Stormy Daniels Cooperating With Federal Investigators

Stormy Daniels is talking to the Feds

Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who finds herself in the middle of the latest Donald Trump scandal is apparently cooperating with Federal investigators looking into the $130,000 payment she received from an LLC established by longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen

Stormy Daniels is cooperating with federal investigators, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

The source said federal investigators are looking into the nondisclosure deal and subsequent payment made by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to the porn star who is now suing Trump over the 2016 hush agreement.

The federal probe was described by the source as extensive and aggressive, and a sizable team is working on the effort, the source added.

On Monday, the FBI raided Cohen’s home and office space.

Daniel’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, tweeted about her cooperation with the FBI on Tuesday, while also making a dig at Cohen referencing the raid.

“My client @stormydaniels and I will fully cooperate with any search for the truth regarding the threats, cover-up and lies concerning the NDA and $130k payment. Unlike others, we don’t require the presence of the fine members of the FBI in order to speak honestly. #basta,” he wrote.

Later Tuesday, Avenatti reiterated his remarks to CNN.

“We were contacted by various attorneys from the government who are looking into this,” he said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

“We’re going to cooperate fully. We’re going to be as user friendly as possible. We’re going to respect the process. We understand the seriousness of this. This took on a whole ‘nother level within the last 48 hours.”

Here’s are the Tweets from Daniel’s attorney:

All of this, of course, comes in the wake of the news that the F.B.I. had executed search warrants at the home, office, and hotel room of Michael Cohen, the longtime Trump attorney who is at the center of the October 2016 agreement that Daniels signed to keep silent in exchage for $130,000. The payment was made by a Delaware Limited Liability Company established by Cohen and the money to pay Daniels allegedly came from his pocket with no rembursement from any other parties. That search, of course, has caused Trump to lash out yet again and to reportedly consider firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who signed off on the warrant and assigned the matter to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, a Trump appointee who apparently recused himself from whatever investigation he is carrying out.

Based on reports growing out of the search, it appears that at least part of that investigation is rooted in the payment against Daniels, which could involve potential charges involving the violation of Federal election laws as well as bank fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering. Additionally, Daniels alleged during her 60 Minutes interview that she was approached years prior to that agreement by a person who made physical threats against her if she revealed the details of her affair with Trump. Cohen is also implicated in a payment to Trump’s foundation in exchange for a speech he made to a Ukranian group while he was running for President and is also believed to be at the center of many other Trump business activities, including efforts to build a hotel in Moscow that were in the discussion stage at the same time that Trump was running for President. It’s easy to see, of course, why Daniels would be of interest to investigator with respect to the first issue, and it’s most certainly in her interest to cooperate at this point, although in doing so she could be exposing herself to potential charges depending on whether an how she reported the aforementioned $130,000 on the relevant income tax forms. In any case, Daniels cooperation with investigators essentially guarantees that her story will remain in the public consciousness regardless of how the Federal Judge handling her civil suit rules on the pending motion to compel arbitration. Therefore, any effort to sweep her case under the rug, has failed spectacularly.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Law and the Courts, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. lounsbury says:

    The Trump Org was never ready to play in the Big League.
    And now they are finding out that petty con tactics that work in the shadows with small contractors and porn-stars on the side don’t work in the Big League.




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  2. grumpy realist says:

    Damn, I DO hope she had the smarts to declare it as income on her tax forms. That would be hilarious.




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  3. barbintheboonies says:

    I am ashamed of the FBI for many things they did not do and I am ashamed of this too. It seems a waste of taxpayer money to do this. It does nothing for American public. It is something the enquirer would be digging for. It just makes Trump look better in the eyes of the public, because it does show just how biased they are. The FBI has been in scandal after scandal, you think they would try to do something really big to get the country to trust them again.




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  4. Charon says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Oh we trust the FBI just fine, it’s those rooting for the crooks who do not.




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  5. michael reynolds says:

    @barbintheboonies:
    I see. The fact that Trump fcked a porn star while married and then had her threatened, and then paid her off, and then threatened to sue her if she broke the NDA, while lying at every stage, that just makes you like Trump more. Because you’re a big fan of men who screw around on their wives. Got it.

