Legal

Duncan Hunter You Are LOCK HER UP!

Boy, BYE.

Pour one out for the Chairman of the Bros Caucus, bruh! Former California congressman Duncan Hunter was just sentenced to 11 months in the hoosegow for scamming allllll the money from his campaign account. Guess Judge Thomas J. Whelan wasn't convinced by Hunter's argument that the whole thing was an anti-Trump WITCH HUNT launched by Hillary Clinton and her minions in the DEEP STATE. Figures for a Clinton-appointee — he's probably in on the whole thing!

Why, you can see the BIASSSS right there in the original 60-count indictment. Who but a Deep Stater could fail to see the inherent logic in charging Uber rides to and from the homes of Hunter's many ladyfriends to the campaign credit card? Don't know how you do it, your Honor, but in San Diego they call that extramarital bonezoning a "legislative act," if you know what I mean.

Ditto for the $1,008 weekend in Tahoe he charged to the campaign. Because, after all, his girlfriend at the time was a lobbyist! In fact, as the San Diego Union Tribune noted, "three of the women were noted to be lobbyists and two others were reported to be congressional staffers." So that's all official congressional horndogging bidniss, protected by the speech or debate clause of the Constitution of the US!

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campaign finance

Matt Gaetz Is ... Right About A Thing???

Credit where credit is due.

Yesterday at CPAC, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz announced that he will no longer accept money from political action committees, better known as PACs. And while we are no fans of Matt Gaetz, we will acknowledge that this is a good thing. Even padded with Trump-humping and digs at socialism, this was an impressive speech.

This PAC donation process, with the expectation of exchanging money for favors, renders public service, which should be the noblest of professions, dangerously close to the oldest profession. I've never turned tricks for Washington PACs, but as of this very moment, I will not pick up their money in the nightstand anymore. I will never again accept a donation from a federal political action committee. Not one red cent. The American people are my one and only special interest.

You gotta give it up for Matt Gaetz. Not because it's a huge hit for his congressional campaign, which it isn't. This cycle, he's taken in a whopping $43,550 from PACs. He doesn't need the money anyway, since his seat is in one of the reddest districts in the country, and he can hold it forever for about eight bucks, particularly because he gets infinity free media appearing on Fox every other day preaching the gospel of Jesus Trump and yowling about socialism.

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Legal

Michael Avenatti? More Like Michael Ave-NAUGHTY!

Happy Valentine's Day to all the jerks we've loved before.

Michael Avenatti, you dumb son of a bitch, GO TO JAIL! Today a federal jury in Manhattan convicted the lawyer on three counts related to an attempt to extort Nike out of $20 million. And though we'll always be grateful to him for bringing to light Michael Cohen and American Media Inc.'s illegal ratfucking of the 2016 campaign, we are never, never, never getting back together with our (literally) crazy ex-boyfriend. Sorry, Blue Eyes, we're through!

It's all so pathetically petty and sordid. Avenatti found a basketball coach in California who said he knew about illegal payments to high school athletes. But instead of negotiating an advantageous settlement for his client, Avenatti waltzed in to Nike HQ and threatened to "take ten billion dollars off your client's market cap" if the company wouldn't give him $20 million to perform an internal audit. Or to not perform an audit — he didn't really give a damn as long as he got paid.

And when Nike's lawyers said, "Can you call us back tomorrow, and speak very loudly and clearly when you lay out the particulars of your threat to expose us if we don't pony up the cash?" Avenatti said, "You bet! Let me give you 24 hours so you'll have plenty of time to call the FBI and get them situated to record our conversation!" We are paraphrasing, but not by much.

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Trump

Trump Charged Secret Service Up The Wazoo To Protect Him At His Trash Palaces

And Eric Trump lied about it to your face.

Donald Trump, for all his imbecility and incompetence, has one truly impressive talent: He knows how to grift. This is not the same as being a great businessman, as his bankruptcies and multiple failed enterprises readily illustrate. (Trump Steaks! The Trump Shuttle! Trump Organic Free-Range Condoms!) But when it comes to petty shit that can squeeze out a few tens or hundreds of bucks, Trump is on it, like refusing to pay his contractors when he was building casinos, or making sure his 2016 campaign paid top dollar to rent rooms in Trump Tower, and to maintain his fleet of gold-plated trashjets. Since becoming "president," the grift has continued, as Dok Zoom's pretend boyfriend David Fahrenthold details in yet another jaw-dropping Washington Post story about just part of the money Donald Trump's businesses make from renting rooms to the Secret Service, which has to stay close to Trump at all times.

As with most of the reporting that earned Fahrenthold a Pulitzer Prize in 2017, the piece is a combination of dogged research and an eye for details that just leave you blinking in astonishment. The bottom line is that records Fahrenthold was able to compile -- some from the public record, others from watchdog groups' lawsuits, plus interviews with insiders -- "show more than $471,000 in payments from taxpayers to Trump's companies." But that's just a start, since, as he notes, "these records cover only a fraction of Trump's travel during a fraction of his term — the actual total is likely to be higher."

For instance, during the first year of Trump's maladministration, his Mar-a-Lago club charged the Secret Service rates up to $650 a night. Later, that nightly rate seems to have dropped some, to payments of "$396.15, dozens more times in 2018." But don't go thinking that had anything to do with the Trump Organization deciding the high costs looked bad. Don't be silly! Instead, it appears that's because the "2018 receipts list the Secret Service as an "honorary member" of the club, which could have made it eligible for a member discount."

Such a great deal maker!

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