Obama’s 2008 Campaign Paid a $375,000 Fine; Nobody Cared

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RUSH: You know, I found a bunch of stories about Obama campaign violations. For example, here’s a Maggie Haberman story from the archives. It’s from The Politico in 2008. Obama 2008 campaign fined $375,000. Nobody on the left cared. I mean, a $375,000 fine. Now, I wasn’t even gonna mention this because hypocrisy has been shown to be completely ineffective in shaming the left or in stopping them.

I don’t know whether or not the Democrat hypocrisy has an effect with voters at large. That would be tough to ever know. You couldn’t rely on polling data. The best data you could have would be election returns, but there’s so many other things that go into determining who people vote for.

That’s just one story. I have stories of how Eric Holder looked the other way at constant Obama campaign violations, financial violations. They just weren’t gonna hold Obama accountable to any of it. But the point is, they didn’t care. And they didn’t think anything was threatened. They didn’t think the American political system was in danger. They didn’t think that the activity was criminal. It certainly didn’t warrant being pursued. And it was the same media reporting it.

“President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign was fined $375,000 by the Federal Election Commission for campaign reporting violations — one of the largest fees ever levied against a presidential campaign, POLITICO has learned. The fine arose from an audit of the campaign, which was published in April,” I guess it’d be 2013 is when this story ran. I got so many damn dates here. Anyway, when it ran doesn’t matter.

The point is that Maggie Haberman, now at the Times, then at The Politico, was writing about Obama’s campaign violations resulted in the biggest FEC fine ever, and nobody on the left cared about it after they reported it. And there are countless other stories like this that illustrate the hypocrisy of the left over and over and over again, and it never seems to have any kind of impact whatsoever.

Mark Penn. We have cited his work, you know, he’s a pollster at Harvard. He was a pollster for Hillary. He has deep ties to the Clintons in the nineties. He’s always been perceived as a loyal Democrat. He runs a polling unit at Harvard now that is fairly reputed, very highly reputed and considered to be accurate. And if you didn’t know, you would never know this guy was a Democrat. He has been defending Donald Trump famously and he’s been doing it very well for the past two years.

And he’s written a really smart piece here at TheHill.com about the Cohen plea and all of this stuff that’s happening. He makes a number of excellent points, especially when you get down to the final paragraphs. But here’s how it starts.

“The plot to get President Trump out of office thickens,” which is exactly what this is. It hasn’t changed from the day after the election. This plot was hatched actually as part of the campaign, but that’s what it remains. This is a plot to get Trump out of office. I don’t think they’re thinking impeachment. They may want to impeach, but they’re never gonna get a conviction in the Senate; so how they get him out of office has gotta be Nixonesque. And they’re still trying to do it. They’re still trying to overturn the election results. There is a silent coup going on.

“Michael Cohen obviously was his own mini-crime syndicate and decided that his betrayals of Trump meant he would be better served turning on his old boss to cut the best deal with prosecutors he could rather than holding out and getting the full Manafort treatment,” which everybody thinks is going to be a pardon. “That was clear the minute he hired attorney Lanny Davis, who doesn’t try cases and did past work for Hillary Clinton. Cohen had recorded his client, trying to entrap him –” meaning Trump. “– sold information about Trump (while acting as his lawyer) to corporations for millions of dollars, and didn’t pay taxes on millions. The sweetener for the prosecutors, of course, was getting Cohen to plead guilty to campaign finance violations that were not campaign finance violations.”

And that’s another thing. Folks, whatever you do as we go forward here, remember something. Cohen’s claims will never be tested in court because he’s pleaded guilty to whatever the prosecutors wanted him to plead guilty to. They invent charges, they invent violations, and they’ve got Cohen now singing that he made illegal campaign contributions. But they are not. And you must remember that.

They were not illegal campaign violations. “Money paid to people who come out of the woodwork and shake down people under threat of revealing bad sexual stories are not legitimate campaign expenditures. They are personal expenditures. That is true for both candidates we like and candidates we don’t.”

This is a reference to the point that I made about a half hour ago, and that is as part of federal election law, if there is another completely reasonable explanation for an expenditure, then it can be exempted as something illegal and a campaign contribution.

For example, let’s use Stormy Daniels, let’s say Trump wanted to pay her off, have Cohen do it. However it happened. If there is a reasonable explanation, i.e., Trump didn’t want his family to find out, i.e., Trump wanted to preserve his reputation. Then that suffices as a legitimate reason and does not qualify as a campaign finance violation.

Look, the people that write these laws are FEC themselves. They have exempted themselves in I don’t know how many number of ways. The FEC is specifically used to target Republicans, like the DOJ is now. We have a two-system Justice Department now. Democrats innocent; Republicans guilty. Democrats not charged; Republicans constantly perceived guilty. Make no mistake about that. We do not have a single system of justice, even at the DOJ.

But this is true, too, about this campaign donations stuff. If there is a reasonable, logical explanation for an expenditure, then it can be exempted from the purview of election law. And that’s what Mark Penn is saying here.

