-night tryst with the man who would become president.

Trump had denied repeatedly that he knew anything about the $130,000 hush money payment Cohen made to Daniels to keep her quiet about the tryst that Trump denies ever happening.

Today, Trump said that, yep, Cohen represented him on that “crazy Daniels” matter. Huh? Does that mean that Trump knew of the payment, the one where he denied knowledge?

So, where do we stand with the Prevaricator in Chief?

He said he didn’t know about the payment. Cohen said he made it on behalf of his client … that would be the president. Does the president’s lawyer engage in activity without notifying his client? Um, no, not if he is worth a damn as a lawyer.

And did the president today just reverse his prior denials about what Cohen did? It sure looks like it to me.

Therefore, one now understands why the “Fox & Friends” hosts looked so damn nervous while they had their guy, Trump, on the air blathering and bloviating about this and that.

It certainly looked to me as though Trump had come unhinged.

Check it out here.

Simply … amazing.

U.S. has set a new standard for morality

Call me old-fashioned. Maybe even a bit of a prude — when we’re talking about officials who hold high public office.

Thus, when I hear the former director of the FBI declare that the president of the United States is “morally unfit” to hold the office, I nod my head in agreement.

James Comey delivered a blistering attack on Donald Trump, saying that the president’s moral character doesn’t measure up to the office he won in the 2016 election.

Comey — whom Trump fired a year ago because of what he called “the Russia thing” — cited a couple of key examples: Trump’s willingness to place “moral equivalency” between KKK’men, Nazis and white supremacists and those who protested their march in Charlottesville, Va.; and the president’s history of treating women “like meat.”

To be honest, Comey is far from the first American to declare that Trump is “morally unfit” to be president. Many millions of others of us have been said that before he ever won the election.

And that brings me to the critical point: Americans have redefined morality and have exhibited a clear and present tolerance for the kind of behavior that would have disqualified a presidential candidate.

Let’s get real for a moment, OK?

Trump admitted on that “Access Hollywood” recording how he is able to grab women by their “pu***”; he has admitted publicly cheating on his first and second wives; Trump has stated out loud how he was able to walk into beauty pageant contestants’ dressing rooms while they were half-dressed.

We hear now that Trump’s lawyer paid $130,000 to a porn queen to keep her quiet about a sexual encounter she and Trump allegedly had a year after he married Wife No. 3. The president denies the tryst occurred, but … the lawyer paid the money!

Trump has lived an existence filled with excess and moral depravity.

And yet …

He won enough Electoral College votes in November 2016 to enable him to slip into the Oval Office and take the reins of government.

This is the height — or the nadir — of political confusion.

Trump’s base, which comprises a huge chunk of the evangelical Christian movement, gives this clown a pass on his litany of debauchery and infidelity. Why? Because he promises to appoint conservatives to the federal judiciary; and those judges will rule against issues that evangelicals find repugnant: gay marriage, abortion and the prohibition on preaching Scripture lessons in public schools.

James Comey is as correct as he can possibly be in assessing Donald Trump’s moral unfitness for the presidency.

Some of us out here in Voter Land still want officials elected to high public office to represent the best in us. Donald Trump represents damn near the very worst in us.

The man is a disgrace.