Posts tagged with "Alvin Bragg"

‘Daily Beast’ exclusive: Trump boasted about sex with Stormy in Tahoe, athlete says

May 29, 2024

Donald Trump boasted about having sex with adult film star Stormy Daniels at the 2006 golf tournament where the two met, a celebrity athlete who played the tournament has said in an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast.

The athlete also told The Daily Beast that a decade later, in the run-up to the 2016 election, he received anonymous calls from strangers asking what he remembered of the weekend.

Stormy Daniels says she told confidantes at the time that she had sex with Trump  and has told her story repeatedly since. Trump has repeatedly denied having sex with Daniels.

Nonetheless, hush-money payments to Daniels around the 2016 election gave rise to the 34 felony counts of falsification of business records for which Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, is now on trial in New York.

However, Trump passed up the opportunity to deny sex with Daniels under oath. On Tuesday, May 28, lawyers for the former president and for the prosecution made closing arguments. The first former president ever criminally indicted, Trump could face jail if found guilty.

The celebrity athlete, who spoke to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity, citing fear of harassment or retaliation, said he was close to Trump and Daniels while they socialized at the 2006 American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.

Although Trump sometimes referred to Daniels indirectly as a “porn star,” the athlete said, he emphasized that it was understood among the golfers who heard the boasts that Trump, at the time best-known as the host of reality TV show The Apprentice, was saying he had slept with Daniels.

“It was clear to me and everyone who heard him that he was talking about Stormy,” the athlete said, adding that Trump encouraged other celebs to try to have sex with Daniels—behavior the athlete described as “crass,” “gross,” and “stupid.”

“He’d say all these things like, ‘You’ve gotta bang a porn star, it’s incredible,’ and, ‘It added 20 yards to my drive today,’” the athlete told The Daily Beast.

The athlete said he has not shared his story widely, and that prosecutors never approached him. His account appears to be the first publicly reported description of Trump telling people he had sex with Daniels around the time Daniels says he did.

In the hush-money trial that is wrapping up now. while Daniels’ allegation was an important plank for Manhattan prosecutors who spent the last seven weeks building a criminal case against Trump, it wasn’t central to the charges.

District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg charged the former president for allegedly falsifying business records in service of covering up another crime—an alleged attempt to keep a lid on the $130,000 Trump’s former personal “fixer” Michael Cohen illegally paid Daniels the week before Election Day in 2016, thereby to keep the story from voters and boost Trump’s chances.

In Full Disclosure, her 2018 memoir, Daniels described her alleged liaison with Trump as “the least impressive sex I’d ever had.” In court this month, she dished out salacious testimony—saying Trump had been “blocking the way” out of the bedroom, and claiming she “blacked out” during sex; although she clarified that she had not felt “threatened verbally or physically.”

At the time, Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, was nursing their newborn son, Barron Trump.

Daniels entered a non-disclosure agreement with Trump in 2016 but had previously described the alleged sexual encounter in a 2007 radio appearance—without naming Trump—and then more fully in a 2011 interview for In Touch magazine, when Trump was considering a White House run. Six years after giving her version of events in her memoir, Daniels testified to it in court this month.

Research contact: @thedailybeast

The winner of this week’s Manhattan D.A. primary is poised to take over the Trump investigation

June 24, 2021

Whoever wins the Democratic primary race for Manhattan district attorney on Tuesday, June 22, isn’t just poised to take the helm of one of the most legendary prosecutors offices in New York. He or she also will inherit perhaps the highest profile investigation in the country—that of former President Donald Trump and his company, CNN reports.

The outgoing district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., is likely to decide whether to charge a case against the former president, the Trump Organization, or company executives by the end of his term in December, as CNN previous has reported.

If that happens, the next district attorney— most likely the winner of Tuesday’s primary, given the overwhelmingly Democratic makeup of Manhattan—will oversee the prosecution.

With eight contenders, the Democratic primary race for district attorney is a crowded one; and, unlike the New York City mayoral primary, it doesn’t have ranked-choice voting.

What’s more, the winner is likely to incur Trump’s very public ire if they he or she continues Vance’s work, since the former President has been quick to accuse Democrats investigating him—including Vance and New York State Attorney General Letitia James—of pursuing political prosecutions.