“They are personal expenditures. That is true for both candidates we like and candidates we don’t. Just imagine if candidates used campaign funds instead of their own money to pay folks like Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about affairs; they would get indicted for misuse of campaign funds for personal purposes and for tax evasion.”

So it’s not a violation of federal election law to personally pay people money! And the stretch is all these Democrats and the DOJ say, “Well, that is an in-kind campaign contribution.” Well, let’s go to down that road, because what is all this media coverage against Trump worth to the Democrats? Well, you want to talk about in-kind campaign donations, how many billions and billions and billions of dollars in free media have the Democrats been given in the last year and a half? And that’s the stretch they’re making here with these payments to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels. But they were personal.

And as long as Trump has given more money to his campaign than he’s paid out, it’s moot anyway. And I can guaranteed you that Trump has lent or spent or donated more money to his campaign than he has paid out to these babes. Oh. That’s another thing. There’s some numskulls running around that saying Trump violated campaign law by donating to his own campaign.

Earth to media: There is no limit on how much a candidate can give his campaign. There are limits on how much donors can give, but there’s no limit on how much a candidate can spend of his own money on a campaign. Trump can’t violate campaign law limits donating to his own campaign. It’s absurd.

“There appear to be two payments involved in this unusual plea — Cohen pleaded guilty to a campaign finance violation for having ‘coordinated’ the American Media Inc. payment to Karen McDougal for her story, not for actually making the payment.” Cohen pleaded guilty for having coordinated the payment, not making it. “So he is pleading guilty over a corporate contribution he did not make.

“Think about this for a minute: Suppose ABC had paid Stormy Daniels for her story in coordination with Michael Avenatti or maybe even the Democratic National Committee’s law firm on the eve of the election; by this reasoning, if the purpose of this money paid, just before the election, would be to hurt Trump and help Clinton win, this payment would be a corporate political contribution. If using it not to get Trump would be a corporate contribution, then using it to get Trump also has to be a corporate contribution. That’s why neither are corporate contributions and this is a bogus approach to federal election law.”

That’s Mark Penn. In other words, folks, any negative story about a candidate in the media could be seen as a campaign contribution by his logic. So it’s absurd to say that not printing a negative story is a contribution. They’re saying that Cohen paid everybody off, American Media is the National Enquirer. They’re saying that he arranged a payment so that they would not run a story and that not running the story is a campaign violation! And it isn’t! But that’s the kind of stretching they’re doing to make this appear illegal.

“Now, when it comes to Stormy Daniels, Cohen made a payment a few days before the election that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani says was reimbursed. First, given that this payment was on Oct. 27, it would never have been reported before the election campaign and so, for all intents and purposes, was immaterial as it relates to any effect on the campaign.”

You know, I always wondered about this. That check was written on October 27th. The election is a couple of weeks later. How in the world does that money have any impact on this campaign, whatever it was, a hundred grand, 150, 95,000, whatever it was. At that point, all the money that you’re gonna spend on a candidate’s been raised and it’s been targeted, allocated. The idea that a hundred grand on October 27th has a major, major impact on the campaign is ridiculous as well. It would never have been reported, either, before the election. The next reporting period was not until after the election. So there’s not a violation in not telling any about it.

“What’s clear in this plea deal is that, in exchange for overall leniency on his massive tax evasion, Cohen is pleading guilty to these other charges as an attempt to give prosecutors what they want — a Trump connection.”

There isn’t one. There is not a Trump connection to collusion. There isn’t a Trump connection to obstruction. There isn’t a Trump connection to this. They are forcing Cohen — and he’s scared to death of them — to allocute and to admit that he did these things at Trump’s behest because the prosecutors know it’s never gonna be tested in court. He’s copping a plea. There won’t be a trial. But he can say whatever he wants and the prosecutors can make it appear that that’s dead, 100 percent certain, and the effort here is to link Trump to all of this.

“The usual procedures here would be for the FEC to investigate complaints and sort through these murky laws to determine if these kinds of payments are personal in nature or more properly classified as campaign expenditures.”

Now, here’s the money part of this. “Contrast what is going on here with the treatment of the millions of dollars paid to a Democratic law firm,” Perkins Coie, “which, in turn, paid out money to political research firm Fusion GPS and British ex-spy Christopher Steele without listing them on any campaign expenditure form.”

Millions of dollars paid to Perkins Coie and then that money is funneled over to Michael Steele via Fusion GPS, all of this to create the phony baloney Steele dossier which is political opposition research, and none of this money is reported. Despite the fact that there are laws and regulations that the ultimate beneficiaries of the money have to be listed! The recipients of Clinton money have to be listed, and they were not.

“There is no question that hiring spies to do opposition research in Russia is a campaign expenditure, and yet, no prosecutorial raids have been sprung on the law firm, Fusion GPS or Steele. Reason: It does not ‘get’ Trump.” Since this is about getting Trump, there’s no way they’re gonna investigate Hillary. She’s been exonerated already!

“So, Trump spends $130,000 to keep the lid on a personal story and the full weight of state prosecutors comes down on his lawyer, tossing attorney–client privilege to the wind. Democrats spend potentially millions on secret opposition research and no serious criminal investigation occurs.”

