RUSH: “Donald Trump was the third person in the room in August 2015 when his lawyer Michael Cohen and … Pecker discussed ways Pecker could help counter negative stories about Trump’s relationships with women…” Trump’s relationships with women? “It’s impeachable, Mr. Limbaugh! It’s criminal. We’re on the verge…” It is?
“According to documents supplied by the SDNY, Trump and Cohen had a meeting one year before,” not 2015. It was August of 2014 they met “to discuss this arrangement.” Again, the memorandum from the Southern District of New York says, “In August 2014, Chairman [Pecker] had met with Cohen and [Trump] and had offered to help deal with negative stories about [Trump]’s relationships with women by identifying such stories so that they could be purchased and ‘killed.’”
So this arrangement was made long before Trump became a candidate and probably even before he thought of running for the White House. So where’s the campaign finance violation? There isn’t one, and there isn’t a crime. And, by the way, this practice… I’ve told this story once just to show you how common this is. When this program was first starting, we started with 56 radio stations in small markets. They were great radio stations, but it wasn’t enough to make this a success.
You need to be… I’ll give you a little inside baseball stat. If you can get a radio program on the air in the top-ten markets, then you can tell advertisers that you reach 80% of the nation’s population. If you can get your program on the top 20 markets, you can say to advertisers that you are reaching — not that they’re all listening to you, but you are reaching — 95% of the population. So we needed top-ten markets. We weren’t on the air in New York, but our commercials were airing there.
That was an arrangement that we had to make. The New York stations said, “We’re not gonna carry some bumpkin national show! This is New York. People in New York don’t care what’s happening anywhere else.” Okay, fine. You wait. Up next was Los Angeles, and the guy that ran the station we were trying to get on in Los Angeles agreed to buy the show and bury it! It’s called “shelving.” He agreed to buy it and pay us for it but never air it, keeping it out of the market entirely.
Now, this is not the same reason that the National Enquirer was trying to bury stories about McDougal, but the point is these things are not uncommon. The guy in LA didn’t want to carry the show but he didn’t want to take a chance it was gonna succeed on some other station; so he was offering to pay for it and shelve it. Now, I’m thankful my syndication partner Ed McLaughlin said no. By then, we needed some money. We were just starting out. There was no funding or any of that. It was purely an entrepreneurial exercise.
We resisted the temptation and found a different station in Los Angeles. The rest is history. But these kind of things, these kinds of — and none of that was criminal. Not a thing of this was criminal, trying to bury it. (chuckles) I thought it had criminal intent, in a way. But it was not, according to law, criminal. Other stations tried to say, “Yeah, we’ll take it, but we’re gonna run it between midnight and 5 on Saturday night.” No, we’re not gonna let you have it.
All these big market stations were afraid of it but didn’t want it, initially. They wanted to bury it or shelve it. And we just stuck with it. Pecker was a friend of Trump’s and this is a deal that they entered into. But it was 2014, not 2015. Trump was not even a candidate at that time. But look at the juxtaposition of things here. Where did this all start? It all started with Russian collusion, and I just saw a Fox News poll.
This is the poll that has Trump’s approval number at 46%. This poll has, again, 46 or 47% of the American people believe the Russians tampered with votes! Forty-six or 47% believe that the Russians did indeed collude! They believe it — in a Fox News poll — when it didn’t happen! (chuckles) The people who are pushing the conspiracy have not even alleged it. They have created the impression. That’s how collusion has come to be defined, the way it’s been discussed by the media and all of the paid-for guests on the media.
The “collusion” has come to mean Russians somehow find a way to screw with our votes and screw with the outcome of elections. Even Rosenstein has made a point of saying nobody that’s been indicted has had anything to do with votes. Not a single vote has been tampered with. Not a single election outcome has been affected. The media studiously ignores it, and the same kind of thing is happening here. There isn’t any crime. We started out with Trump colluding with Russia.
And now we’re being told that there are dire criminal activities that have been unearthed are Donald Trump paying off women with whom he reportedly has had affairs. Such a dastardly scheme! Such a dastardly scheme! I mean, the idea that these things are gonna send Donald Trump to jail is absurd, unless the entire legal system ends up being rigged and all kinds of violations there take place. But under the current code, under current law, there is no way that what Trump has done here is criminal or in violation of campaign finance violations, and that’s not from me.
That’s from Bradley Smith, the former chairman of the Federal Election Commission.
RUSH: Another thing that came to mind, two things. Every witness that the great Robert Mueller has drug out of the sewer is a known liar. Every witness that Mueller has has been demonstrated to be a liar to one degree or another, and many of these witnesses have claimed that Mueller is even asking them to lie now and say what Mueller wants them to say instead of what happened.
