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Former President Bill Clinton paid Paula Jones a whopping $850,000 to keep her quiet over sexual harassment claims — but was never arrested for it.
The case stands in stark contrast to reports that former President Donald Trump will be arrested on Tuesday for an alleged $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 over an alleged sexual encounter that the two had in 2006.
Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to charges over the payment in 2018 and was sentenced to three years in prison.
In 1998, the Washington Post reported:
“President Clinton reached an out-of-court settlement with Paula Jones yesterday, agreeing to pay her $850,000 to drop the sexual harassment lawsuit that led to the worst political crisis of his career and only the third presidential impeachment inquiry in American history.”
Just hours before the settlement was inked yesterday, Starr sent new evidence to the House Judiciary Committee stemming from a witness in the Jones case, Kathleen E. Willey, who also accused Clinton of an unwelcome sexual advance,” the report continued. “The extraordinary case came to an extraordinary finale, with the defendant agreeing to pay $850,000 even though the plaintiff originally only asked for $700,000 when she filed suit — and even though the case was dismissed without a trial.”
The report continued:
“The case opened a Pandora’s box of allegations about his past sex life and made him the first president ever interrogated under oath as a defendant in a civil lawsuit or before a grand jury as a possible criminal target. Jones v. Clinton also yielded a historic decision by the Supreme Court, which ruled 9 to 0 last year that even the chief executive can be sued. And it was the resulting search for evidence that led Jones’s lawyers to Monica S. Lewinsky and the chain of events that prompted Starr’s report to Congress alleging that Clinton committed 11 impeachable offenses.”
The New York Times reported in 1999:
Clinton Administration officials said a check for $850,000, the amount agreed to in November to settle the case, was being sent by overnight mail to Ms. Jones and her lawyers. The officials, who asked that their names not be used, said that a little more than half of the money, $475,000, came from an insurance policy against civil liability the President held with Chubb Group Insurance.
Most, if not all, of the remainder, was withdrawn from a blind trust in the name of Mrs. Clinton, which officials said last year had assets of slightly more than $1 million.
Clinton never faced criminal charges for his behavior.
If Trump is charged, he will be the first former president in US history to ever be arrested after leaving office. He is also the current leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has called for a congressional investigation into a “politically motivated prosecution.”
Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump,” McCarthy tweeted.
Jonathan Turley Destroys Manhattan DA’s Case Against Trump
By Nick Arama | ResState.com
Bonnie Cash/Pool via AP
The timing of the reported indictment about to drop against President Donald Trump can only be called suspicious, given the Stormy Daniels issue has been lying fallow for years, with President Donald Trump now a declared candidate for the 2024 presidential nomination.
It’s about the perp walk and the theatrics. Just like they tried the Jan. 6 Committee prior to the midterms, this is going to be the continuing thing that they will throw out there to attack Trump and the Republicans in the presidential race. It’s about the optics to move the middle/the independents away from Republicans.
But what about the legal case against Trump? George Washington law professor Jonathan Turley called it what it is: “legally pathetic.”
Although it may be politically popular, the case is legally pathetic. Bragg is struggling to twist state laws to effectively prosecute a federal case long ago rejected by the Justice Department against Trump over his payment of “hush money” to former stripper Stormy Daniels. In 2018 (yes, that is how long this theory has been around), I wrote how difficult such a federal case would be under existing election laws. Now, six years later, the same theory may be shoehorned into a state claim.
It is extremely difficult to show that paying money to cover up an embarrassing affair was done for election purposes as opposed to an array of obvious other reasons, from protecting a celebrity’s reputation to preserving a marriage. That was demonstrated by the failed federal prosecution of former presidential candidate John Edwards on a much stronger charge of using campaign funds to cover up an affair.
In this case, Trump reportedly paid Daniels $130,000 in the fall of 2016 to cut off or at least reduce any public scandal. The Southern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s office had no love lost for Trump, pursuing him and his associates in myriad investigations, but it ultimately rejected a prosecution based on the election law violations. It was not alone: The Federal Election Commission (FEC) chair also expressed doubts about the theory.
Prosecutors working under Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr., also reportedly rejected the viability of using a New York law to effectively charge a federal offense.
Why didn’t they bring it earlier? Because they knew that it was a tenuous case at best. They’re only pulling it out of the hat, now that 2024 is about to be upon us.