    Exhibit A for the charge that this is a cult of personality and that Trump supporters have abandoned all their core beliefs and turned to idolatry.




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  6. Charon says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Seriously, you have no idea the scope of the investigation or what evidence the FBI already has, but this extraordinary raid would not have happened without much much more being investigated than bimbo payoffs.




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  7. Charon says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Odd of you to be so dismissive, considering Trump himself is freaking out and bouncing off the walls, with good cause considering his main fixer Michael Cohen basically constitutes the Rosetta Stone, the Keys to the Kingdom.




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  8. grumpy realist says:

    I wonder if any of the women supporting Trump on this are doing so because their own husbands have cheated on them and they’ve resigned themselves to it because they don’t have the money to leave. Hey, if ALL men cheat on their wives, including important ones like the POTUS, that just makes what my own husband did on me…normal, innit it?

    (Nope, lady–sorry. You’re still a chump. Most men do NOT cheat on their wives, and you’ve turned yourself into a doormat.)




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  9. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    you think they would try to do something really big to get the country to trust them again.

    It would seem to me that if President Dennison is involved in bank fraud, or wire fraud, it’s…as you say…something really big.




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  10. barbintheboonies says:

    I do not agree with Trump all the time, but I find it strange most of you here find any reason just to bring him down. How come you supported Bill Clinton and bashed everyone especially you Michael for just getting a blow job. He lied about it but for most people including myself we did not give a damn.




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  11. drj says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Nope, lady–sorry. You’re still a chump. Most men do NOT cheat on their wives, and you’ve turned yourself into a doormat.

    The cheating is a side issue at best.

    We’re talking about likely campaign finance violations, fraud, making criminal threats, etc. All done by order of the most powerful individual in the nation.

    That’s what matters; and why barbintheboonies’ comment that the investigation is “a waste of taxpayer money” that does “nothing for the American public” is so incredibly sad.

    “Yeah, let’s have the President of the United States be a criminal goon. No biggie. I like him even more now!”




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  12. barbintheboonies says:

    @grumpy realist: Like Hillary Clinton who you supported as a potential POTUS.




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  13. barbintheboonies says:

    @drj: Then why was it not important enough to release Hillary Clinton’s E mails and things that may have been more damaging than this issue. A lot bigger crimes were committed by the Clintons and their foundation oozes corruption. That is the sad thing here, all of us are sad, we just cannot help ourselves by calling out wrongs and acknowledging what is right when someone on the other side of the fence does it. Who wins when we are all should be for the good of everyone in this country.




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  14. Kathy says:

    I wonder with all the serial affairs whether there’s a small legion of Trump bastards lurking somewhere.




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  15. barbintheboonies says:

    @Kathy: With his money they would be some lucky little bastards




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  16. Joe says:

    @grumpy realist:

    This was income to her in 2017. Her tax deadline for that year is just coming up. There is no way she is not reporting it. The bigger question is whether Cohen reported it – bet he didn’t ask for her social security number or a 1099.




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  17. drj says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    A lot bigger crimes were committed by the Clintons and their foundation oozes corruption.

    Except that you can’t name any “bigger crime” that actually happened.

    Then why was it not important enough to release Hillary Clinton’s E mails and things that may have been more damaging than this issue.

    This makes no sense. Clinton caught flak for not being careful enough with her email server. The fact that she didn’t release her emails is emphatically not a scandal (because secretaries of state shouldn’t do that, for obvious reasons). Either you made this up or someone fed you nonsense. I’m betting on the latter.




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  18. grumpy realist says:

    @Joe: Oh, the image you bring up with the 1099-MISC is PRICELESS….

    (Bows head in honoring you.)




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  19. barbintheboonies says:

    @drj: You never named any either that is why the FBI is investigating, but when many have called for investigating the Clintons all they get is silence . So why not the outrage there? I could careless how this goes down with Trump If he did something wrong okay do what you want with him. I just want the truth on all the swamp people. Right and Left and in between.




