Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Trump Impeachment: Michael Avenatti Knows All

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Mod: While the world waits endlessly for the Mueller investigation to begin delivering on all of the many things they have been looking into, an alternative venue for news of Trump corruption has now opened up. The host of this bounty? Michael Avenatti, attorney to porn star and presidential date bait Stormy Daniels. It is good to see private business getting into the game. Why should it all be in the hands of the government?

Michael Avenatti Knows All (The Impeachment link): Michael Avenatti’s bombshell release detailing nearly $4.5 million dollars that flowed into Cohen’s Essential Consulting account at First Republic Bank during 2017 has finally linked Trump’s personal affairs to the Russia inquiry.

According to Avenatti’s documents, $500,000 dollars came from Columbus Nova, a company that was, until recently, listed as a subsidiary of the Renova Group which itself is controlled by a powerful Russian oligarch. Columbus Nova’s president is the cousin of that same Russian oligarch. Another $400,000 came from the pharmaceutical company Novartis. An additional $200,000 came from AT&T as well as $150,000 from a Korean aerospace company. Lastly, there is a $62,500 payment from Elliott Broidy as part of his settlement agreement with another woman.

As Avenatti described it, this has all the features of a pay-to-play scheme or, considering Cohen actually reached out to Novartis, an extortion scheme. But it was amazing to see how these companies tripped all over themselves trying to explain why they were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to Cohen. Even there, however, Avenatti had laid a trap, purposely not disclosing the true total dollar amounts he knew these companies had paid Cohen and waiting to see whether they would come clean on their own.

Originally, AT&T claimed the $200,00 was paid for “insight” into the new administration. Subsequently, they had to admit that the total amount paid was $600,000 over the course of 12 months. Novartis originally provided no explanation for their payment, only saying that the contract was made under a former CEO and had subsequently expired. After a second aborted explanation, Novartis’ third attempt finally came clean, admitting it had paid $1.2 million to Cohen over the course of his 12 month contract even though it was clear from their one meeting with Cohen that he could provide no useful service.

Worse, Novartis admitted that it continued to pay Cohen for essentially no reason and no services for fear of angering Trump. Columbus Nova insisted that their payments had nothing to do with the Russian oligarch and were for advice on capital formation and real estate investments. Lastly, the Korean aerospace company said that the money was for Cohen’s expertise on accounting policies.

AT&T, Novartis, and the Korean aerospace company all had important business in front of the Trump administration. AT&T was trying to merge with Time Warner over the DOJ’s objections. Novartis was one of the few pharmaceutical companies who refused to pledge to reduce drug prices and was obviously interested in the outcome of healthcare repeal and preserving its drug monopolies.

But the Korean aerospace company, despite being accused of massive accounting and billing fraud in South Korea, seemed to be the one that got the most bang for its buck, apparently now poised to win a multi-billion dollar contract to build a training jet in partnership with Lockheed. Lockheed, you might recall, was continually criticized by Trump before and after his inauguration over the cost of its F-35 fighter planes.

It’s bad enough that the corporations’ payments to Cohen indicate that pay-to-play was the immediate option in order to deal with the Trump administration. The money funneled from the Russian oligarch, however, raises even more serious question about it’s intent and purposes. That payment is the first real monetary trail that we have seen that potentially implicates the Trump team in colluding with the Russians during the 2016 campaign.

As Avenatti has joked over the last two days, Michael Cohen seems to have become a renaissance man, a true Leonardo da Vinci, specializing in the pharmaceutical, telecomm, capital markets, and accounting fields. Remarkably, these extraordinary gifts only became apparent starting in January, 2017, the very same month that Trump was inaugurated.

It appears that the only outflows from this Essential Consulting account was the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels and $1 million transferred to another Cohen account at Morgan Stanley. But the timing of those transactions indicates that there was more money coming into and out of that account than Avenatti shows in these documents. In the documents Avenatti released, we do not see the additional monies that AT&T and Novartis finally admitted to paying Cohen, nor do we see Trump’s $35,000 monthly “retainer”.

Cohen obviously has multiple bank accounts and controls numerous LLCs. It is unclear whether Avenatti has only obtained some suspicious activity reports (SAR) related to the Essential Consulting account or actually has access to bank statements for that account and potentially other Cohen accounts. And Avenatti is clearly interested in keeping that uncertainty hanging out there.


The real question, the one that Avenatti keeps raising and clearly knows the answer to, is where the rest of the money from that First Republic account actually end up. He keeps wondering whether a portion of these monies flowed to the Trump Organization or to Trump himself. And, in this entire Stormy Daniels affair, when Avenatti wonders about things, he usually knows the answer.

