“I Will Always Protect Mr. Trump”: Trump’s Attorney Claims Payment To Porn Star Was His Own Money, Not Trump’s or the Campaign’s Money

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedWe previously discussed the controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s alleged relationship with porn film star Stormy Daniels.  At issue was not just the alleged affair previously described by Daniels in an interview in 2011m but a payment in 2016 of $130,000 in exchange for a denial of the affair.   That payment was later the basis for a lawsuit by Common Cause alleging possible campaign finance violations.  The source of the money, the lawsuit alleged, may have been campaign money and the use of such money for this purpose would have violated federal law. Now, the Trump attorney who created a shield company and anonymous identity to pay off Daniels has stated that the money was his, not Trump’s or the campaign’s. That disclosure however raises additional questions — both factual and ethical.

 

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Trump Administration Drops Case Against Lender Charging Up To 950 Percent Interest

440px-CFPB_logo.svgThe Trump Administration has been openly hostile to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and recently proposed massive cuts in the new budget.   Director Mick Mulvaney  was viewed as an appointment designed to dismantle the consumer protection agency. Now, as  NPR reported, Mulvaney has ordered the dropping of the case against Golden Valley Lending which alleged charged consumers up to 950 percent interest rates.  The Administration owes the public a full explanation for this decision. There may be a reason (such as deferring to state prosecution) but the decision on its face is troubling.

 

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Duterte Tells Soldiers To Shoot Female Rebels In Their Genitals

rodrigo_duterte_and_laotian_president_bounnhang_vorachith_croppedPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte has shocked the world with his blood-soaked reign including his  orders to police to murder drug suspects and his bragging about his own murders.  Thousands of suspected drug dealers have been killed under Duterte.  Duterte has mocked those who object to the extrajudicial murders, including teenagers found dead.  Now Duterte has found a way to shock the world again after telling soldiers to  shoot female rebels in their genitals.   Many of us were alarmed by President Donald Trump’s praise of Duterte as “a good man” and praising his crackdown on drugs.  Duterte however shows no ability to control himself any more than his son (who has been implicated in drugs and corruption) or his henchman  . . . or his mouth. However, this not just some clown in office. Duterte is actively encouraging extrajudicial murders as a policy of this close allied nation.

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West Virginia Woman Dragged From Legislative Hearing On Drilling Bill After Listing Oil and Gas Donations To The Members

lissaWe recently saw a national outcry over a teacher dragged from a school board meeting for raising concerns over school policies.  Now, the West Virginia House of Delegates is under scrutiny for the treatment of a woman, Lissa Lucas, who appeared at a hearing over a drilling bill and attempted to list the contributions accepted by both Democrats and Republicans from the gas and oil industries.  She also raised an event the night before where the members wined and dined with industry lobbyists.  She was forciably removed from the hearing after Chairman, John Shott (R-Mercer) ruled her comments as non-germane and personal. Many voters would likely disagree and say that the extent of corporate-related money is not relevant to the legislation.

 

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Academia’s #MeToo Movement Expands From Cincinnati to Shanghai As Congress Considers Legislation Targeting Academic Institutions

truth2Recently, the Utah Law Review published a study of sexual harassment at universities and there are a growing number of cases involving students coming forward with accounts of prior misconduct by professors.  Notably, this movement has even extended to China, which is not known for its enforcement of sexual harassment laws.  In the meantime, Congress is considering legislation entitled “Federal Funding Accountability for Sexual Harassers Act” that would make it more difficult for academics to avoid responsibility by moving to other universities.  [For full disclosure, one of the cases this month concerns a former GW colleague, Ezra Wasserman Mitchell, who changed his name from Larry Mitchell before leaving for China.]

 

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In The Case Of The FISA Memos, Transparency Is National Security

downloadBelow is my column on the ongoing controversy over the majority and minority memos from the House Intelligence Committee. President Donald Trump has sent the Democratic memo — which is much longer and detailed — back to the Committee for revisions. He accused of the Democrats of intentionally loading up the memos with classified information to argue that the White House was withholding embarrassing information.  This column below argues for disclosure of not just as much of these memos as possible but underlying material.

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Second Trump Staffer Resigns In A Week After Spousal Abuse Allegations As Trump Decries “Shattered Lives” [Updated]

article-abuse-0209A second White House official has resigned following a media investigation into allegations of domestic violence.  As discussed yesterday the disconnect between Rod Porter claiming that the allegations were false but his subsequent failure to seek a legal remedy or even threaten a defamation action.  David Sorensen, a speechwriter for President Trump, has raised a possible defamation action against his wife in denying the accusations. Indeed, he alleges that she was the abuser — creating a possibility of libel actions on both sides (much like the Roy Moore situation).  President Donald Trump has responded to the two cases by decrying the impact of “mere allegations” in “shattering lives.”

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