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  20. MarkedMan says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Then why was it not important enough to release Hillary Clinton’s E mails and things that may have been more damaging than this issue

    This is why we can’t have good things. Barb, I suspect you are trying to defend Trump based on what you’ve heard on Fox News, or on what the Fox News whirlpool repeat (Drudge, Breitbart, etc). Barb, it’s always a bad idea to get your news from television (they spend something like 50 to 1 on video versus actual reporting) but it’s even worse when that television is Fox News. Because they are not a real news source. They are a mindless propaganda machine owned by a foreigner who doesn’t give a sh*t about America. And because you get your news from them you don’t even seem to remember that CLINTON’S F’ING EMAILS WERE RELEASED! They were analyzed and discussed for months! I guess the latest fantasy that some Fox News pundit is spewing is that never happened, or maybe they just don’t remember themselves and can’t be bothered to check because they know that their viewers don’t care about whether something is actually true or not.

    Barb, Fox News is not your friend. They don’t respect their audience enough to make their propaganda pass the sniff test. Repeating stuff you heard there just makes you look clueless.




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  21. Kathy says:

    This proves that Stormy Clifford has more brains than Trump and Cohen put together, or at the least access to better lawyers.




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  22. KM says:

    @barbintheboonies :
    I’ve pointed this out to every pro-Trumper that posts here: another’s sins do not absolve your own. For all your Whataboutism, you are completely willing to give your guy a pass on major crimes just because someone you don’t like isn’t in jail. You do realize that game can go on for a *long* time if you keep kicking goalposts – after all, why should Hillary be in jail when Powell and most of GWB’s staff is not?

    You don’t care about trust, the law or any kind of respect. All you see is Trump being “punished” for his sins and not justice being served. I’m sorry the guy you put your hopes on turned out to be an obivious crook. I’m sorry you bought the MAGA crap about how it would fix your dying town and now you’re reflexively defending the person you think is your last hope. Maybe next time, try to pick a less moronic conman, OK? If you got a smarter one, he wouldn’t have left a trail of bread crumbs a mile wide for the cops to find his shady deals…..




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  23. KM says:

    @drj @MarkedMan :

    She’s getting her FOX talking points mixed up: #ReleasetheMemo and But But Hillary’s Emails!!!

    But hey, since they’re all mass-generated from a one-size-fits-all outrage machine, you can forgive her for not have the deets straight. Facts are fake news anyways – what’s important is feeling aggrieved that Liberals Are Getting Away With Something and Conservatives Are Being Persecuted




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  24. grumpy realist says:

    @barbintheboonies: And you’re still supporting Trump. In spite of the fact that he’s a lying, cheating adulterer.

    Who’s worse, the individual who supports the wronged wife or the individual who supports the cheater?




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  25. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Look Barb, this is not a minor thing. If Trump knew about this NDA and participated in its negotiation, which is overwhelmingly likely, we’re now talking about a conspiracy to violate federal election laws. Wire, mail and bank fraud in furtherance of the same.

    Federal felonies. Prison. It’s a tad worse than you’re making it out to be.

    I say that as someone who thinks Clinton never should have been asked about marital indiscretions in the first place, but also someone who feels that he was rightly impeached for lying under oath, so don’t even go there.

    As for Hillary, I’m still waiting waiting for someone to pony up a cogent argument regarding which specific federal statutes she violated, and how. I’ve been waiting for that for a long time now (and I know why I’ll never get it …)

    You need to understand that Cohen stands a very good chance of spending time in a federal prison unless he cuts a deal to avoid prosecution / accept probation in exchange for throwing his client under the bus. Trump as well since this was prior to his inauguration and doesn’t implicate executive privilege. This is not a minor thing we’re talking about here.




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  26. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Then why was it not important enough to release Hillary Clinton’s E mails

    Her emails were released.

    and things that may have been more damaging than this issue.

    Such as?

    A lot bigger crimes were committed by the Clintons

    Again, such as? I’m an attorney and a former federal prosecutor. I assure you that I’ll understand any legal argument you choose to make.