As Turley notes, even Bragg himself wasn’t hot for this case when he came in, and two prosecutors quit because Bragg was refusing to go along with this. But desperation can go a long way. Turley points out that one of the prosecutors even wrote a book trying to lay out the case against Trump, which Turley said was “shocking” because it was “unprofessional and improper.” But now, Bragg ultimately appears to have caved into Democratic pressure and is going ahead with this charade.
However, Turley also makes another important point when it comes to the question of disparity of treatment here.
While we still do not know the specific state charges in the anticipated indictment, the most-discussed would fall under Section 175 for falsifying business records, based on the claim that Trump used legal expenses to conceal the alleged hush-payments that were supposedly used to violate federal election laws. While some legal experts have insisted such concealment is clearly a criminal matter that must be charged, they were conspicuously silent when Hillary Clinton faced a not-dissimilar campaign-finance allegation.
That was the funding of the Steele dossier, which the Clinton campaign falsely declared as a “legal expense.” The FEC fined the Clinton campaign over that false filing. Not only did her team publicly lie about it, but they also promoted the false Russia collusion claims to the FBI and the media. Yet, where is the action against Clinton or the campaign for prosecution? Strangely missing. Talk about the disparity.
Turley pointed out other issues with the prosecution.
A Section 175 charge would normally be a misdemeanor. The only way to convert it into a Class E felony requires a showing that the “intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.” That other crime would appear to be the federal election violations which the Justice Department previously declined to charge.
The linkage to a federal offense is critical for another reason: Bragg’s office ran out of time to prosecute this as a misdemeanor years ago; the statute of limitations is two years. Even if he shows this is a viable felony charge, the longer five-year limitation could be hard to establish.
Of course, none of these legalistic problems will be relevant in the coming frenzy. It will be a case that is nothing if not entertaining, one to which you can bring your popcorn — so long as you leave your principles behind.
“The season opener of ‘America’s Got Trump’ might be a guaranteed hit with its New York audience — but it should be a flop as a prosecution,” Turley declared.
He also pointed out the banana republic look of the action, “The criminal justice system can be a terrible weapon when used for political purposes, an all-too-familiar spectacle in countries where political foes can be targeted by the party in power.”
Of course, we also have to account for the bias of the likely very liberal jury in New York. But, if it’s truly about the law, this case is ridiculous at its base and should go down to defeat.
That’s the thing here. The continuing effort against Trump isn’t about the law, principles, or even convicting Trump. It’s always about power and how the Democrats can win, and they’ve already shown they’re willing to do anything. They may know that they will ultimately lose, and that they might even have to drop the case. But the Democrats want to utilize it to attack Trump.
This may end up galvanizing more Americans around Trump. Twitter head Elon Musk is saying if they go ahead with this, he thinks Trump wins in a landslide. We’re already seeing some of those who were on the fence, now saying they would support Trump because of this action. We’ll have to see, but he just may be right.
Defiant Trump Gets Standing Ovation at Wrestling Event, Appears Unfazed by Possible Indictment
By Bob Hoge | RedState.com
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
If former President Donald Trump is nervous about his potential indictment next week by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, he’s not showing it, strutting confidently into Tulsa’s BOK Center to watch the NCAA Wrestling Championships. The crowd stood and cheered as The Donald, wearing his usual long red tie, waved and raised his fist.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO.
Trump’s sunny disposition is in stark contrast to his earlier postings, which, as RedState’s Bonchie reported, lambasted the “CORRUPT & HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEYS [sic] OFFICE” who he accused of politicizing his office by targeting “THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, [who] WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK.”
The preposterous case, which federal prosecutors have refused to take up in the past, involves $130,000 hush money Trump paid to porn performer Stormy Daniels in 2016 to allegedly keep her quiet about an affair.
The real question is, who cares? We’re possibly inching toward nuclear war, inflation is rampant and banks are failing, Bragg’s own city is turning into a cesspool of violence and crime—and he’s choosing to focus on a possible affair and payoff by a former president? Trump has consistently denied that he and Daniels ever had a physical relationship.
As for Bragg, he’s acting defiant as well, issuing a letter Saturday to employees laughably claiming that his office applies the law “evenly and fairly.” Read RedState Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar’s takedown of that ridiculous statement.