“If you can run for a prosecutor’s office pledging to take out your enemies, and be elected to that job by partisan voters who wish to enact political retribution,” Trump said in May, after James disclosed her office was working with the district attorney on its criminal investigation, “then we are no longer a free constitutional democracy.”

Some of the candidates already have expressed their views on the former president. Alvin Bragg, whom CNN says is widely seen as a leading contender in the race, has boasted of having sued the Trump administration more than 100 times while he was in the state attorney general’s office, where he was chief deputy. He also has noted that he led the team that sued the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which resulted in Trump personally paying $2 million to an array of charities.

“I’ve seen him up front and have seen the lawlessness that he can do,” Bragg said on the radio show “Ebro in the Morning,” in January. “I believe we have to hold him accountable. I haven’t seen all the facts beyond the public but I’ve litigated with him and so I’m prepared to go where the facts take me once I see them, and hold him accountable.”

Another leading candidate, Tali Farhadian Weinstein, has said comparatively little about Trump—noting that it would be improper to comment on the subject of an ongoing investigation.

In 2017, Farhadian Weinstein interviewed with members of Trump’s White House Counsel’s office for a federal judgeship, a position for which she had also applied during the Obama administration, according to The New York Times.

In the final debate last week, Farhadian Weinstein defended having sought the judgeship, saying: “It is not factual to say that federal judges, which are a separate part of the federal government, would work for the president. And so, to have been considered to be appointed to the federal bench while … Trump or anyone else was president, doesn’t mean that I would have been working for his administration.”

She worked as counsel to Attorney General Eric Holder and later as general counsel in the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, where she successfully sued the Trump Administration to get Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers out of courthouses in Brooklyn, after finding that female victims of domestic violence were too afraid to come to court for fear of finding officers present.

Other contenders in the race also have history with Trump or his policies. Tahanie Aboushi, a civil rights lawyer, touts her experience spending four days at John F. Kennedy International Airport in the wake of Trump’s 2017 travel ban on Muslim-majority countries, where she supplied legal assistance to people detained by US Customs and Border Protection.

Candidate Lucy Lang, a veteran of the Manhattan district attorney’s office, counts as one of her senior advisers a former colleague who led the office’s investigation into Trump SoHo—which examined whether or not the Trump Organization misled potential buyers about the values of units, a probe Lang has said shouldn’t have been shuttered.

In November, she tweeted: “Today I called for the #ManhattanDA investigations into Donald Trump to continue. Immunity is not a consolation prize to losing and election, and no one is above the law. We can’t allow Donald Trump’s failed presidential campaign to absolve him of responsibility.”

But she has also taken pains to distance herself from Trump-related commentary, saying in June that “I think that one of the worst things the next District Attorney could do would be to say something on the campaign trail that would suggest anything other than complete impartiality when it comes to investigating all the cases in front of the office and putting themselves in a position where they might face a recusal motion or a removal of jurisdiction.”

Another candidate, public defender Eliza Orlins, has been more blunt in her criticism of the former president. In December, she publicly cheered Trump’s election loss, tweeting: “We did it! We got rid of Donald Trump. But that won’t change the fact that our systems inherently favor the rich and powerful and oppress the poor.”

New York state Assemblyman Dan Quart, also vying for the office, has split the difference, saying in February, “I’ve been very active and vocal on my feelings on Trump’s abuses of the rule of law, of his terrible policies, of his indecency, but that’s different than being a district attorney who has to judge each case on the merits.”

Diana Florence, a former prosecutor in the Manhattan DA’s office who left the office in January 2020 after a judge dismissed one of her cases when she failed to turn over evidence to defense attorneys, has suggested she believes Trump is due for retribution.

“I think what’s amazing about Donald Trump is that he ascended to the highest office in our nation and even before that had tremendous success and that was while doing whatever the heck he wanted to do,” she told Forbes in November. “He will now face the ability to be prosecuted. He had a brief immunity while a sitting president, but as I just talked about he had a de facto immunity for being a wealthy and powerful man for many, many years. And I believe that time will be changing.”

Research contact: @CNN