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Old 9th February 2019, 08:11 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
If that happens, you can stick a fork in Pecker; he's done.... he'll be sharing a cell with Michael Cohen...
I doubt that. They never seem to send execs to jail for corporate crimes, even when it seems they should.
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Old 9th February 2019, 09:57 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
If that happens, you can stick a fork in Pecker
Stop that! You'll go blind!
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Old 9th February 2019, 01:33 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
<YT snipped>

More (but not exactly) like this...

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I AGREE
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Old 9th February 2019, 01:36 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I doubt that. They never seem to send execs to jail for corporate crimes, even when it seems they should.
Yeah, but blackmail and extortion are not corporate crimes, and nor are campaign finance felonies.
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Old 9th February 2019, 02:17 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Because if he or AMI has committed a crime in doing so, then their non-prosecution agreement with SDNY is toast.
Right, but I'm talking about before that - why was Pecker so touchy to begin with? Did he cross a line into illegal campaign contributions? I think that may be kind of difficult to prosecute. If he's been doing favors for Trump for years, then his behavior in 2016 or whenever is just an extension of that. Freedom of the press is not absolute, but it's pretty close.

I''ll be disappointed if that's all prosecutors have. That's just a personal thing. I want people going down because they are criminals, not because they violated a reporting requirement.
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Old 9th February 2019, 02:58 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Right, but I'm talking about before that - why was Pecker so touchy to begin with? Did he cross a line into illegal campaign contributions? I think that may be kind of difficult to prosecute. If he's been doing favors for Trump for years, then his behavior in 2016 or whenever is just an extension of that. Freedom of the press is not absolute, but it's pretty close.
....

Pecker had already admitted making illegal campaign contributions in the form of payoffs, and the SDNY agreed not to prosecute in exchange for full cooperation. That deal is now under review.
Quote:
The Enquirer, which has aggressively adulated Donald Trump and savaged his enemies, is abandoning the president to save itself from criminal charges.

Last week, the paper’s parent company, America Media Inc., officially confessed to what the Wall Street Journal reported before the 2016 election: The Enquirer paid $150,000 to former Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal to buy and then bury her allegation of an affair with Trump in 2006-2007.

AMI further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story to prevent it from influencing the election,” stated prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

Trump is – or had been – close pals with AMI chief David Pecker, who’d pushed Trump for years to run for the White House, and then used the Enquirer to promote his candidacy.

To avoid being charged with campaign-law violations, Pecker flipped three months ago and began cooperating with the feds. He corroborated detailed information offered by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, now bound for prison.
https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/...223089185.html

And:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/08/b...rer-fight.html
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Old 9th February 2019, 03:21 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Right, but I'm talking about before that - why was Pecker so touchy to begin with? Did he cross a line into illegal campaign contributions? I think that may be kind of difficult to prosecute. If he's been doing favors for Trump for years, then his behavior in 2016 or whenever is just an extension of that. Freedom of the press is not absolute, but it's pretty close.

I''ll be disappointed if that's all prosecutors have. That's just a personal thing. I want people going down because they are criminals, not because they violated a reporting requirement.
There is much more to it than just not reporting stuff.... as Mark Felt said to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein... "Follow the money"

Pecker (at the behest of Indiviual 1, who we know is Donald Trump) assisted Cohen with paying off Karen McDougal. In August 2016, Pecker's company AMI paid McDougal $150,000 for the rights to the story of her affair with Trump. This is much more than AMI would have normally paid for such a story. The deal was that McDougal would be featured on magazine covers of some of the magazines in AMI's stable. This was a cover story to help McDougal account for where the $150,000 came from, but it was agreed and understood that her affair story would not be published.

Prosecutors said that “Despite the cover and article features to the agreement, AMI’s principal purpose in entering into the agreement was to suppress the model’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the 2016 Presidential election.” Pecker has admitted to this, its why he would likely have been a witness in Cohen's trial had the latter pled not guilty.