The ironic part of all this is that all these payments to the President’s personal attorney, which at best are clearly payments for access, are probably legal. Ever since the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell in 2016, the chances of actually convicting a politician of bribery are virtually nil and “pay-to-play” is now effectively legal. That was made clear in the case against New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez. Yes, Cohen could have legal issues about not registering as a lobbyist but those penalties pale in comparison to actual public corruption.

Unfortunately, the President’s current legal strategy for dealing with the Mueller investigation is to focus on reducing the chances or options for impeachment, a largely political process. That means that being able to fall back on the legality of these payments may have less of an impact with the general public, even with portions of Trump’s base, who innately understand that these payments essentially amount to bribery and exemplify the “swamp” of corruption they (gullibly) voted to have Trump clean up.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

68 comments:

  1. Who is paying Avenatti. And who illegally provided him with banking records that he used to falsely accuse people.

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    1. Avenatti is a lawyer with a client, and he is doing what it takes to further her cause. There is a lot of money in it for both of them. As far as those banking records go, look at it this way. Nobody keeps the secrets of a fool. Trump is a fool. People are talking.

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    2. You'll never get that question answered because.. In the law of the United States, attorney–client privilege or lawyer–client privilege is a "client's right privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential communications between the client and the attorney." Hypothetically speaking, it could even be California's billionaire Tom Steyer he has released an ad as the centerpiece of a $10 million campaign calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment? Your guess is as good as mine. LOL

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    3. Cohen is being investigated for crimes all his own. Just because Trump is his client doesn't mean he can't be dragged into court and put on trial.

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    4. Sorry kid, you wet-dream White House messiah is just another pay-to-play player from the swamp.

      Trolls got trumped again!

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    5. Haha all the racist birthers suddenly worried about accusations being false.

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    6. Whataboutism: Russia's national logical fallacy.

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  2. Also Rosenstein has told the president he isn’t the subject of the investigation if Rosenstein is lying he should be fired. If he is telling the truth your whole post is nonsense.

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    1. When did he say that?

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    2. Should trump be fired for lying?

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    3. President Trump lied more than 3,000 times in 466 days
      https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/01/politics/donald-trump-3000/index.html

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  3. Do we really need to ‘understand’ Trump supporters?
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-perspec-pitts-trump-supporters-understanding-0508-20180506-story.html

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  4. Crowd at Indiana rally cheers when Trump suggests he deserves an 'extension' on his presidency beyond two terms
    http://www.businessinsider.com/extend-trump-presidency-indiana-campaign-rally-2018-5

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  5. I suspect that the silence from most Republicans in Congress re: the cruel comment about John McCain (which is only the latest incomprehensible outrage) stems from the fact that every goddam one of them has received money from Russia, through the NRA or other cloaked sources, and they are only now finding out about this tainted money they were only too happy to accept. I think maybe that's why they're so ready to claim witch hunt and why they want the Mueller probe shut down, why they don't dare speak out against the obscenity which is Trump, why they are deciding not to run again. I think they're afraid that every last one of them has broken campaign law by accepting money from foreign donors *at the very least* and have committed frankly treasonous acts without knowing it.

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  6. John McCain is a cheap shot artist who has been kissing up to the media since he was in the navy. The only time his poll numbers went up was when he picked palin and now he smears her to win media favor. When he “suspended” his presidential campaign because of the financial crisis he showed what An idiot he was.

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    1. McCain's biggest crime for Trumpies is he has dared to criticize the Great Leader.

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    2. I suppose his poll numbers were up enough to win the nomination before he picked palin

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    3. Palin was a political disaster for McCain. One of the great all time blunders in politics.

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  7. Avenatti may go down in history as an American hero. He is kicking ass. He is fighting Trump on his turf, the news media. Avenatti is really fighting hard against Trump. He is not holding back and he has no fear. I pray for his success. We need more Americans like him.

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  8. This week, one of the Russian companies accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of funding a conspiracy to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was revealed in court to not have existed during the time period alleged by Mueller's team of prosecutors, according to a lawyer representing the defendant. Yet you keep putting this nonsense forward.

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    1. Do you have a cite for this?

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    2. https://www.dailywire.com/news/30556/disaster-mueller-indicted-russian-company-didnt-ryan-saavedra

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    3. Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire Finally Admits To Being A Fake News Satire Site
      http://melanoidnation.org/ben-shapiros-daily-wire-finally-admits-to-being-a-fake-news-satire-site/

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    4. Mueller indicted Concord Catering, a company that did not exist during the time Mueller alleged it was interfering in the US election (unlike the British author of the dossier who Mueller somehow did not indict but instead the FBI used his fake info along with a FBI spy to create political chaos for the President.

