Shhhh… Don’t Tell the Media but the Bizarre Broidy-Playmate-Trump Saga Is In the Process of Exploding
This week, a giant political volcano has been showing signs that it is about to erupt, though most of the news media, and almost all of the public, are blissfully unaware of it.
Having previously written a couple of times about the bizarre saga of former GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy and former Playboy playmate Shera Bechard, this whole story sure seems based either in the most amazing series of coincidences most people could possibly imagine, or it is by far the biggest presidential scandal of our time. Because it is either or, and because most of the news media is both dumb and extremely risk adverse, the latter possibility has been, this this date, almost completely ignored.
But just because the news media is pretending that it is not very possible that President Donald Trump was actually the man who impregnated Bechard, while president, and paid her, through Broidy, to have an abortion and keep quiet about it, doesn’t mean that the story isn’t still developing in rather significant ways. This week, numerous things happened, under the media’s radar, which deserve some legitimate analysis.
The first sign of the lava getting ready to blow was that Broidy announced that he was going to stop paying off the $1.6 million NDA he has with Bechard, which was supposedly created to hide their alleged affair and pregnancy. The media, led by the Wall Street Journal which has broken several elements of this story, took this as a further indication that Briody was indeed the person who had the affair with Bechard. After all, now that, thanks the raid on the office of Michael Cohen (who just happened to be Broidy’s lawyer for the Bechard NDA) causing the “affair” to become public, there is no need for him to keep paying good money to keep it quiet.
Like nearly everything in this case, however, there is how events appear if you look at them with no skepticism, and then there is a completely different reality which appears when they are viewed through the prism of a more seasoned worldview.
Law professor Paul Campos, who was the first person to publicly detail the theory that everything we know about this case makes far more sense if Trump had the affair than if Briody did, has written for New York Magazine again about what Broidy stopping the payments may really mean. In short, it appears Broidy is pretending that the NDA was made invalid—when it was not—as a ruse so that he can limit his criminal liability should the real truth of this story eventually blast into the public sphere.
The timing of this gambit by Broidy is particularly interesting because it coincides almost exactly with Cohen making it very clear that, barring some sort of presidential pardon, he is no longer on Team Trump. If Cohen, the highly un-respected lawyer the super-rich Broidy chose to handle this matter for no apparent reason, can no longer be counted on to keep quiet, then obviously Broidy and his new legal team must start thinking about the worst case scenarios.
The lawyer who is now representing Broidy in this matter, Chris Clark, is a very high-priced criminal defense attorney. Not only is Broidy using the high-class Clark the exact opposite strategy of the baffling hiring of low-rent Cohen (who, for some strange reason, Broidy grossly overpaid), but it is far more consistent with someone who now thinks they have serious criminal vulnerability rather than concern over what should be a fairly minor legal battle over an NDA. Of course, this begs the question, why didn’t Broidy just hire Clark to handle this situation in the first place?
Another significant event which occurred here was in reaction to Campos’ latest New York Magazine piece. Clark demanded the right to have a statement condemning the column placed within it, but what was really important is what neither Clark nor Broidy are willing to say.
According to Campos, during the editing process, Broidy and his team were given multiple opportunities to simply state that Broidy had an affair with Bechard, and they never did so. Think about how absurd that is. Broidy’s name is now very publicly linked to him having paid Bechard to cover up an affair and abortion, and yet, despite having nothing at this point to lose (if it is true) neither he nor his representatives have ever clearly stated that this actually happened.
So, to review, Broidy is no longer paying Bechard for this alleged affair, and he is not even willing to say clearly that it actually happened. Gee, I wonder why the group of people who aren’t buying this version of story is growing rather rapidly?
Weirdly, the two reporters on this story for the Wall Street Journal are not among them. One went on MSNBC this week and declared that Trump was not involved in this story. After the other, Joe Palazzolo, said via Twitter that there is “zero evidence to support the theory that Broidy is covering for Trump,” I asked him, twice, what evidence there was that Broidy and Bechard have ever even met.
I still have not gotten any response at all. This part of the drama is a classic case where the absence of evidence appears to be strong evidence of absence (of an affair between Broidy and Bechard).
This should be easily proven by now and yet not even one photo of the two of them together has ever been produced (what sixty-two year old non-celebrity having an affair with a prominent Playboy playmate has no photos of her, or even any correspondence between them?) Making this stunning lack of evidence even more mystifying is that Broidy’s computer was hacked, allegedly by the country of Qatar, and yet nothing indicating an affair was ever released (as if this element of the story could get any more peculiar, Broidy’s representatives originally suggested that the affair was exposed by this hack, even though the timing of that is nonsensical, but then immediately claimed that this was not true and that they never said that).
That question I asked Palazzolo is one of many very simple inquires which remain unanswered about this crazy situation. Many of them deal with the astronomical coincidences related simply to the lawyers involved here. Considering the following:
- Shera Bechard’s original attorney here, Michael Cohen’s pal Keith Davidson, also happened to represent Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, both of whom clearly had affairs with Trump.
- Like Daniels and McDougal, Bechard fired Davidson because she thought that he was working in cahoots with Cohen, whose primary (only?) client was, of course, Trump. And yet, Bechard, was still somehow able to leverage $1.6 million from the unknown but business-savvy Broidy (it is almost as if her story had something about it which made it exponentially more valuable than even an affair with Trump being divulged during a presidential campaign!)
- Bechard’s new lawyer is Peter Stris, who just happens to also represent McDougal. He also has publicly offered to represent anyone who had an affair with Trump pro bono, and on Thursday night he retweeted a legal colleague cryptically promising Trump that the #MeToo movement was still going after him.
This retweet by Stris became even more significant on Friday when possibly the biggest bombshell of the entire case was detonated, with Stris suing, among others, Broidy, Davidson, and, most notably, Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti. This facilitated incendiary statements from Avenatti which made it very clear that he does not believe the currently accepted version of the story, and that he intends to depose Bechard himself as early as July 16th.
There are those in the small legal community that have been riveted by this case who believe that Stris and Avenatti are neither co-conspirators nor the enemies they appear to be, but are rather engaging in an elaborate dance where each may get what they want. One which, assuming the truth ever comes out, will either leave a lot of close observers like me rather embarrassed, or President Trump suddenly facing the worst personal political scandal in modern American history.
John Ziegler hosts a weekly podcast focusing on news media issues and is documentary filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZigManFreud or email him at email@example.com
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.