On the face of it, it seems like just a campaign finance felony, however, at the behest of "Individual 1", Pecker and AMI acted as an intermediary to get the money from Trump to McDougal - that right there is hiding the criminal purpose of a fiduciary payment. Do you know what that is called? Its called money laundering, a Federal crime... and Pecker has admitted to this as well.

Further, it likely makes Pecker and AMI part of a conspiracy to Defraud the United States of America. He could be charged under that statute, and all the other admissions could be used in evidence against him.

Interestingly, Michael Cohen used the same shell company LLC to pay AMI to to kill the Karen McDougal story that he used to pay hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels, to collect million dollar consulting deals from companies including AT&T and Novartis, and to receive payments from another company, one with with close ties to oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. This is one of the things that has piqued the interest of Mueller.

Pecker must be utterly crapping his pants right now, and really pissed off with himself for not thinking the Bezos extortion plan through to its logical conclusion should anything go wrong.

As I read in another article somewhere, 'Bezos is the richest man in the world... if you are going to take aim at him, you had better not miss'

Pecker missed!
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Old 9th February 2019, 04:11 PM   #88
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I think the thing is how they collected that information on Bezos.

Bezos hinted that a government entity hacked his phone.

If you read that agreement they threatened Bezos they would expose his private pics
unless he agreed to stop saying a government entity or AMI hacked his phone.

How is "business as usual", an excuse for a crime now?
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Old 9th February 2019, 04:14 PM   #89
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Ah, I should have read on, smartcooky answered it very well.

Yes, it is much more than a reporting error.
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Old 9th February 2019, 07:32 PM   #90
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Remember Gawker? Published video of Hulk Hogan, got literally sued out of existence.

The Enquirer is much larger. But then again, Bezos is loaded and had little to lose.

Bezos Has Options If He Wants to ‘Gawker’ the National Enquirer

Quote:
He could sue, claiming AMI tried to blackmail him with embarrassing photos of himself and a woman who wasn’t his wife. He could sit back and watch as prosecutors decide whether to charge the company and its executives with crimes. Or he could continue to finance the private investigator who is digging into the Enquirer’s methods and AMI’s president, David Pecker.

Or Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon.com Inc. and owner of the Washington Post, could do all three.
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Old 9th February 2019, 07:55 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by snoop_doxie View Post
Ah, I should have read on, smartcooky answered it very well.

Yes, it is much more than a reporting error.
I get that, but my scandal threshold must be pretty high. A media bigwig used his publishing power to help Trump get elected president and to increase his personal power. I'm not an expert on the law, but in broader strokes, on the Supreme Court of the Citizens United ruling ... if it comes to Pecker in (civil? criminal) court, wouldn't he have a pretty strong First Amendment case?

I wonder if it had been reported as "in-kind PR services," if that would have made the whole thing go away.

Otherwise I see a legitimate argument that he has a right to free speech, which includes buying stories and not running them. I don't think extortionist language is acceptable, though. Attempted intimidation is a much better charge IMO than campaign finance violations. Trump surrounds himself (or tries to surround himself) with thugs and this is what I expect of them. It's more serious to me than doing otherwise legal favors on the down-low.

As far as possible government hacking, valid point. I just don't think that's the only explanation, or even the most likely one. It's also a sad state of affairs if the publisher of the National Enquirer couldn't do his own hacking - UK tabloids must be appalled.
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Old 9th February 2019, 07:55 PM   #92
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He could probably buy the National Enquirer, or AMI itself, but they are likely to soon be worthless.
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Old 9th February 2019, 08:00 PM   #93
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I think maybe in future all candidates for political office should post photos of their genitals online and save themselves from surprise revelations down the road. I bet Little Jeff is the spitting image of Daddy.
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Old 9th February 2019, 08:03 PM   #94
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Blackmailers are like poisoners in that they rarely confine themselves to a single victim. I expect others will start coming forward. And then those bought-and-suppressed stories will bubble to the surface as well. This could well be the pulled thread that unravels the whole sweater.
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Old 9th February 2019, 08:22 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Blackmailers are like poisoners in that they rarely confine themselves to a single victim. I expect others will start coming forward. And then those bought-and-suppressed stories will bubble to the surface as well. This could well be the pulled thread that unravels the whole sweater.
And then AMI tries to blackmail you with pictures of that too.
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Old 9th February 2019, 11:19 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I get that, but my scandal threshold must be pretty high. A media bigwig used his publishing power to help Trump get elected president and to increase his personal power.
Sheesh! I don't know how many different ways will have to explain this so that you get it. You are missing the big picture; you are only looking at him using his media organisation as a political tool.