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    5. Paranoid conspiracy theories from the far right seem to be all Trump has now.

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    6. Global warming is a Chinese hoax!

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    7. Yes, Donald Trump did call climate change a Chinese hoax
      http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jun/03/hillary-clinton/yes-donald-trump-did-call-climate-change-chinese-h/

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    8. From Reason magazine, the biggest funders of which are David H. Koch and Sarah Scaife:

      "As to the claim that Concord didn't exist during the last U.S. presidential election: There are myriad old references to Concord Catering in Russian media, and press releases about Concord events and openings in Russia say that it was founded in 1996. It also still seems to be operational today."

      So 8:39/9:33, you're going to have to try harder if you really want to win that Hero of the Russian Federation award.

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    9. You'll have to forgive Trump for the climate change is a Chinese hoax statement. When he said that he had just spent hours in their finger traps with Don Jr and Eric and was exhausted.

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  9. Melania won't kiss her orange husband on the lips. Not that I blame her. LOL
    https://www.facebook.com/VicBergerPresents/videos/181536539226221/

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    1. It's a health issue. You never know where Donald's lips have been.

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    2. On Vladimir Putin's butt, most likely.

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    3. I bet even Stormy avoided kissing him on the lips.

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  10. The FBI sent a spy into the Trump campaign to initiate russian contact so the campaign could be accused of doing it. That is what we will learn very shortly. We already learned that McCabe is a lying scum and was fired for good cause and should be prosecuted. We are also learning that John Kerry is meeting with our enemies and helping to undermine US policy goals.

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    1. Rudy Giuliani insists he isn't drinking before TV interviews
      https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/5/9/1763091/-Rudy-Giuliani-insists-he-isn-t-drinking-before-TV-interviews

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    2. You ‘policy’ goals are a sham

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  11. Michael Bloomberg calls 'epidemic of dishonesty' bigger threat than terrorism
    Ex-New York mayor: democracy at risk from ‘endless barrage of lies’

    Americans are facing an “epidemic of dishonesty” in Washington that is more dangerous than terrorism or communism, according to former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. In a commencement speech on Saturday at Rice University in Houston, the billionaire said “an endless barrage of lies” and a trend toward “alternate realities” in national politics pose a dire threat to US democracy. The 76-year-old, who flirted with an independent presidential run in 2016, did not call out any politicians by name. Although he derided Donald Trump as “a con” and a “dangerous demagogue” before his election, in an interview before the speech at Rice Bloomberg refused to comment specifically on the president. Fact checkers have determined that Trump has made hundreds of false and misleading statements since entering the Oval Office.

    “This is bigger than any one person,” Bloomberg said. “It’s bigger than any one party.”

    “When elected officials speak as though they are above the truth, they will act as though they are above the law,” Bloomberg told graduates. “And when we tolerate dishonesty, we get criminality. Sometimes, it’s in the form of corruption. Sometimes, it’s abuse of power. And sometimes, it’s both.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/12/michael-bloomberg-epidemic-of-dishonesty-threat-democracy

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  12. Trump makes Nixon’s crimes look like jaywalking in comparison.

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  13. You mean like Bloomberg's lie that private gun ownership does not decrease crime?

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    1. When have we not had private gun ownership in this country? How do you explain all of the crime?

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    2. Crime is social dysfunction caused by having biologically and ethnically diverse ethnic populations in proximity to each other.

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    3. Stupidity is a combination of 9:26 AM and a computer.

      5 facts about crime in the U.S.
      Donald Trump made crime fighting an important focus of his campaign for president, and he cited it again during his January 2017 inaugural address. As the administration takes steps to address violence in American communities, here are five facts about crime in the United States.

      1 - Violent crime in the U.S. has fallen sharply over the past quarter century. The two most commonly cited sources of crime statistics in the U.S. both show a substantial decline in the violent crime rate since it peaked in the early 1990s. One is an annual report by the FBI of serious crimes reported to police in approximately 18,000 jurisdictions around the country. The other is an annual survey of more than 90,000 households conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which asks Americans ages 12 and older whether they were victims of crime, regardless of whether they reported those crimes to the police.

      Rest if the article here - http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/30/5-facts-about-crime-in-the-u-s/

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    4. I think we know who 9:26 will be voting for.

      Nazi leads GOP field for CA Senate, calls Trump his inspiration, vows to "remove Jews from power"

      A relatively unknown U.S. Senate candidate in California who was booted from the state's Republican Party Convention for a campaign promise to "remove Jewish leaders" from power is getting new attention since seen surging in one political poll.

      Patrick Little, an unabashed admirer of Adolf Hitler who attended the Neo-Nazi March in Charlottesville last year, is now the Republican frontrunner in the California Senate Race, according to a new SUSA poll of likely voters.