Second point, just to remind you, when it comes to federal election law, remember who wrote these laws. People that run for office. They write federal election law, but it is largely — well, I’ll give you an example. If, in the case of a questionable campaign expense, if it can be shown that the expense in any way, any way whatsoever is personal, then it is automatically exempted as a campaign or election expense. That’s in the law. The people that run for office wrote the law, and they gave themselves a lot of outs.
Well, in 2014, if Donald Trump’s having a meeting with the rat and with Pecker from the National Enquirer at which time Pecker is offering to buy stories about these babes and then not run them, 2014, it could easily be claimed that Trump entered into this deal or okayed it in order to keep his family from finding out, i.e., personal!
It doesn’t take much evidence. If there is even the slightest even opportunity that the payment could be said to be for personal reasons, then it is automatically exempt as a campaign expense and therefore exempt from campaign finance law.
Proving intent is, unlike Comey’s claim about Hillary, proving intent in campaign finance law violations is mandatory. And it’s a really hard thing to prove because of this out that they’ve built into the system.
RUSH: You know, it seems like only yesterday that Cohen… Look at people we’re talking about here. It seems like only yesterday Cohen’s lawyers said that he was gonna wait until Mueller’s investigation was completed and report was issued before he would speak publicly, which was a laugh. Cohen can’t wait to tell the world what a victim he is and what a reprobate Trump is, and it’s all because he’s made a decision that his future financial opportunities are far greater as a friend of the media and a friend of Hollywood and a friend of movie and TV producers than as a Donald Trump loyalist.
No question that that’s his decision — and they probably put the fear of God into him at the special counsel’s office, and he has committed tax fraud and other serious crimes that have nothing to do with Trump that he’s still hoping to get reduced time on. But why is Mueller and the SDNY…? Why are they allowing Cohen to go all over TV now and talk to Stephanopoulos? Isn’t Cohen interfering in their investigation by blabbing to the press like this? Isn’t this what we’ve always heard?
Why are they allowing him to do it? The DOJ, for example, they say they can’t release any documents to Congress because it might interfere with the Mueller and Trump witch hunts! They can’t reveal… Congress still wants some documents on this whole thing that happened with Flynn that have not been released, and they’re saying, “We can’t release them. It would interfere with the investigation!” Well, what is Cohen doing? That’s why I don’t think… I don’t think he’s a free agent on this.
I think they’re sending him out here to do this. I think Cohen has… It’s been suggested to him that he might want to start doing some interviews, and I’m sure they’re giving him guidelines on things to say, areas to avoid, things like that. So Cohen has this plan to become the new John Dean, win a place in the minds and hearts of the media and historians as the man who brought down Donald Trump. There’s no question this is how Cohen now sees himself, and somebody’s gotten to him and has told him, “This is your future. This is what you can make happen.”
This guy is an ancillary player all of his life. He’s one of these hangers-on guys who’s thinking if he can get close enough to the real people making things happen that some of it’s gonna rub off on him. He’s one of these guys that would love to be asked for his autograph because he knows famous people, even though he isn’t himself.
So now he’s got this chance, and he doesn’t even have to log on to Twitter or Facebook to do it. He can become the man who brought down Donald Trump. The real goal is in doing that, it will make him rich, book deals, movie deals, speaking fees, and never-ending cable news appearances just like John Dean did. In his exclusive interview with Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos, Cohen merely repeated his lawyer’s scripted statement from his sentencing hearing, which is why I think the lawyers are behind this.
Mueller does not have anything, folks, that will convict Trump on Russia anything, and these campaign payments are not enough to convict in a court of law. But if there is enough pressure in writing the narrative every day in the media, they can create the impression in the minds of Americans that real impropriety has occurred here, the kind of impropriety we do not want in a president of the United States.
It’s still all about getting Trump’s numbers down into the thirties. Even though he told Stephanopoulos that he accepted all responsibility for his actions, he’s actually blaming Trump for everything! Trump made him do it. Trump asked him to do it. Trump wanted him to do it. And all he wanted to do was impress Trump. Trump is the big alpha male. “I wanted to be big in Donald Trump’s mind. So whatever Trump asked me to do, sure, I was gonna do it.”
Now he’s trying to lay it all off on Donald Trump while being feted and treated as a great, courageous next John Dean type of figure. Repeating the scripted lines from his statement, Cohen said he will not be the villain in Trump’s story. Not gonna happen. He’s not gonna be the villain. That he had been the victim because of his blind loyalty to Trump. He’d covered up Trump’s dirty deeds.