Media organisations are allowed to do that to a certain extent. NBC, MSNBC, NYT and WAPO are heavily Liberal; NYPost and Faux News are heavily Conservative. That's fine, its allowed, but what is NOT allowed is assisting politicians to commit criminal offences, especially if in doing so, they commit criminal offences themselves.

Assisting a person (in this case two people) to commit a crime (the crime being a campaign finance felony) makes Pecker and AMI part of a conspiracy to commit a criminal act. Doing so by channelling the money through his business in order to hide the true intent of the payments is money laundering; that is carrying out a criminal act (he might have even violated the RICO statute, but that is another story).

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I'm not an expert on the law, but in broader strokes, on the Supreme Court of the Citizens United ruling ... if it comes to Pecker in (civil? criminal) court, wouldn't he have a pretty strong First Amendment case?
No. The First Amendment has nothing to do with this; it is often misunderstood. 1A restricts the government from making laws that abridge free speech, it does not give every American the right or the freedom to say whatever they please.

1A does not give anyone the right to publish someone else's personal information if that information was stolen. That information is the proceeds of a criminal act.

AMI is based in NYC so it comes under NY state Law
N.Y. Penal Law § 156.10 Computer trespass.
A person is guilty of computer trespass when he or she knowingly uses, causes to be used, or accesses a computer, computer service, or computer
network without authorization and:
1. he or she does so with an intent to commit or attempt to commit or
further the commission of any felony; or
2. he or she thereby knowingly gains access to computer material.
Upshot: A smartphone is a computer by any definition you like to come up with. Hacking into one might only be an E Felony, but it opens the door for SDNY to overturn the non-prosecution agreement.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I wonder if it had been reported as "in-kind PR services," if that would have made the whole thing go away.

Otherwise I see a legitimate argument that he has a right to free speech, which includes buying stories and not running them. I don't think extortionist language is acceptable, though. Attempted intimidation is a much better charge IMO than campaign finance violations. Trump surrounds himself (or tries to surround himself) with thugs and this is what I expect of them. It's more serious to me than doing otherwise legal favors on the down-low.

As far as possible government hacking, valid point. I just don't think that's the only explanation, or even the most likely one. It's also a sad state of affairs if the publisher of the National Enquirer couldn't do his own hacking - UK tabloids must be appalled.
It doesn't matter. He and AMI have already admitted to the earlier charges in relation to the payment made to Karen McDougal. That's done and dusted, and they have a non-prosecution agreement in return for their co-operations. Part of that agreement was that Pecker and AMI must not commit any crimes for the next three years, or the agreement is void.

What has Pecker worried now is that if the prosecutors choose to prosecute them for any of the possible offences... computer trespass (hacking)/blackmail/extortion, the NPA is TOAST, and since they have already admitted the criminal acts in the NPA, they will have no defence.


