Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance told MSNBC today the National Enquirer’s publisher, American Media International, had an interesting explanation for the “exchange” with Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, saying it sounded like exactly like blackmail.
Host Stephanie Ruhle played a short clip of AMI lawyer Elkan Abramowitz defending the publication, saying the Enquirer’s threats to publish nude selfies made by Mr. Bezos were “absolutely not extortion, not blackmail” because their source was well known to both Mr. Bezos” and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez. That didn’t sit well with Vance.
“As far as defenses go, AMI coming out this weekend and saying ‘it was just an exchange, we wanted something and they wanted something’, that’s not much of a defense,” she said. “That just pretty much describes every blackmail situation prosecutors have ever looked at, right? Both parties always want something.”
Vance added that if prosecutors found that AMI had in fact tried to extort Bezos, they could be subject to any number of penalties.
“Southern District of New York could decide to turn and prosecute them, or they could decide there were other sorts of implications for that, that there would be fines, that there would be other sanctions,” she said. “The ramifications of this could run for the relatively minor to the very extreme.”
Watch the video below.
Trump’s tumbling support among ‘the poorly educated’ may crush his 2020 prospects: report
When Donald Trump famously declared, “I love the poorly educated” during his 2016 campaign, it was obvious that he was taking a much more populist (or rather, pseudo-populist) approach than Republican presidential candidates were typically known for. And white males without college degrees continue to be a key part of the president’s base. But Washington Post columnist Aaron Blake, analyzing an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Monday, stresses that when Trump is up against a “generic 2020 Democrat,” he finds himself struggling with non-college educated white women.
Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Republican donors any recession will be ‘moderate and short’
President Donald Trump has spent the last week claiming that any talk of a recession is a conspiracy theory by the media and part of a leftist coup against him.
The message didn't seem to get to his chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who told Republican donors this week that the recession will be a quick one.
Politico reported the comments Tuesday, saying that it was part of a Jackson, Wyoming fundraiser with White House aides Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who are supposed to be "camping" with their family, according to her Instagram channel.
Former Defense Secretary warns: ISIS is back, and Trump can’t ‘pretend it’s not there’
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Defense Secretary and CIA head Leon Panetta warned that ISIS is gaining strength in the Middle East again — and that after all of President Donald Trump's boasts that he had utterly defeated the terrorist organization, now it is time for him to get serious.
"Roughly estimated 15,000 ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria now," said host Kate Bolduan. "Secretary Pompeo saying the terror group is, in some ways, stronger than it was three or four years ago. How big of a concern should the news be for Americans?"
"It should be a very serious concern for the president of the United States and for our country," said Panetta. "Because his first responsibility is to protect our country. And we learned from 9/11, the fact that these terrorists have one fundamental aim, which is to attack the United States and attack countries in the West. And now what we're hearing is that ISIS is clearly re-mobilizing to the tune of almost is 15,000-18,000, that are mobilizing into secret cells, mobilizing into attack teams, conducting not only attacks but kidnappings and assassinations and bombings, as we saw in Afghanistan. So this is, in the end, a national security threat that the United States cannot simply stand back and pretend it's not there."