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Hey, remember that fun time when federal prosecutors made those National Enquirer editors admit to engaging in an illegal scheme to violate campaign finance law by buying up stories of then-candidate Donald Trump's roving pecker to make sure that that voters never saw them? Well, guess which propaganda firehose also caught the story on the Stormy Daniels payoff and killed it to benefit candidate Trump?

Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go.

That's from last week's blockbuster New Yorker article by Jane Mayer on the uholy feedback loop between Trump and Rupert Murdoch's Whitesploitation network. FoxNews.com reporter Diana Falzone spent six months working on the Stormy Daniels payoff story, and by October of 2016, just a month before the election, she'd it nailed down. She had emails between Michael Cohen and Keith Davidson, Daniels's former attorney, and had even seen the hush agreement. But her editor Ken LaCorte killed the story, allegedly to benefit the Trump campaign, and then Fox made sure to bury it in a non-disclosure agreement when Falzone sued the network in May of 2017 for retaliation and gender and disability discrimination.

But nothing stays buried forever, at least not when there's a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. And as Falzone's lawyer Nancy Erika Smith suggested on Ari Melber's show, a congressional subpoena overrides a contractual NDA. Hint hint.


And Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings said, SOLID PLAN, HAND IT OVER.

Which is ... not a subpoena. It's a simple request, although Mr. Cummings will certainly be willing to turn it into compulsory process if needed to release Falzone from her NDA with Fox. In fact, Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler has already greenlighted that for Keith Davidson, who represented Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal in the payoff deals. (And Shera Bechard, which is ... a heckuva coincidence.) Davidson's name was on the omnibus document request sent by Nadler last week to 81 people and organizations in Trumpland. And he told Ari Melber last night that Nadler's office is drafting an official demand, after which he'll send the 1,500 pages of evidence he gave to SDNY right over to the committee.

And while no one should trust Keith Davidson any more than they do Michael Cohen -- Keith Davidson knows what he did! -- he's probably got receipts, since those idiots committed all their conspiring by text. Like that hilarious time in January 2018 when Davidson and Cohen discussed putting Stormy on Sean Hannity's Rage 'n' Reacharound program to deny that she'd ever bumped bits with President Mario Kart.

So when Davidson says that the Stormy Daniels payoff was a desperate attempt to save Trump's campaign after the Access Hollywood tape dropped -- i.e., that it was inherently a political contribution -- we're guessing he's got evidence to back that up. ABC reports:

"You cannot talk about Stormy Daniels and the settlement without talking about 'Access Hollywood,'" Davidson said. "They come hand in hand. It was clear to me that the 'Access Hollywood' tape was the motivating factor in this case resolving."

According to Davidson, Cohen initially missed the deadline to make a payment to Daniels, effectively cancelling their contract, but after The Washington Post published behind-the-scenes video from the reality show in which Trump can be heard bragging about groping women, the deal took on new urgency.

"It defeats the argument that this was done purely for personal reasons," Davidson said. "It was done for political reasons. The natural conclusion is that after the 'Access Hollywood' tape, that something like this could be the straw that broke the camel's back."

And we'd really prefer a witness who's NOT a nasty, allegedly blackmailing POS, but it's kind of par for the course in the Trump era.

TEA ANYONE? WATCH OUT FOR SPILLS.

[New Yorker / NBC / ABC]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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