ETA: Here is a video interview between MSNBC Host Kendis Gibson and former Federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner with TIME magazine contributor Jay Newton-Small., where they explain why Pecker and AMI are in deep poodoo over this... (7˝ minutes)
http://www.msnbc.com/kendis-gibson/w...-1440144963987
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Last edited by smartcooky; 9th February 2019 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 9th February 2019, 11:49 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Blackmailers are like poisoners in that they rarely confine themselves to a single victim. I expect others will start coming forward. And then those bought-and-suppressed stories will bubble to the surface as well. This could well be the pulled thread that unravels the whole sweater.
Terry Crews has already come forward about a similar situation.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.busi...f-bezos-2019-2
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Old 10th February 2019, 12:21 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Stacko View Post
Terry Crews has already come forward about a similar situation.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.busi...f-bezos-2019-2
and Ronan Farrow

https://www.nbc4i.com/news/inside-ed...her/1768418290
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Old 10th February 2019, 12:36 AM   #99
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SNL brought this up in the opening using a Meet the Press skit. It's hilarious.
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Old 10th February 2019, 01:31 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
And then AMI tries to blackmail you with pictures of that too.
That would be a very unwise move.

IMO, Bezos' standing up to these crooks (and they are crooks) will embolden other victims to come forward; they will gain strength from the sharing of being AMI's victims.

I am loathe to make this comparison, but it is not unlike when a victim of rape or sexual assault speaks up against their attacker, especially when the attacker is a person of power or authority. If the attacker has done it before to others, some of those victims become empowered to speak up.

Rolf Harris
Bill Cosby
Harvey Weinstein
Brett Kavanaugh
Kevin Spacey
et al
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Old 10th February 2019, 03:24 AM   #101
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Somebody had to do it.
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Old 10th February 2019, 04:35 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
I had a quick read through the comments section... this one was my pick.

"Ignoring, for the moment, all of the obvious questions and observations about the moral and legal implications of the breathtakingly outrageous misbehavior of the AMI executives and lawyers . . . . . . what in the world could have been going through the minds of people who sat around and decided to blackmail a guy with $135 billion?"


IMO, it has to be that this type of business behaviour is so ingrained in AMI and in Pecker, that they really are unable help themselves; they are incapable of acting any other way.
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Old 10th February 2019, 08:50 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I had a quick read through the comments section... this one was my pick.

"Ignoring, for the moment, all of the obvious questions and observations about the moral and legal implications of the breathtakingly outrageous misbehavior of the AMI executives and lawyers . . . . . . what in the world could have been going through the minds of people who sat around and decided to blackmail a guy with $135 billion?"
That's what puzzles me as well. I don't know if Bezos is vindictive by nature, but given that he has, for all practical purposes, unlimited resources for any battle he chooses to fight, I don't want to find out.
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Old 10th February 2019, 08:56 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
....
IMO, it has to be that this type of business behaviour is so ingrained in AMI and in Pecker, that they really are unable help themselves; they are incapable of acting any other way.
It's also worked for them for so long that they couldn't imagine anyone refusing to bend over for them.
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Old 10th February 2019, 10:09 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I think maybe in future all candidates for political office should post photos of their genitals online and save themselves from surprise revelations down the road. I bet Little Jeff is the spitting image of Daddy.
Done and done!
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Old 10th February 2019, 10:55 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
That's what puzzles me as well. I don't know if Bezos is vindictive by nature, but given that he has, for all practical purposes, unlimited resources for any battle he chooses to fight, I don't want to find out.
Vindictive may not be the right word, but he sure hates to lose. And he has hired lawyers who used to work for AMI.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/08/b...&region=Footer
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Old 10th February 2019, 11:01 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I think maybe in future all candidates for political office should post photos of their genitals online and save themselves from surprise revelations down the road. I bet Little Jeff is the spitting image of Daddy.
On SNL Weekend Update, Colin Jost claimed that when he went to a website, the picture of Bezos stopped loading with just the top of his head, and he thought it was the dic pic.
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Old 10th February 2019, 11:48 AM   #108
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Old 10th February 2019, 01:33 PM   #109
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This reminds me of the scene from The Dark Knight when a Wayne industries accountant tries to blackmail Bruce Wayne about being Batman and Lucius Fox spells out how, if he were correct, what an utterly insane thing that would be to do.
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Old 10th February 2019, 03:49 PM   #110
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Another assessment of AMI's legal liability, from an ex-U.S. Attorney:
Quote:
In fact, AMI’s reported conduct appears to meet the elements of the federal crime of extortion.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...=.81728bbb9a62
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Old 10th February 2019, 04:23 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Sheesh! I don't know how many different ways will have to explain this so that you get it. You are missing the big picture; you are only looking at him using his media organisation as a political tool.
I'm not disagreeing with anything you've written. I believe Pecker is in deep doo-doo. My point is that I hope Trump's crowd goes down because they have been proven guilty of more serious crimes - like laundering hundreds of millions of dollars and routinely using blackmail and extortion as "business" tools. I'm not speculating yet on hacking because we don't know how Pecker got the pictures.
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Old 10th February 2019, 07:34 PM   #112
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The possibility of a significant Saudi angle in this developing story is certainly interesting.
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Old 10th February 2019, 08:34 PM   #113
Bob001
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AMI lawyer claims there was no blackmail, just negotiation.
https://www.businessinsider.com/nati...ays-ami-2019-2
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Old 11th February 2019, 07:15 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
AMI lawyer claims there was no blackmail, just negotiation.
https://www.businessinsider.com/nati...ays-ami-2019-2

