House Democrats may trigger a backfire with their latest subpoenas as they ramp up efforts to investigate matters related to President Trump.
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote Thursday to authorize subpoenas in its escalating investigation of the Trump administration’s immigration policies and of current and former Trump officials, including one name which could come back to bite them.
The committee moved Tuesday to authorize the subpoenas for several people including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, according to CNN which noted that the list of names also “includes David Pecker, chairman of National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc., suggesting the committee is also ramping up its probe of hush-money payments made to women during the campaign alleging affairs with Trump.”
NEW: House Judiciary will vote Thursday to authorize subpoenas over administration’s immigration policies and to former and current Trump associates, including Kushner, as part of obstruction probe. Also David Pecker is on the list. Live on @CNN now https://t.co/DMZPmf6qvE
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 9, 2019
In a new piece out for Vanity Fair, Emily Jane Fox connected Pecker with the newly-indicted billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and conspiracy charges on Monday. The connection also stretched to former President Bill Clinton.
“In the months before he ran for president, Donald Trump was in conversation with National Enquirer owner David Pecker about his old acquaintance, Jeffrey Epstein, and how his sexual abuse scandal might affect the Clintons.” Fox wrote.
In the months before he ran for president, Donald Trump was in conversation with National Enquirer owner David Pecker about his old acquaintance, Jeffrey Epstein, and how his sexual abuse scandal might affect the Clintons https://t.co/uoSMDw5o99
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) July 10, 2019
Pecker had reportedly visited Trump at Trump Tower in New York City in one incident recounted by Fox, who noted that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was in the room that day.
“Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, who would later go to prison in part for his role in these hush money schemes, was in the room when Pecker sat down. Pecker, he later told me, used to send him articles and issues before they were published so that he and Trump could read them,” Fox wrote.
After the meeting Trump called in Sam Nunberg, then a Trump Organization employee, who saw Pecker leaving Trump’s office. “Michael was sitting in there when I came in, and the issue of the National Enquirer with the pictures of Prince Andrew was on his desk,” Nunberg recalled. “He said not to tell anyone, but that Pecker had just been there and had brought the issue with him. Trump said that Pecker had told him that the pictures of Clinton that Epstein had from his island were worse.” (Cohen, speaking by phone from the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, corroborated Nunberg’s version of the events, though he declined to add any additional information about the meeting.)
While Democrats are apparently eager to grill Pecker about his relationship with Trump, it is not to hard to imagine that his testimony may end up implicating Clinton.
With all the news about Epstein and his close ties to Trump and the administration. Let’s all remember that he has close ties to democrats too. Bill Clinton once called him “a committed philanthropist” with “insights and generosity.” (1/2) pic.twitter.com/K4TaMYhouL
— Parker Z.M. Krouse (@parkerzayne) July 10, 2019
The former president, who reportedly flew on Epstein’s private jet – known as the “Lolita Express” – more than two dozen times, said this week that he “knows nothing” of the “terrible crimes” allegedly committed by the registered sex offender.
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) July 9, 2019
The Vanity Fair piece seemed to imply that Pecker would not, as Democrats hoped, deliver new dirt on Trump but could actually affect high-profile Democrats like Clinton instead. Unlike the former president, Trump has not been known to have ever traveled on Epstein’s plane.
“I don’t think Trump would go to someone else’s property or someone else’s island or villa,” Nunberg said. “He doesn’t even play golf at anyone else’s clubs.”
Back in 2015, Trump was answering question from Fox News host Sean Hannity at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference when he was asked about Clinton.
“Nice guy,” Trump said. “Got a lot of problems coming up, in my opinion, with the famous island with Jeffrey Epstein,” he added. “Lot of problems.”
2017: Trump On Bill Clinton – Nice guy, ah, gotta lot of problems coming up in my opinion with the famous Island, with Jeffrey Epstein, a lot of problems! pic.twitter.com/dGugW3b8hA
— Anonymous’ 4thEstate ⏳ (@4thAnon) July 10, 2019
Trump told reporters that he had a “falling out” with Epstein who was a “fixture” in Pam Beach.
President Trump: “I knew [Epstein] like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. I mean people in Palm Beach knew him. He was a fixture in Palm Beach. I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn’t a fan. I was not.” pic.twitter.com/fzMcHekvyQ
— The Hill (@thehill) July 9, 2019
“Well, I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him,” Trump told reporters.
“He was a fixture in Palm Beach. I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years,” the president added. “I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you.”
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