Daily Check-In 07/09/2018

Monday, July 9th.  I’m back.



Yeah, the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed what I’ve been saying for a year; that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of Donald Trump.



Michael D. Cohen, the former personal lawyer to President Trump who is under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, has hired Lanny J. Davis, the Washington lawyer and public relations consultant best known for serving in the Clinton White House, to represent him.

The pairing is unusual. Mr. Davis has tried to position himself as a key defender of Bill and Hillary Clinton — particularly Mrs. Clinton, whom Mr. Trump defeated in the 2016 presidential election and continues to attack as “totally crooked.” Mr. Cohen was once a fierce defender of Mr. Trump.





A sealed legal complaint against GOP mega donor Elliott Broidy by his former mistress contains “troublesome claims that he wouldn’t want to become public,” a source with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Beast.

Broidy is being sued by former Playboy Playmate Shera Bechard, who became pregnant with his child before having an abortion. Bechard sued Broidy on Friday, alleging he violated their non-disclosure agreement when he stopped paying her installments totaling $1.6 million earlier this month. A source close to Broidy told The Daily Beast, “a cursory review of the lawsuit indicates it is full of falsehoods.”

On Tuesday, Michael Avenatti will ask a Los Angeles court to unseal the complaint that he said names him.

“You don’t sue someone and refuse to give them a copy of the complaint, unless you are playing a game,” Avenatti told The Daily Beast.

He currently represents porn actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Michael Cohen, who negotiated her non-disclosure agreement to keep quiet an alleged affair with Donald Trump. Cohen also negotiated Bechard’s NDA.

On April 12, Avenatti tweeted: “In last 18 mos, Mr. Cohen negotiated yet another hush NDA, this time on behalf of a prominent GOP donor who had a relationship with a LA woman, impregnated her and then made sure she had an abortion. The deal provided for multiple payments across many months.”



Donald Trump’s flagship Scottish resort received thousands of pounds in US taxpayers’ money to host VIP visits by officials from his administration, an investigation by The Scotsman can reveal. The US president’s resort at Turnberry received more than £5,600 in federal funds to provide accommodation for the trip earlier this year.

According to a source at the South Ayrshire hotel and golf course, the stay was in connection with Mr Trump’s official visit to the UK scheduled for this July, which is expected to include Scotland in the itinerary. The payment, sanctioned last month by the US State Department, represents the first time one of Mr Trump’s Scottish businesses has received direct federal funding from his own government.








By the way, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement a couple weeks ago.  The very next day, it comes out that his son Justin underwrote a billion dollar loan for Trump Organization in 2009 while working at Deutsche Bank.  DB has been caught laundering money from Russian Oligarchs, and no one in their right mind would loan money to Trump under normal circumstances in a good economy.  2009 was the height of the housing bubble, Trump Org had the corporate equivalent of a 350 credit score, and Eric Trump was already on the record talking about how they got all the funding they needed from Russia.

I’ll cover that in more detail over the next week or so.





A few days before President Trump heads to the U.K. to meet the queen and the prime minister, a BBC investigative program has revealed fresh allegations of sexually inappropriate actions by Trump during the 1980s and 1990s, comparing him to a “predator” at parties with girls as young as 14.

The report featured Monday on the BBC Panorama investigative documentary series, entitled “Trump: Is the president a sex pest?” included testimony from two women who said they encountered Trump at parties during his time as a real estate magnate and operator of beauty pageants.

Trump’s behavior toward younger women was described by a man who attended the same parties as like that of a “predator.”

One of the women, Barbara Pilling, said she met Trump at a party in New York in the late 1980s while she was a young model. She alleged that then-businessman Trump asked her how old she was and approved when she said she was 17, allegedly responding: “Oh, great. So you’re not too old and not too young. That’s just great.”

Pilling said she was not the youngest girl at the party, claiming there were girls as young as 14 attending. “I felt I was in the presence of a shark,” Pilling said, describing Trump.

Another woman, Heather Braden, told Panorama that she saw Trump at a party in Miami in the 1990s attended by only four men and 50 female models.

“I felt like a piece of meat in a market,” Braden said. “I could have been auctioned off in some sort of a sex slave ring.”

One anonymous male source speaking to the show claimed to have been at many of the same events as Trump during the same time frame and described drug- and alcohol-fueled parties attended by older men and younger women.

Trump, in particular, was “notorious” for his behavior toward younger women, the man said.

“This guy was like a predator in action. The next day or days after we would hear about it, he would brag about it to his friends and it would get around that he scored. Maybe one or two girls at a time, which is what he loved to do.”













Oh, by the way, Scott Pruitt is gone.  I’ll cover that soon.



This is another story I need to cover that broke recently.  Rep. Jim Jordan was a former wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the 80’s and 90’s.  At the same time, they had a very handsy and rapey doctor who molested the members of the wrestling team.  This doctor had a locker right next to Jim, and Jim’s team told him about the handsy doc.  Jim denied ever knowing anything about the alleged abuse.  Since his denial, 7 of his former wrestlers, including UFC Champion Mark Coleman, have come forward calling bullshit on Jim.

I hope they go full JoePa on his ass.







The state’s high court issued an order Friday saying it would hear oral arguments on the contentious case July 18. The fiercely contested measure pits the group, Voters Not Politicians, which supports redistricting reform, against a Republican and business-backed group challenging the validity of the measure.

At issue is whether the redistricting petition merely seeks to amend the state’s constitution or instead is a far broader revision to the constitution, which can only be made through a more formal constitutional convention?








The unfolding of the Russia scandal has been like walking into a dark cavern. Every step reveals that the cave runs deeper than we thought, and after each one, as we wonder how far it goes, our imaginations are circumscribed by the steps we have already taken. The cavern might go just a little farther, we presume, but probably not much farther. And since trying to discern the size and shape of the scandal is an exercise in uncertainty, we focus our attention on the most likely outcome, which is that the story goes a little deeper than what we have already discovered. Say, that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort told their candidate about the meeting they held at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer after they were promised dirt on Hillary Clinton; and that Trump and Kushner have some shady Russian investments; and that some of Trump’s advisers made some promises about lifting sanctions.

But what if that’s wrong? What if we’re still standing closer to the mouth of the cave than the end?

Welcome to the party, pal!  We’ve been spelunking this traitorous cave for a year, and we’re just getting started.


Seriously, take the time to read this article.  It looks at the whole Trump/Russia conundrum from a skeptical point of view, yet doesn’t discount the coincidences as “conspiracy theories” or “kooky.”


That’s it for today.  I’m working on a “What’d I Miss” post covering the major events from June 23 to July 8.  There was a lot of big stories that happened in that time, and I wanted to cover them, but needed to get back to daily posts.  I figure it will take at least a couple days to get caught up, but if I worked on that first, I’d fall behind further.  This way, I can get caught up faster.


Thank you, and have a good one.


“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur




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