You think those words were screened and approved by the special counsel and the other lawyers involved here? Strangely similar to John Dean’s claim that he was the victim of blind ambition, Richard Nixon’s blind ambition, here is Michael Cohen saying he’s the victim of Trump’s dirty deeds. What we have in Donald Trump is a conservative who does not announce himself as such, a Republican and he got elected and therefore he’s gotta go. And for all the other reasons that we’ve discussed that he’s gotta go.
Even despite all this, I don’t care what you think, I don’t care what you think you’ve heard, what you think you know by virtue of what you’ve read or seen on TV, it is not clear what Donald Trump’s dirty deeds were. Is it a dirty deed to pay off an extortionist? Is it a dirty deed to pay off somebody who has violated a nondisclosure agreement they signed with you, which are common aspects of personal contracts and business contracts every day in this country.
There’s nothing sinister about an NDA. So you have somebody, two people that are wanting to openly violate theirs and extort you in the process. And somehow it’s a dirty deed and it’s somehow filthy and in violation of campaign ethics? What about all the Clinton fundraising scandals involving Charlie Trie and the Chinese restaurants in Little Rock and the money orders and the Clinton Foundation and all of this pay-to-play schemes that are not being investigated? You want to talk about dirty deeds.
Oh, I forgot. Donald Trump at one point wanted to build a hotel in Moscow. Trump Tower Moscow. And Cohen was in the middle of it. That’s right. In fact, Cohen had such respect for Trump, that even when the deal went south, Cohen stuck with it sort of as a surprise to Trump to try to make it happen nevertheless. Trump’s only been trying to do Trump Tower Moscow since 2004. But all of a sudden now it becomes a dirty deed.
RUSH: Here’s an Ari Fleischer sound bite, and I meant to play this in the discussion last hour about when the meeting with Trump and the National Enquirer guy, David Pecker, happened. What a name for a guy that runs the National Enquirer! David Pecker. National Enquirer guy. Has there been a better name for a guy that does what he does? At any rate, I made the point that that meeting between Pecker and Trump and Cohen was 2014!
This is the meeting where the National Enquirer offered to buy Karen McDougal’s story that she and Trump had had a romp at the Playboy Mansion or whatever and bury it by not running it, and they’re trying to say, “That’s an illegal campaign donation!” But it happened in 2014. Trump wasn’t a candidate. How can it be? So Ari Fleischer was commenting on this today on the Fox News Channel with Bill Hemmer, and he said this about it…
FLEISCHER: I wish George Stephanopoulos had asked Michael Cohen, “Are you aware of any payments like this — hush-money payments — that Donald Trump made prior to becoming a candidate in June of 2015?” Because that could establish that there is a personal reason, a family related reason, and I wouldn’t put it past (chuckles) President Trump, frankly, to have entered into such agreements prior to becoming a candidate. There are personal reasons, and that is often the reason that these celebrities enter into these agreements. Again (chuckling), it’s unseemly, it’s not right. The point here is it means it’s up to the people to decide what should be done with Donald Trump, elect him or reelect him, not for prosecutors.
RUSH: Bingo! Bingo! They would not be trying to run anybody else out of office on this stuff. They’ve looked the other way in 268 cases, times members of Congress have paid off women that made allegations against them. Bill Clinton? The media did everything they could to stave off that. But the Clinton impeachment was about lying under oath. It wasn’t about sex, contrary to what everybody thinks. But he’s exactly right here.
Voters decide this, and they already did! Access Hollywood. There isn’t a person that voted for Trump that doesn’t know who he is, who he was. He may be one of the most well-known people to ever run for the presidency. Reality TV host! That’s why some of this stuff so irritates all of them. They’ve tried to construct a system where people like Trump don’t stand a chance. I don’t need to repeat that drill, why they hate him and so forth. Everybody understands that now.
This is actually a good point. The federal election law is very clear. If you have anything that could be seen as a legitimate personal reason for making an expenditure like this, then it will not be called a campaign expense or donation or donation in kind or anything of the sort. If there is a personal reason. The personal reason? “I don’t want any family to find out about this. That’s why I’m taking the help of the guy Pecker from the National Enquirer.
“I don’t want my family to find out!” This 2014. There wasn’t even a campaign to defraud, and it’s not a defrauding. But the most important thing here is Fleischer saying the voters decide this stuff, not Robert Mueller, and not the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York! This is the criminalization of political policy disguised as the pursuit of crime, collusion with Russia or what have you.