      Little garnered 18% (behind Dianne Feinstein’s 39%), establishing him as the leader among GOP hopefuls running against Feinstein. The poll, released on April 24th (SUSA receives an “A" rating from Nate Silver's 538 blog) also describes Little as Feinstein’s "likely Republican opponent” this November.

      Little, who was denied permission to attend the state GOP convention, has praised Adolf Hitler and calls himself a "counter-Semite," has been endorsed by former KKK leader David Duke, and claims to draw inspiration from President Donald Trump.

      "He showed me that people were willing to respond to dog whistles about whites having group interests, so I decided to state these things explicitly," Little said.

      https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/5/11/1763592/-Nazi-Leads-GOP-Field-For-CA-Senate-Says-Trump-Is-His-Inspiration-Vows-To-Remove-Jews-From-Power

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    5. Does anybody think it is a coincidence that the guy who runs the "Voice of Arcadia" site is a big Trump supporter?

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    6. Nope! Gail, Roger, April, Joyce all Republicans. They could all be Trump's supporters durning the last election. Where are you heading to?

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    7. If you go to the VOA site there is a big old series of Trump videos. Very supportive.

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    8. So does Andy's website. Husband and wife can sleep on the same bed and making babies but they are from different political parties. Roger's household is an example. This is the beauty of this country. So, if people not agree with you, you would call them racists that is kind of over board. Freedom of speech should not become attacking of speech. Otherwise, it can become Communism again! You can only agree with me or else. People should stay on the facts and communicate to each others until the truth comes out. During the elections if one side attacked others with smear campaign and untruthful statements. When the election ended the successor asked others to united and let us work together. Matthew Lauer, Harvey Weinstein and ....would love to ask for that!

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    9. I find it odd that VOA would accuse people of being racist, yet support Donald Trump, who is the biggest racist of all.

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    10. I don’t care who on Arcadia CC are republicans as long as they want to stop the horrible onslaught of damn mansions.

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    11. Sho, Harbicht and Chandler are all registered Republicans. As are a considerable portion of the development community. I suggest that anyone concerned about about mansionization in Arcadia should now register as independent as a protest.

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    12. I doubt Tay knows much about any political party. That would require some intelligence.

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  14. Senator John McCain has been a great disappoint since serving in the Senate. Governor Palin was his chance to redeem himself, she brought in the votes.

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    1. Sarah Palin 'cost John McCain two million votes in 2008 US election'
      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/sarah-palin-cost-john-mccain-two-million-votes-in-2008-us-election-a6822871.html

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    2. She was a shame politician who spent campaign money on her personal wardrobe.

      Fail

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  15. If Trump, Trump's family, Kushner, Pence, Cohen, Nunez, et al are innocent, they should be cheering Mueller on and relishing the damage the final report showing their innocence will do to the Democrats. Guiliani, as a former US Attorney knows that investigations sometimes lead to nothing, so why doesn't he advise Trump to wait to be cleared?

    Just imagine that report signed by Rosenstein, Mueller, and their staffs declaring the Trump team completely innocent Patriots who love America and always put America's interests above their own. Imagine Mueller, Schiff, Avenatti, and so many others profusely apologizing to Trump for being so wrong and begging for forgiveness.

    Why doesn't Trump want to wait for his innocence to ring out across the land from sea to shining sea?

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  16. 11:03am. Statistically speaking, the two million votes that cost John McCain were the same two million votes cast for Hillary!

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  17. Forget the fake Russian rant, President Trump's Foreign Policy is kicking butts.

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    1. Must be autocorrect. I think you meant to say 'kissing.'

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    2. Trump = fail.

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    3. Trump praises health care of Nambia, a nonexistent African country

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  18. 12:33pm. Dearest Never Trumpet, Namibia is the correct spelling.

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    1. How Namibia responded to Trump inventing a country called ‘Nambia’
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/09/21/how-namibia-responded-to-trump-inventing-a-country-called-nambia

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    2. Hahaha dumb trolls still getting trumped!

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  19. 12:31am. It's a shame that the "nasty woman" who lost the election did not consult with the best dressed woman in politics.
    Boycott dumpy pantsuits.

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    1. Michele definitely was the better dressed. No argument there.

      But regardless you are vacuous

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  20. How to catch a crook us the right bait, large deposits of cash will start the ball rolling then follow the money.

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  21. Trump = pay to play

    Lock him up

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  22. This lawyer is corrupt, I dont trust stormy or her pathetic creepy lawyer. Good luck on trying to bring trump down you crazy pathetic liberals, While the rest of the country tries to move on and make the country great again.

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