    I’m just not hearing one. I’m hearing rumor and innuendo, so make your case.




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  27. Charon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I saw a comment from an FBI agent that, in a long career, he had only seen a few cases of a search warrant used on a lawyer. Every time, no exceptions, the lawyer wound up in jail.

    Normally, the kind of lawyer that search warrants get used on are mob lawyers. Which fits, considering Trump’s ties to organized crime.




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  28. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Charon:

    I agree, with the caveat that I expect that this is intended to motivate Cohen to cut a deal in exchange for throwing Trump under the bus. Prosecuting Cohen alone gets them nothing. Turning him into another Blutrich gets them the keys to the safe and hands them Trump – all of his shit, not just this NDA thing – on a platter ready to be cooked.

    In keeping with the mob theme, this is akin to flipping the consigliere. They pierce privilege up in NY and convince Cohen to flip, then that’s the ballgame. It’ll flow back to Bob’s investigation as applicable, as well as the NY State AG, and Trump will be done. The whole rotten edifice will come down.




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  29. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I agree that the intent is to get Cohen to rat out Trump. What I wonder is to what extent Cohen is willing to sacrifice himself and his future. Cohen has said publicly several times that his raison d’etre is to be Trump’s fixer, but at what point does self-preservation step in and take over?




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  30. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    Cohen has no future. His law license is on its deathbed, and they will prosecute him, vigorously, if he decides not to cooperate. Some people you flip with kindness or appeals to decency; others you flip through fear and an interest in self-preservation. Cohen will be the latter. He’s a shitty lawyer, but he’s street smart enough to know when the game is over. For him, it’s over. His choices now are all related to how hard the landing will be.




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  31. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: One of the articles I read postulated that Cohen was pulling the nicely-nicely trick with the feds as a delaying tactic, just holding on until Trump could pardon him and fire everyone carrying out the investigation. (“with one bound, our hero leaps free…”)

    However–if the material has handed up in the hands of the guys in NY State, this tactic’s probably off the table. Trump can’t do anything against Cohen’s getting into the claws of the state prosecutors, no?

    Also, Trump pardoning Cohen for bank fraud etc. isn’t going to keep him out of hot water with the lawyers ethics boards, is it? Which means no matter which way he hops, Cohen’s balls are in a vice and someone is about to start squeezing.




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  32. Blue Galangal says:

    @grumpy realist: Someone noted, I think on TPM but maybe it was Balloon Juice, that Cohen went from bombastic fireball to butter-wouldn’t-melt. He seems to know he’s in trouble, and he seems to be just a little worried about it, judging by the fact that the hyperbole and misrepresentations have ceased, at least from his corner.




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  33. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Is he smart, or even shrewd, enough to realize that? He doesn’t strike me as one of the brighter stars in the legal firmament. He is, as you have pointed out, much less a lawyer than a bag man. And I’m sure Trump retained him not for his brains, nor his legal expertise (which appears to be minimal), but because he was the only guy Trump could find who was willing to degrade himself in service to Trump.




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  34. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    I’d say so. You don’t employ a bagman for his legal expertise. You employ him based on street smarts and ability to fix things for you. Cohen is indeed an abysmal lawyer, but as far as I can tell he’s been an effective bagman. He’s smart in the way that a capo is smart – he knows how to read which way the wind is blowing and get his boat out of the way.

    The one thing that indicates to me that he will eventually cut a deal was his effusive praise of the FBI agents who conducted the raids. He might as well have climbed up on top of Moynihan and waved a flag. He’ll cut a deal, if he hasn’t already started to, and I’m willing to bet it will be a piece of work.




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  35. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    I defer to your expertise in this area, and happily confess that I’m eagerly looking forward to Cohen turning on Trump. It should be one of the more entertaining spectacles this year.




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  36. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    Ditto. They are slowly boxing Trump in just like this team did with the Gambinos, building the gallows board by board. Bob is one of the most effective prosecutors I’ve ever met in my life. He’s a born tactician. Every move has a purpose.