It's like that old joke about Winston Churchill.

"We've already established that we're a blackmailer, now we're negotiating about the price."
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Old 11th February 2019, 07:17 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
AMI lawyer claims there was no blackmail, just negotiation.
https://www.businessinsider.com/nati...ays-ami-2019-2
Mobster: "What a nice family. Shame if anything were to happen to it. If I were you I'd stop investigating us."
Detective: "Yeah, I recorded that threat. You're going down for that, Nick."
Mobster: "Threat? No! That was just negociating!"
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Old 11th February 2019, 09:43 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Gee, looks like Trumpy want to be like Richard Nixon in every way possible.
So does Roger Stone now have Trump Tattoo on his back as well?
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Old 11th February 2019, 09:48 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I don't understand why it bugs Pecker so much to be accused of using the Enquirer for political purposes. So what if he is? It's his newspaper; he can publish what he wants for whatever reason he wants. Is it big news that publishers sometimes have a political agenda that guides their coverage? You could probably say the same thing about Bezos.
He is also on the record doing it in a felonious fashion. "How dare people think I would do the same kind of thing that I had to get immunity from prosecution for!!!!!"

That Cohen didn't destroy the letter from Pecker to buy the rights to the story in a clear campaign finance violation like Pecker wanted proves all that.
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Old 11th February 2019, 09:53 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by snoop_doxie View Post
I think the thing is how they collected that information on Bezos.

Bezos hinted that a government entity hacked his phone.

If you read that agreement they threatened Bezos they would expose his private pics
unless he agreed to stop saying a government entity or AMI hacked his phone.

How is "business as usual", an excuse for a crime now?
See the whole financial sector meltdown of 2008 and why no one went to prison for it.
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Old 11th February 2019, 09:56 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I doubt that. They never seem to send execs to jail for corporate crimes, even when it seems they should.
White guys with money can get away with almost anything...except messing with white guys with more money.
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Old 11th February 2019, 10:29 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Otherwise I see a legitimate argument that he has a right to free speech, which includes buying stories and not running them. I don't think extortionist language is acceptable, though. Attempted intimidation is a much better charge IMO than campaign finance violations.
Why not hit him with both charges, if he's guilty of both?

After all, there's nothing wrong with charging a bank robber with speeding when he's making his get-away from the scene of the crime.

Something else I'm wondering about (and perhaps an expert in corporate law could help)....

Pecker is the publisher of the Inquirer, but I don't think he is the owner. As such, he would have had a responsibility to the owners to maximize profits. So wouldn't taking thousands of dollars in corporate cash to buy a potentially profitable story and NOT publish it be violating the requirement to act in the best interest in the company?
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