Apparently, Donald Trump is not alone in the top rungs of the Republican Party in having had a huge payment dished out to cover a past illicit sexual encounter. He’s not even the only one who his personal lawyer Michael Cohen negotiated such a deal to protect.
New reporting has come out detailing the story of Cohen negotiating a $1.6 million dollar payment to a former Playboy model on behalf of GOP mega-donor Elliott Broidy, who has now resigned from his position as the Republican National Committee’s deputy finance chair. The unnamed model was allegedly believed to have been impregnated by Broidy at one point, which is what prompted the payment. The payment was delivered after the woman communicated that she “did not want to continue with the pregnancy.”
Yet again, here we have a prominent Republican proving to stand for very different values in private than those espoused by his party as a whole in public. The situation calls to mind that of the now former Republican member of the U.S. House from Pennsylvania Tim Murphy, who resigned in disgrace after it came out that he had sought to have a woman with whom he had an affair get an abortion.
Remarkably, despite the difference in the size of the payouts, the agreement associated with the hush money delivered on Broidy’s behalf used the very same pseudonyms that were used in the agreement Cohen negotiated on behalf of the president.
In the nondisclosure agreement accompanying the $130,000 payout to adult film star Stormy Daniels on behalf of President Trump, Daniels and the president are identified as Peggy Peterson and David Dennison, respectively. The same pseudonyms are used in the agreement between Broidy and the unnamed Playboy model, although that agreement accompanied the much larger payment of $1.6 million.
One key difference between the Broidy and Trump cases is that Broidy admitted to knowing about the money, while Trump has claimed to have had no such knowledge. The president made such a claim after a lengthy period of silence on his part about the brewing scandal over the payment, and also after Cohen himself claimed to have made the payment and negotiated the nondisclosure agreement completely of his own accord.
That case is taking a longer route to its conclusion than the case involving Broidy and the Playboy model in question, with the president’s team currently battling Daniels in court.
Cohen himself has now found himself under federal scrutiny for a whole host of possible crimes. Earlier this week, his home, office, and hotel room were all raided by the FBI thanks in part to a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and this Friday, the Department of Justice confirmed that Cohen is under criminal investigation.
The president has freaked out at this development, offering up an entirely noncommittal answer when pressed recently about whether or not he was planning on firing Robert Mueller.
Concurrent to all of these issues, Broidy is not even the only member of the RNC finance committee to have resigned recently. Committee Chair Steve Wynn resigned earlier this year after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him.
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