    Every part of what has played out already has a purpose in his larger plan. They’re pawns being taken off of the board. Of that I’m certain. I’d love to be party to the strategy meetings, but I’m content watching him work his magic (again) from the outside. It will definitely be entertaining.




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  37. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    You may or may not know this, but there’s a Boston talk show host and Boston Herald columnist named Howie Carr who’s written a self-published (I think) book entitled What Really Happened: How Donald J. Trump Saved America from Hillary Clinton. He is absolutely bent and determined to find evidence that Robert Mueller, when he was U.S. attorney for Boston, framed some men for murder. So far he hasn’t, but he just knows it’s there, and he’s pleading with his listeners to help him find the smoking gun.




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  38. teve tory says:

    Simple question, BarbIsALoony:

    Did Trump cheat on his third wife, while she was home with the newborn, with at least one porn actress?

    (Just trying to get a baseline for the distance between barb and reality)




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  39. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: @HarvardLaw92: John Oliver has referred to the Trump scandals as “Stupid Watergate.” Under that framework it seems quite likely that Cohen will emerge as Stupid John Dean.




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  40. grumpy realist says:

    Some great comments from Above The Law:

    But Cohen’s clownishness cuts both ways. As many Trump people are learning for the first time, you can pierce the veil on attorney-client privilege in cases of crime or fraud. BUT the intention to commit a crime rests with the client, not the attorney. And if we’re going to get a look at attorney work-product, it has to be shown that the work-product was in fact used in furtherance of the alleged crime.

    What that means is that Trump could have said, “What are we going to do about this here porn star,” and Cohen could have said, “I’ll handle it, boss.” And that conversation could not be used against Trump, because it would not pierce the veil of attorney-client privilege. Trump wouldn’t have the mens rea to commit an illegal act in that hypothetical. In that example, Cohen would still be in a heap of trouble, but Trump could say he didn’t know a thing about it.

    Maybe Cohen holds a lot of secrets, but maybe he doesn’t. They call him a pit bull, but just think about how much your idiot dog knows about your tax returns. The way Cohen behaves, I don’t believe he knows “where all the bodies are buried” unless he personally buried a literal body… and even then, Cohen seems like the kind of guy who could lose a corpse in the Pine Barrens.

    For now, I believe the person most in legal jeopardy from the FBI’s raid on Michael Cohen is Michael Cohen. Though I’d feel more confident in that position if Trump wasn’t so visibly shaken that he’s about to start a war to distract us from the raid.




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  41. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    Carr is a mental patient writing for a former Murdoch rag. The guy is certifiable.

    One of the happier days of my life was the day that Ernest Murphy cleaned their clocks for $3.4 million in a libel suit (which they were forced to pay).




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  42. MarkedMan says:

    It’s been reported in several places that Bannon is back as a Trump advisor and is pitching a plan to fire Mueller, Rosenstein and whoever else it would take to stop the investigation. This highlights something that has been bothering me. Pundits and politicians endlessly warn against Trump taking action against Mueller, but it all presupposes Trump is innocent. But what about in the real world. Trump is obviously guilty of many things, and his campaign (and family) certainly colluded with the Russians at the highest level, based simply on what is in the public record. So, a question to the lawyers out there: Does Trump have anything personally to lose in trying to shut down the investigation? In other words, given that he is guilty, is this his best course of action, however desperate it may be?




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  43. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Well, we know he’s desperate to keep his tax returns from being made public.




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  44. Joe says:

    @MarkedMan:

    As one of the lawyers out there, I would say that Trump firing Rosenstein throws this back into the political realm, i.e. impeachment, and it remains to be seen whether the Congressional Republicans would follow through on their pretty plain threats in that regard.

    There may also be a bigger legal side to this now that SDNY is apparently running a separate investigation that seems to be targeted at Cohen, but could easily come back to Trump. I perceive that this is getting too big even for Trump to fire his way out of without having even the Congressional Republicans say enough! #basta.




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  45. grumpy realist says:

    Supposedly Cohen is about to plead the Fifth. Avenatti has been trolling those two clownheads, Cohen and Trump, for days and look what pops up.

    Avenatti must be in sheer heaven.




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