THE SWAMP REPORT: Our coverage continues with Our Leader’s decision to embrace the scandal, not distance himself from it.
Our Leader to Ghislaine:
Keep your mouth shut, babe,
and I’ll pardon you, too
The Swamp Report
23 July 2020
“We met on numerous occasions.”
“I wish her well,” he said. Twice.
TRUMP’S GOOD WISHES FOR
GHISLAINE COULD SIGNAL
A PARDON FOR HER, IF
SHE PROTECTS HIM
WISHING HER WELL
COULD ALSO PRY OPEN
THE UGLIEST WASHINGTON
SEX SCANDAL EVER
In the annals of contemporary Washington sex scandals, it now looks as if the Epstein Affair will run rings around the competition, giving Donald Trump the right to truthfully boast that his sex scandal was “beautiful,” the biggest and best ever.
He will also be the first Republican president to achieve this particular honor, crowding out a number of memorable Democratic scandals, including the Kennedy brothers’ trysts with Marilyn Monroe, Wilbur Mills’ night in the Tidal Basin with Fanne Foxx, Chappadquiddick, and, most recently, Bill Clinton’s botched attempt at redefining the sex act he had with Monica Lewinsky, which almost got him impeached.
Truth be told, ever since the Supreme Court ruled there was nothing in the Constitution to prevent men from marrying men, and women, women, it was possible to think Washington had seen the last of the kind of sex scandals that could rise to the level of affairs of state.
Indeed, many observers thought Donald Trump’s election was proof of that. They reasoned that after he was named as Conspirator A in the hush money scandal that sent Michael Cohen to jail, he would have learned that even if you think you’ve bought a woman’s silence, once in Washington a roll in the hay is rarely worth what it costs.
And for the first three and a half years of his presidency, it seemed those who thought he had learned his lesson, were right. He was so busy dissembling; lying; accusing; dismantling and abusing the powers of his office; upending our international alliances; trying to enrich himself at our expense; sending federal agents to occupy our cities; turning the wearing of masks during a pandemic into an unpatriotic activity; attacking Dr. Fauci; and defending Confederate statues and white supremacy, the last thing most observers expected was a sex scandal big enough to register, much less do him in.
But Donald Trump has been underestimated before and I think something he said during Tuesday’s White House press briefing, which was ostensibly about the corona crisis, and especially the way he said it, could prove to be his undoing. I’m referring, of course, to his answer to the question about Ghislaine Maxwell, 58, the British socialite and former companion of the late Jeffrey Epstein, for whom what will become Trump’s sex scandal is named.
Ironically, it’s an old scandal dating back 15 years but one that has new legs as a result of Ghislaine’s arrest last month; the bold-faced names, including his own, that are attached to it; and the sordid allegations of the underage girls who claim they were preyed upon by Ghislaine, Jeffrey and the wealthy, middle-aged men in their circle.
Tuesday’s question about Ghislaine was almost certainly planted by the White House with the young reporter from Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post who asked it. I say that because of the way Our Leader called on the reporter and allowed him to finish when he could have just as easily interrupted the reporter at the first mention of Ghislaine’s name and summarily dismissed the question on the grounds that it had nothing to do with the subject at hand.
Or he could have lashed out at the reporter, as he often does when journalists ask him questions he doesn’t like. Or he might have answered by saying he hardly knew Ghislaine, which is what he usually does when one of the rascals from his past, or even from the present, says something unflattering about him.
Instead, it seemed to be a question he wanted and was prepared to answer, in line with one of the oldest rules in the p.r. game, which is to own your own bad news and get it out first. In this case, however, the tone and substance of his answer seemed all wrong.
He began by acknowledging that he had met Ghislaine on “numerous” occasions in Palm Beach and then wished her well, twice. It seemed, and sounded like, he was talking about a dear friend going in for surgery instead of a woman accused of sex trafficking and perjury, now residing in a federal detention center in Brooklyn after being denied bail because she’s considered a flight risk.
It seemed to me to be a calculated answer designed to telegraph his intentions and expectations to an audience of one. Rather than distancing himself from Ghislaine, he embraced her, which I think will turn out to have been a big mistake for him, of course. Not the rest of us.
It was clear he was sending her the same message that he sent to Roger Stone during his trial, which was, if you don’t rat on me, I’ll take care of you. But the prosecutors, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, will get that and look at what Our Leader said about meeting Ghislaine on numerous occasions, which puts him at the scene of the crime.
They will want to charge him with obstruction of justice, if they can, because the Southern District is fussy about public officials who attempt to obstruct justice, and are in a position to do so. They will also try to convince her that she’ll be better off cooperating with them than counting on a pardon from him.
If the prosecutors succeed, she’ll turn over the treasure trove of incriminating videotapes a “former friend” of hers recently told the London Daily Mail she has, which will blow the scandal into the stratosphere. Because the tapes are said to be visual records of the sex parties she and Epstein are said to have hosted for prominent guests, reportedly including Our Current Leader, Trump, and Former Leader, Bill Clinton. And, of course, the young women between 14 and 17 years old of age she claims not to have recruited but who somehow got there, for their pleasure.
Her buddy, Prince Andrew, has already gone to ground since it became known he often enjoyed Epstein’s hospitality when in New York and since one of the 17-year-old girls the Prince met at Mar-a-Lago claims he flew her to London for a weekend, at his expense. To see the British Museum, no doubt.
Before it’s over, in addition to sex trafficking and perjury, the Epstein Affair is likely to involve charges of bribery, blackmail, obstruction of justice and possibly murder.
Ghislaine is charged with six counts of sex trafficking minors and two counts of perjury. If found guilty, she would receive a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison for each of the trafficking charges. The men involved, if found guilty of having sex with a minor between the ages of 14 and 17, would receive a minimum sentence of 10 years to life for each underage girl they had sexual relations with.
In addition, anyone charged and found guilty of attempting to obstruct justice in a case like this would receive a mandatory sentence of 20 years in prison. And there is also no statute of limitations for prosecuting sex crimes.
So, quite clearly, the stakes are enormous for all involved and my sense is, Our Leader has begun digging a moat to protect himself from it.
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CHARLES KRAUSE REPORTING, All rights reserved.
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