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Farrow: Pecker identified Trump stories to kill

In an interview with CNN's John Berman, the New Yorker's Ronan Farrow talks about the National Enquirer's "catch and kill" practice with damaging stories about President Donald Trump and discusses the safe the Associated Press says they allegedly used to keep documents on hush money payments and other stories they killed.

Posted: Aug 25, 2018 8:32 AM
Updated: Aug 25, 2018 8:32 AM

A week that began with bad news closed with worse news for Trump. According to the New York Times, the Manhattan district attorney's office is currently investigating the Trump Organization. In particular, they are examining the source of the payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, and whether any laws were violated in the payout or reimbursement of Michael Cohen, who paid Daniels the $130,000 in question to buy her silence.

Earlier this week, in a Virginia courtroom, Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, was convicted on eight felonies relating to fraud. Shockingly, the President's response to Manfort's conviction was to call him a "brave man" for whom he feels very "sad."

Making matters worse, Michael Cohen, Trump's long-time fixer, also pleaded guilty to eight felonies in connection with fraud. In doing so, he explained to the judge during his plea, that he acted "in coordination and at the direction of" the President when he broke campaign finance laws. Following these shattering events, the President immediately began to gin up the spin. He tweeted his support of Manafort, and attacked Cohen, sending signals that he values and rewards loyalty.

All of this, as Congressional Republicans have not even hinted that they will investigate Cohen's claims regarding Trump's actions. In fact, their silence is deafening as they continue to blindly support the President.

In the event that charges result in Manhattan from this investigation, two significant issues would be critical. One, whether any executives of the Trump Organization have incriminating information against Trump himself -- especially what, if anything, he knew about the payments. And two, whether these individuals would divulge this incriminating information -- especially considering the fact that the President has no authority to grant pardons for state crimes.

No matter how you spin it, this is terrible news for the President.

It's made worse by the additional news that Trump's money man, Allen Weisselberg, is being offered full immunity to tell federal prosecutors everything he knows about the organization's financial transactions. To be clear, what this means is that he may tell all without fear of prosecution or any legal reprisals. All he has to do is tell the truth. Even if he facilitated, participated in, or otherwise aided any crimes, he would not be charged. In short, immunity is the ultimate inducement as it relates to spilling all the beans about any fraud, illegality or underhanded dealings -- if there are any such beans.

And while we don't know what Weisselberg will say, we certainly do know that there is little, if anything, he doesn't know about Trump's finances, taxes and business deals. And if what Weisselberg does know incriminates the President, that's yet another hole in the Trump's well-worn body armor.

And if all of this wasn't bad enough for Mr. Trump, enter David Pecker, the publisher of the National Inquirer. He just made a deal with federal prosecutors to be granted full immunity.

His publication buried the stories relating to Trump's dalliances with Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniel, and the resulting payoffs. Cohen admitted to making these payments for election-related purposes with Trump's knowledge and at his direction. That wouldn't ordinarily be an issue, but for those payoffs occurring in such close proximity to the 2016 presidential election. Accordingly, they run smack in the face of federal election laws.

Pecker now may share anything's he knows about these payments with federal authorities without fear or threat or prosecution.

If the Trump Organization investigation or Weisselberg's immunity deal -- end up implicating Trump, it would no longer be politically tenable for Republicans in Congress to protect this President. Imagine then, if the Pecker immunity deal also bears fruit. Then, Republicans would virtually be compelled to act, particularly in an election year.

And if the Democrats take control of the House during the midterms, thereby earning a majority of votes, they would potentially be in a position to impeach him. That would then kick the case over to the Senate for a trial. And while getting 67 senators to vote to remove Trump would be a heavy (some say impossible) lift, the President's own conduct (past, present and future) could tip the scale significantly.

Given the legal landscape Trump finds himself in these days, the question may not be "if" the President will be impeached or leave office under some other circumstances. Instead, the question may be "when." Trump's day of reckoning may well be close at hand.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 91935

Reported Deaths: 2780
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6903153
DeSoto532153
Harrison368771
Jackson334367
Madison318086
Rankin313473
Lee254066
Jones236078
Forrest231069
Washington215671
Lafayette203039
Lauderdale1984123
Bolivar177465
Oktibbeha173749
Lamar156633
Neshoba1524103
Panola140926
Sunflower138543
Lowndes138457
Warren136650
Leflore134380
Pontotoc120416
Pike120148
Monroe117665
Scott115925
Copiah115433
Coahoma110927
Holmes108458
Marshall106714
Grenada104535
Lincoln104453
Yazoo103429
Simpson100142
Union96524
Tate94537
Leake93535
Adams89135
Wayne87121
Pearl River84850
Marion83633
Covington79321
Prentiss78617
Alcorn75310
Newton74722
Itawamba74121
George73913
Tallahatchie73418
Winston71919
Tishomingo65035
Attala63625
Chickasaw63524
Tippah63516
Walthall58925
Clay56216
Hancock55420
Noxubee54015
Jasper53615
Clarke52538
Smith51714
Calhoun50612
Tunica47213
Montgomery45020
Claiborne44916
Lawrence42212
Yalobusha41314
Perry39016
Humphreys36915
Quitman3625
Stone34611
Greene33516
Webster32813
Jefferson Davis32211
Carroll30812
Amite30710
Wilkinson30117
Kemper28515
Sharkey25812
Jefferson2359
Benton2151
Franklin1863
Choctaw1775
Issaquena1033
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18648332
Mobile12949288
Montgomery8560170
Madison736573
Tuscaloosa7015112
Lee558259
Shelby550149
Baldwin502148
Marshall376342
Etowah326344
Calhoun321139
Morgan312925
Houston260621
Elmore247547
DeKalb230119
St. Clair218134
Walker217780
Talladega199925
Limestone191919
Cullman180017
Franklin172728
Dallas172526
Russell16912
Autauga162424
Lauderdale159231
Colbert157224
Escambia154324
Blount150413
Jackson146610
Chilton143325
Dale128042
Covington127027
Coffee12388
Pike11329
Tallapoosa112483
Chambers110642
Clarke104417
Marion91428
Butler90238
Barbour8097
Marengo69319
Winston68512
Lowndes64327
Pickens62214
Bibb6179
Hale60828
Bullock58514
Randolph58512
Lawrence57620
Monroe5708
Washington54513
Geneva5404
Perry5356
Wilcox52911
Cherokee52816
Clay5187
Conecuh51611
Crenshaw51531
Macon46619
Henry4524
Sumter41719
Fayette4128
Choctaw34212
Lamar3302
Cleburne3116
Greene29915
Coosa1573
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