SPICEY! America needs you to tell us how Trump had the biggest criminal investigation into a presidential inauguration ever. PERIOD! This time we promise to believe you.
Okay, Wonkers, we just worked our way through the
Wall Street Journal and New York Times stories on criminal investigations of the Trump inauguration and super PAC, and something is very rotten in Denmark. But this stuff is complicated, and it's Friday, and hell, it could very well be indictment-thirty, who even knows! So let's break this down Top Five Style and see if we can flag some of the hinkiest bits of this stinker, 'kay?
1. Michael Cohen: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Safe bet that if you ever had a conversation with Michael Cohen, he recorded it and the special counsel is listening to it right now. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan opened an investigation into Trump's
yuuuuuge inauguration in part based on one of the Cohen tapes, the Journal reports:
In April raids of Mr. Cohen's home, office and hotel room, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents obtained a recorded conversation between Mr. Cohen and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to Melania Trump, who worked on the inaugural events. In the recording, Ms. Wolkoff expressed concern about how the inaugural committee was spending money, according to a person familiar with the Cohen investigation.
Really? They needed a tape to tell them there was something suspicious? Obama raised $50 million and had Beyoncé and Bruce Springsteen. Trump raised $107 million for Toby Keith and Tony Orlando. You do the math!
Ms. Wolkoff, she's probably having a fun time splaining how she and her company, which was incorporated approximately eight seconds after Trump won the election, managed to net more than $26 million on a party that no one attended. Maybe she'll get her BFF Melania to dispatch her PR flack to shit tweet about firing the New York prosecutors. Since that's a thing now.
"The people have got to know whether or not their president is a murderer. Well, I'm not a murderer. I've earned everything I've got and never once committed armed robbery." -- Donald Trump, tomorrow. PROBABLY.
We've now reached the stage of the Trump administration where the president's defenders are cold calling reporters to tell them to quit making such a big deal, because HELLO, THERE'S NO DEAD BODY. (Yet.)
"Nobody got killed, nobody got robbed… This was not a big crime," Giuliani told
The Daily Beast on Wednesday. He added, sardonically, "I think in two weeks they'll start with parking tickets that haven't been paid."
This is also the stage where there is a new
OMG, breaking! every ninety minutes. So let's type fast to run down the latest on Trump's backroom fuckery with The National Enquirer before this tabloid stuff metastasizes any further.
Last month, the
Wall Street Journal reported that Trump met personally with David Pecker, CEO of the Enquirer's parent company American Media, Inc. (AMI) in August 2015. Would Donny's old pal David like to become an unofficial member of Team Trump? HE WOULD.
What can you do to help my campaign? he asked, according to people familiar with the meeting.
Mr. Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., offered to use his National Enquirer tabloid to buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize alleged sexual encounters with Mr. Trump.
Well, there goes Trump's defense that he was just racing to buy up those stories to protect poor, delicate Melania -- ten full years after rawdogging a pornstar while she was home recovering from childbirth. Would that be the same meeting described in AMI's corporate immunity deal published five minutes after Cohen got flayed in open court by SDNY prosecutors?