As many including Elon Musk have pointed out, if the Manhattan DA does indeed go ahead and arrest Trump, it could give the already-announced candidate a huge leg up in the 2024 presidential election. As Nick Arama reported, Musk tweeted simply: “If this happens, Trump will win in a landslide.”
Why? Because Americans have watched a growing trend of the politicization of our systems of justice in this country, notably with President Biden’s punitive and partisan DOJ. Meanwhile, at the local level, soft-on-crime district attorneys like Bragg and Los Angeles’ George Gascon appear to have no interest in prosecuting criminals.
In the summer of 2022, for instance, a 61-year-old bodega worker was viciously attacked in New York City but managed to grab a knife and kill his assailant. As he was doing so, he himself was stabbed three times by the perp’s girlfriend. Alvin Bragg’s response? He charged the bodega worker with 2nd-degree murder—but he refused to charge the woman who stabbed him three times, claiming she was acting in self-defense.
You can’t make this stuff up. He later dropped the charges against the worker, but they never should have been made in the first place.
This is the same guy who’s trying to nail a former president on flimsy charges of breaking campaign finance law. George Washington law professor Jonathan Turley mocked the case, writing, “although it may be politically popular, the case is legally pathetic.
The fact is, Trump’s appearance at a wrestling event normally wouldn’t make the news on a Saturday night. However, his name is all the place this evening, thanks to Alvin Bragg. As the old saying goes, no publicity is bad pulicity.
Trump certainly doesn’t look too worried:
The TRUMP PAGE @MichaelDeLauzon
President Trump standing with Melania’s father in Tulsa tonight.
Many who don’t even particularly care for Trump can still see that this case is another in a long line of partisan, politicized attempts at “gotcha” by a string of local and federal prosecutors and even the United States Senate—all of whom keep failing spectacularly. Is this the case that’s finally going to bring him down? Are the “walls closing in?”
I’ve heard that before.
McCarthy Throws Down the Gauntlet at Manhattan DA — ‘Abuse of Power’ Against Trump
By Nick Arama | RedState.com
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
It’s a good thing that the Republicans already have the House Weaponization Committee up and ready to go because it looks like they may have to take on their most important charge to date: dealing with the political action to try to take out President Donald Trump. They’ve seen all kinds of bias so far, when it comes to complaints about things like the FBI. But this is going to be next level, as the Democrats ramp up the effort to take out Trump before the 2024 race.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is not taking the threat of a Democratic DA getting an indictment against Trump lightly. After the news broke about a reported indictment, McCarthy announced that he was directing House committees to investigate whether federal funds are being used to “subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.”
McCarthy also called out the effort to get Trump specifically.
“Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump,” McCarthy tweeted.
Democrats throw around the terms like “subvert democracy” lightly, for everything, in their smears of Republicans. But when you’re trying to politically prosecute a political opponent, the term is pretty much on target.
In this case, where the Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is such a leftist that he regularly downgrades the prosecution of real crimes, the move to upgrade this charge against Trump stands out, as we reported earlier. Even Fox’s John Roberts noticed the glaring disparity in how Bragg approaches things — and McCarthy made that point as well.
While McCarthy’s actions wouldn’t stop Bragg from going forward, he’s sending a clear message to Bragg and the other Democrats that they’re not just going to ride right over the Republicans in their mad dash to get Trump. He’s throwing down a bit of a gauntlet at Bragg, and who knows what that investigation may turn up. They will no doubt point out any disparity that they see going on in this matter and will trumpet it loud for everyone to see.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) was already asking the question, “How much federal funding does the Manhattan DA’s office receive?” No doubt there will be more calls to see what they can do to respond to this, and it’s likely to galvanize more Republicans.
The Democrats likely hope that this move is going to help them do in Trump and catapult whomever their candidate ultimately is to victory. Yet, as I said earlier, they may be overplaying their hands. Elon Musk predicted that this will result in a landslide for Trump, if the Democrats go down this road. Already, folks who might have been on the fence when it comes to who to vote for are now saying this is pushing them to Trump.
So, they may just have shot themselves in the foot with this move. It isn’t going to stop Trump from running in the meantime — and it may just be very helpful to him, bringing more people and more money to his side.