On the day we learned of RNC bigwig Elliott Broidy's $1.6 million payout
to a Playboy model -- a payout brokered by Michael Cohen -- I offered the outrageous scenario that the man who impregnated said model was not Broidy but Donald Trump. A couple of week later I expanded upon this theory,
noting that the model in question -- Shera Bechard -- bears a resemblance to Ivanka Trump. We know that Trump compared both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to Ivanka.
Stormy Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, had hinted (during an appearance on the Morning Joe
program) that Broidy may not be the man who impregnated Bechard. I don't know if Avenatti spoke from "insider" knowledge or from a desire to sow doubt.
Now, Paul Campos of New York magazine
has found the courage to walk down a path previously trod only by -- well, me. Although I'm hardly the only irresponsible fringe-dweller on the internet, I was the first one one brave or foolish enough to investigate this particular piece of terrain.
Campos argues that the "Trump got her pregnant" theory is actually far more plausible than the official tale, which may be an elaborate fiction designed to protect the president. Trump would lose much of his Christian base if it were known that he had paid off a woman who had an abortion.
Here are a few choice bits-n-pieces from the Paul Campos story in New York
Trump has a well-documented history of having unprotected sex with women in the adult-entertainment industry, and then subsequently buying their silence via proxies. Trump also has a history of being obsessed specifically with Playboy playmates. Trump had a long-standing close friendship with Hugh Hefner, and often visited the Playboy mansion, to which he brought contestants from his television show The Apprentice. One such contestant noted:
Toward the end of the evening, I found myself in a small circle, conversing with Trump, Hefner, and another contestant. With a wry smile, Trump looked at Hefner and said, ‘It’s hard for me to tell which of these girls are yours and which ones are mine.’Bechard was actually at one time Hefner’s girlfriend, while Trump and Hefner’s friendship mysteriously came to an end in 2016.
Did the friendship with Hef endure even when Trump embraced birtherism? Like him or hate him, Hefner always espoused liberal-ish politics; he never would have tolerated that "birther" nonsense.
Everyone knows that Donald Trump has had liaisons with numerous women, and that he never uses any sort of protection. Under the circumstances, I'd be surprised to learn that he has not
been forced to confront -- in a very personal way -- the issue of abortion. No one escapes the laws of chance.
The Campos article gives us much new information (new to me
, at any rate) about Broidy:
Broidy has a history of bribing public officials to enhance the economic prospects of his business ventures. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to bribing New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi. As part of a plea deal which led to the convictions of seven of his co-conspirators, Broidy admitted he made more than $1 million in illegal payouts and gifts to New York pension authorities.
In March 2018, the previously obscure Broidy was the subject of a slew of national stories regarding his remarkably aggressive influence-peddling in the wake of Trump’s election. For example, the Journal reported that Broidy was slated to make tens of millions of dollars by getting the Justice Department to drop a probe into a multibillion-dollar bribery scandal involving 1MDB, the Malaysian state investment fund. One email revealed a plan to pay Broidy and his wife $75 million if they could successfully lobby the DOJ to drop the probe into 1MBD.
A few days later, the New York Times published an extensive account detailing how Broidy was “marketing his Trump connections to politicians and governments around the world,” by, for example, “suggesting to clients and prospective customers of his Virginia-based defense contracting company, Circinus, that he could broker meetings with Mr. Trump, his administration and congressional allies.”
My first post on this scandal discussed the Broidy's links to Middle Eastern "facilitator" George Nader. We learn more:
According to these accounts, Nader dangled the prospect of more than $1 billion in contracts for Circinus before Broidy, as he assiduously cultivated Broidy’s influence with “the Chairman,” a.k.a. Donald Trump.
Why would Broidy "take a bullet" for Donald Trump? (The "bullet," in his case, would be a shot of public humiliation.) The more we learn about Broidy, the clearer it becomes that he stood to make a lot of money from his association with the president. Much wheeling. Much dealing. And in the midst of all that wheeling and dealing, an opportunity -- perhaps -- to pay back $1.6 million. With interest.
Sometimes writers place their most compelling arguments within parentheses. Note the following example...
The size of the payment to Bechard — $1.6 million — is also a little weird. Broidy was a largely anonymous person in late 2017, when the NDA was signed. His biggest claim to fame at the time was a felony conviction for corruption. Why would a man in his position need to pay $1.6 million to keep Bechard quiet about an affair to which the public at large would be completely indifferent? (And if the explanation for the massive payment is that Broidy was desperate to keep this secret from his family and the RNC, why, as detailed below, did he admit to the affair the very first time a journalist asked him about it?) Furthermore, according to the Journal, Bechard provided no proof to Broidy that she was pregnant by him, or indeed pregnant at all. Under these circumstances, a seven-figure hush-money payment seems hard to explain.
Just so. Supposedly, Broidy was a wealthy man desperate to keep a secret from his wife -- yet he blabbed all at the first opportunity.
In my second post on this topic, I focused on this anomalous behavior. Broidy issued a statement which decried the "national discussion" over his affair -- but there was no "national discussion" until he issued that very statement!
The man seemingly went out of his way to publicize something that should have been embarrassing.
And then there's the improbability of the tale we've been told about the relationship between Keith Davidson and Michael Cohen. Cohen represented Trump; Davidson was the original attorney for Stormy Daniels and
Karen McDougal and
Shera Bechard. In all three instances, Cohen and Davidson worked for clients on opposing sides -- yet many believe that these two lawyers had established what we might call an "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster" relationship. McDougal wriggled free of her NDA deal when she finally decided that "her" attorney wasn't really her
attorney. I still don't understand why the Bar Association has not weighed in on this arrangement.
Why, asks Campos, would a man in Broidy's situation hire Michael Freakin' Cohen
, "a man who is barely even a lawyer," and a graduate of what has been called the worst law school in the country?
Let me point out one last anomaly: We've not heard one word from Shera Bechard.
McDougal and Stormy have gone very blabby, despite the NDAs they have signed. Supposedly, Broidy has admitted all, rendering pointless the NDA that the law firm of Dickens and Fenster placed before Shera Bechard. What, then, can explain the Silence of Shera? She remains quiet -- too
quiet, as in those old jungle movie scenes when the birds stop chattering and all is ominously still.
Let's switch metaphors. Now that the cat is well and truly out of the bag, why not talk about the cat?
Perhaps that feline was a fake -- a decoy. Perhaps the real
cat remains inside the bag.