White House crime stories

Now, watch them turn against each other:

A former top aide to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign will plead guilty to fraud-related charges within days — and has made clear to prosecutors that he would testify against Paul Manafort, the lawyer-lobbyist who once managed the campaign.

The change of heart by Trump’s former deputy campaign manager Richard Gates, who had pleaded not guilty after being indicted in October on charges similar to Manafort’s, was described in interviews by people familiar with the case.

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Here we go again

From Jezebel:

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that they were tipped off to dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct against Steve Wynn: the Vegas king of in-your-face luxury; also RNC finance chairman under Trump. Most explicitly, a Wynn hotel manicurist allegedly reported to HR that he ordered her to lie down on a massage table, remove her clothes, and have sex with him in 2005. Anonymous sources tell the Journal that she was paid a $7.5 million settlement. A massage therapist told the Journal that he coerced her to give him hand jobs in his office over the course of months.

Wynn’s attorneys were not immediately available for comment to Jezebel.

The man who begs the question why do they always look like scrotum muppets? called the allegations “preposterous” in a statement published yesterday. But Politico reports that he is now stepping down from his post as RNC finance chairman. On Friday night, the Wall Street Journal reported, the Wynn resorts board of directors said they would form a committee to investigate the matter.

 

An American horror story

In case you haven’t been following this story, the sentence wasn’t severe enough:

After seven days of listening to more than 160 girls, women and parents describe the impact of his sexual abuse, disgraced gymnastics physician Larry Nassar turned to the courtroom Wednesday and quietly attempted an apology, saying “There are no words that can describe the depth and breadth for how sorry I am for what has occurred.”

Then Judge Rosemarie Aquilina read from a letter Nassar wrote last week in which he expressed very different sentiments. In the letter, Nassar complained about the length of his sentencing hearing, maintained that his touching of patients was legitimate medical therapy, and termed some of the alleged victims’ accounts “fabricated.” As Aquilina read excerpts, some in the courtroom gasped.

“My treatments worked, and those patients that are now speaking out were the same ones that praised me,” Aquilina said as she read Nassar’s words. “ . . . The media convinced them that everything I did was wrong and bad. . . . Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

The judge then addressed Nassar directly.

“It was not treatment what you did; it was not medical,” Aquilina replied. “I wouldn’t send my dogs to you, sir.”

It comes down to this, under the protection of USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, this animal sexually molested (raped) all of these girls and countless others who didn’t report it. Those who did report it were called liars. Some were forced to apologize to him for impugning his character. In some cases, he molested these girls in front of their parents, saying it was a specific treatment to improve their athletic ability.

He molested the top stars of female gymnastics, including Olympic gold medal winners. And this went on for decades.

I don’t know if I can watch gymnastics again.

A picture is worth a thousand harassment suits

From Politico:

Rep. Blake Farenthold used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by his former spokesman — the only known sitting member of Congress to have used a little-known congressional account to pay an accuser, people familiar with the matter told POLITICO.

Lauren Greene, the Texas Republican’s former communications director, sued her boss in December 2014 over allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

Greene said another Farenthold aide told her the lawmaker said he had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Greene. She also claimed that Farenthold “regularly drank to excess” and told her in February 2014 that he was “estranged from his wife and had not had sex with her in years.”

When she complained about comments Farenthold and a male staffer made to her, Greene said the congressman improperly fired her. She filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, but the case was later dropped after both parties reached a private settlement.

No information was ever released on that agreement.

House Administration Committee Chairman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) told GOP lawmakers in a closed-door Friday morning meeting that only one House office in the past five years had used an Office of Compliance account to settle a sexual harassment complaint. Harper said in that one instance, the settlement totaled $84,000.

In a statement for this story, Farenthold would neither confirm or deny that his office was responsible for that $84,000 payout.

Greene’s lawyer, Les Alderman of Alderman, Devorsetz & Hora PLLC, also would not say whether Greene was the woman who received the $84,000 Harper referred to.

But in a joint statement both Greene and Farenthold prepared at the time of the settlement but never released — a copy of which was shared with POLITICO by Alderman on Friday — the two confirmed they reached a deal in part to save taxpayer dollars.

Anything to save taxpayer dollars (i.e. the money Republicans like Blake Farenthold take from the poor to give to the rich).