Just add this to the reasons this has me so frosted and why all of this is a fraud. Mr. Integrity, Mr. Honor, Robert Mueller knows all of this lawbreaking went on and is ignoring it. And so does everybody else in this investigation know that everything about this is bogus and fraudulent and it didn’t happen. And yet they pursue it while at the same time ignoring the real crimes that they participated in themselves. And that’s why I say all of this is an ongoing, continued cover-up.

“Remember that the feds tried a similar strategy against Democrat John Edwards in the 2012 case and it failed. As Gregory Craig, a lawyer who worked both for President Clinton and Edwards, said: ‘The government’s theory is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. It is novel and untested. There is no civil or criminal precedent for such a prosecution.'”

They tried it there anyway, and it failed, and they’re bringing it back to life against Cohen and Trump. But this time they don’t have to go to court because Cohen is copping a plea to all of it, meaning whatever they want him to say, he did.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Bay Ridge in Brooklyn.  Tony, you’re next.  It’s great to have you here, sir.  Hi.

CALLER:  Thank you, Rush.  Thank you for taking the call.

RUSH:  Any time, sir.  Any time.

CALLER:  I’d like to thank you for the years of enjoyment and peace you gave my father listening to your show.  Rush, I was thinking about something, and I’ve personally taken physical attacks. I’ve had verbal attacks. I’ve been cut off by friends and family simply because I voted for and support Trump.  I’ve seen the violence from the left against anyone they feel is a Trump supporter or voted for him, things such as Sarah Sanders went through being chased at a restaurant.  When I heard that the media wasn’t asking but they were demanding for the names and addresses of the jurors?

The first thing that came to my mind was: If I was a juror and I saw all these physical attacks and harassment on anyone who did anything positive or anything related to Trump? I would have a tremendous amount of fear if I wound up being one of the few jurors or the juror who kept a conviction on any one of these trials.  I would fear that I would have mobs at my house, phone calls, death threats.  And I wonder if that could be construed in any way as jury tampering.

RUSH:  I don’t… You know, the truth of this is that media requests for the names, addresses, names of children, and where your location is 24/7 by the media is common.  They ask this in practically every jury trial.  They petition judges.  That’s what they do.  In many cases, it’s denied.  Now, you want to know if the media reporting of it this time around made it look like the media was demanding it.  This was after the judge had announced that he was getting threats.  So what you want to know is could the jury be aware that the media led by CNN wanted to find out who they were and where they were when they were there, could that have affected their findings?

Now, if Manafort had been found guilty over count and was going to jail for, say, 150 years, maybe.  But they only convicted on eight counts.  The jury was hung on 10 of ’em, and that tells me that the jury wasn’t that fearful of what might happen to them.  He was exonerated on a majority of the charges.  But look, I know what you’re talking about, the ways you’ve been threatened and the family’s being divided and that kind of stuff.  But I have no doubt that the jurors were aware of this. I don’t say they factored into their thinking, but they had to be aware of some of it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  You know, the media forgets how quickly Trump fired Manafort the minute he heard he might be corrupt; same thing with Michael Flynn.  But look at all the corrupt people in the Obama administration that he did not fire.  Lois Lerner, John Koskinen, the IRS.  The list goes on and on and on, on that side of the aisle.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here is Chris in St. Louis. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello, Chris.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, great to talk to you again. Second time in two years. I’m very honored for this opportunity.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: I could go on for about three or four hours with you, but I do have one question to pose to you.

RUSH: What would that be? What would that be?

CALLER: Well, if they do somehow remove him from office, what do you think would happen in the United States, with as many people, the millions that voted for him? I’m just wondering. I mean, what, as citizens, what would happen, in your opinion?

RUSH: You know, I honestly have not taken it that far. I don’t expect them to succeed in forcing Trump out of office. I don’t think they’re gonna ever be able to charge Trump with a crime. I don’t think they’re gonna ever be able to indict him. In this Manafort case, look, let me strip this down to its bare essence. The Manafort case has got nothing to do with Donald Trump. The Manafort case happened 2016 and prior. Actually, 2014 and prior.

It has nothing to do with Donald Trump. It has nothing to do with the White House. It has nothing to do with the campaign, nothing to do with the president, literally nothing to do with Donald Trump. But let’s take your question as a hypothetical. What if the Democrats win the House and impeach Trump, and let’s say that for the first time in American history the Senate votes to convict and Trump goes. What then happens out there, what do Trump voters do? I don’t know, but I don’t think it would take that long to find out.

But, you know what? A good indication may be the upcoming elections. Not exclusively, ’cause, you know, midterm election turnouts are hard to forecast and predict. But I don’t know. It’s a question that intrigues me, because I would like to think that there would be just an overwhelming opposition reaction to it, but I just don’t know because people on our side of the aisle do not have a history of protesting, of raising a ruckus in public. We just don’t. They do. But we don’t.

So what we do, what our side does is just tune out and not vote. And they try to live their lives and be as unaffected and untouched by what they consider to be excessive government involvement, regulation, corruption in their lives, just try to get as far away from it as they can. I think a lot of people already are in that category. It was Trump coming along that actually turned ’em back into voters for the first time in a long time.

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