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December 12, 2018

SDNY Attorney's Office Press Release: We Got AMI to Admit, In Exchange for Immunity, That They Paid off MacDougal for Her Story With the Specific Intent of Avoiding Disclosures During the Campaign, and In Coordination with Trump

So Civil War, then.

The backstory: A former Playboy bunny or something named MacDougal was paid by the National Enquirer for her Trump story, and for a fitness column. She was paid $150,000 for exclusive rights. But the National Enquirer didn't run the story, and because they bought exclusive rights, MacDougal couldn't go blabbing about her affair or whatever with Trump.

Although, of course, she did anyway.

Which is a strange thing, isn't it? These women keep violating legal agreements to dish on Trump, almost as if they're being paid to do so, and so don't have to fear legal consequences of breaking contracts.

Anyway, AMI is the parent corporation of National Enquirer.

AMI has reached a plea deal and has received immunity for telling the US Attorney what the US Attorney wanted to hear, that this payment was made for the specific purpose of influencing a federal election and not just to keep a mouthy broad from disrupting Trump's marital relations. The former reason would require an FEC disclosure, while the latter reason would not.

The US Attorney needs someone to claim that these payments were made for electoral and not personal reasons, and that's what they got.

The Office also announced today that it has previously reached a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, in connection with AMI's role in making the above-described $150,000 payment before the 2016 presidential election. As a part of the agreement, AMI admitted that it made the $150,000 payment in concert with a candidate's presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election. AMI further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman's story so as to prevent it from influencing the election.

Actually, she wasn't supposed to talk about this, ever. Where are they getting this time-limitation of "during the campaign" from?

Assuming AMI's continued compliance with the agreement, the Office has agreed not to prosecute AMI for its role in that payment. The agreement also acknowledges, among other things, AMI's acceptance of responsibility, its substantial and important assistance in this investigation, and its agreement to provide cooperation in the future and implement specific improvements to its internal compliance to prevent future violations of the federal campaign finance laws. These improvements include distributing written standards regarding federal election laws to its employees and conducting annual training concerning these standards.

Note that immunity was secured by specifically claiming that the purpose was to influence the election. Without that, no case. So they got immunity by agreeing to testify to the prosecutor's absolute must-have claim.

Eh. All right. This shit usually is handled with a fine -- remember, Hillary Clinton deliberately misrepresented the reasons for her payments to Perkins-Coie as "legal services" when a substantial amount of that money went to oppo research, specifically "The Doisser" -- and no one's even talking about a fine for that, but I guess suddenly we're taking this all very seriously.

I just watched The Creepy Line last night. As we talk about RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE! and media covering up stories, we might want to look at Google, which suppressed negative search results for Hillary Clinton. This sort of suppression of negative search results has a powerful effect on voters, and almost always shifts their perceptions of a candidate in a positive direction.

The academic who conducted this research during the 2016 campaign was reviewing the results of his findings for Google's Hillary Clinton results, and found that all ten of the first ten results were biased to the positive. At this point he sort of took a breath and said, "I wouldn't have done that. If I were rigging this, I would have at least included one or two negative stories so it wouldn't appear so blatant," or words to that close effect.

Google did not perform a similar suppression-of-negative-search-results favor for Donald Trump or even Bernie Sanders.

So Google made a several billion dollar in-kind contribution to the Hillary Clinton campaign -- a billion-plus dollar donation they of course did not acknowledge nor report to the FEC.

Are any US Attorney's offices going to probe them for campaign finance violations?

No, of course not. We know the game is rigged.

The question is: At what point do we just stop playing a rigged game?

Our would-be masters ought to consider that very carefully.

And I sure hope AEI, CEI, and Representative Bob Goodlatte and whoever else keeps on protecting Google from the standard application of US antitrust and campaign finance law.

Muh Private Googlez

Corporations are people too, my friend. No wait -- they're better than people. They can freely ignore laws that mere people may be prosecuted for.

What We Have Here Is a Failure to Coordinate: What I'm thinking is Cohen is being sent off to jail precisely because he has not confirmed/affirmed AMI's story here. The prosecutor would like two people telling this same tale; I am assuming that, based on Cohen not getting immunity, he did not repeat AMI's story.

Which makes me doubt AMI's story -- Cohen does not seem like the kind of guy who would go to jail if he could just tell the US attorney what he wants to hear.

This would explain why the US Attorney was so pissy about Cohen and claimed he was not being helpful in the ways they needed him to be helpful about.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 05:54 PM

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