If you follow MSNBC and CNN, you would think the Michael Cohen “hush money” story is the crime of the century, with the two cable networks mentioning “impeachment” 222 times in one day.
But back in 2008, then-candidate Barack Hussein Obama was reported to have offered his pastor, Jeremiah ‘G.D. America’ Wright, $150K to stay out of the limelight until after the election.
And the story was, of course, ignored by most of the MSM.
….Barack Obama also offered an individual hush money “for the principal purpose of influencing the election,” but you probably never heard about it. It wasn’t to silence a mistress though, it was to silence his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Wright’s inflammatory, anti-American rhetoric caused Obama significant headaches during his first presidential campaign, and he tried to contain the damage to protect his chances of winning the White House.
Edward Klein broke the story in the New York Post on May 13, 2012—the same year Obama was reelected—that Obama’s team tried to buy Wright’s silence during the 2008 campaign. According to Wright, he was offered $150,000 through an Obama intermediary (one of Obama’s closest friends), and Obama himself tried to persuade him to keep quiet.
“Did Obama himself ever make an effort to see you?”
“Yes,” Wright said. “Barack said he wanted to meet me in secret, in a secure place. And I said, ‘You’re used to coming to my home, you’ve been here countless times, so what’s wrong with coming to my home?’ So we met in the living room of the parsonage of Trinity United Church of Christ, at South Pleasant Avenue right off 95th Street, just Barack and me. I don’t know if he had a wire on him. His security was outside somewhere.
“And one of the first things Barack said was, ‘I really wish you wouldn’t do any more public speaking until after the November election.’ He knew I had some speaking engagements lined up, and he said, ‘I wish you wouldn’t speak. It’s gonna hurt the campaign if you do that.’
So, here we have Barack Obama wanting to meet in a “secret” and “secure” location, and then urging Wright to keep quiet for the sake of his presidential campaign, and an offer of $150,000 in hush money from a close Obama friend, and likely a campaign donor as well. Wright didn’t accept the hush money, but by his account, Obama is guilty of everything Trump is being accused of….
I’m curious to what extent these details have been vetted. The story is certainly “truthy”, in that, when Obama’s candidacy became real, either Wright started keeping an uncharacteristically low profile and/or the media was glossing over his antics. For example, I personally observed the Trinity Church website, which proclaimed Israel a racist state that was oppressing the Palestinians (this in Wright’s words), and the next week that site had been scrubbed of anti-Semitic content. But in this case, did $150,000 really change hands? To answer that question, somebody with dedication and/or resources would have to dig in. Obviously the media isn’t going to investigate. (Flashback: If memory serves, it was Newsweek people that had originally investigated the Lewinski scandal, and management tried to bury the story. Some disgusted middleman leaked the research to the then-unknown Drudge, who posted it and was the sole source for the next day or so while the media heroically attempted to ignore it. That’s how Drudge became famous.)
Yes, Michael Isikoff had story which Newsweek didn’t publish. Isikoff also did story for Yahoo News on Steele dossier that FBI then used to get FISA wiretap warrant for Carter Page.
The argument that I’ve liked the best surrounding hush money is, if alleged Trump hush money payments are crimes or even FEC violations, then so are the Congressional hush money payments that Congress won’t release. And Congress used our money.