A Deep Dive Into Trump’s Potential Strategy Going Forward

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I may not be all that great at “game theory,” but I’m pretty good at strategic thinking. I have been wracking my brains the last few days as to what Trump is thinking now that he’s lost the House. It is telling that he fired Sessions so quick after this happened. But what, exactly, does it mean?

Look at it from Trump’s point of view — he knows he’s done some very, very bad, un-Constitutional things, but he also knows that no matter what he’s not going to be convicted in the Senate. It’s just not going to happen. There’s no way 67 Senators are going to convict the president, no matter what he does.

This is why it’s so difficult to figure out Trump’s strategy at this point. He knows some basic things to be true. He has two month so do whatever he wants to, but at the same time once those two months are up things change dramatically. If he’s thinking long-term, he knows anything drastic he does simply increases the already high likelihood that he will be impeached sometime in the first quarter of 2019. It’s a real struggle for me to figure out what he does. It seems to one scenario is he might leverage the next two months by striking first. It’s a risky strategy in some ways, but in other ways he’s simply what comes naturally to him — strike back and strike back hard.

So an argument could be made that he would rather declare war first and then hunker down for an impeachment fight rather than wait until January when it’s almost inevitable that there will be investigations and he will, in turn, be impeached. A lot depends on Mueller. If Mueller throws down the gauntlet between now and January, we will enter a surreal moment in our nation’s history when we pretty much just sit around and wait for the new House to be sworn in.

That’s why is seems from a cold, hard white-knuckled political point of view, it makes a lot of sense for Trump to strike first by firing everyone he feels he needs to fire and pardon everyone he feels he needs to pardon — looking at you Don Jr. — and declare war on the House using every available political tool and resource at his disposal. Trump knows that he is, because of the 67 votes needed to convict him in the Senate, pretty much a dictator at this point. He’s a king. And he’s almost certain to be re-elected for various reasons including a riled up base, an exceptional economy and general Constitutional rot.

So, in that sense, I have a hunch that very, very, very soon Bob Mueller will be fired, half a dozen people will be pardoned and absolutely nothing happens in real terms for two months. Trump will have two months to pound away at the in coming House, he can frame any investigations in cold, hard political terms to his base and the country is completely torn apart for the few months it takes to investigate everything, impeach Trump, have it go to the Senate and then die there. Of course, given the states, Trump’s trial in the Senate is likely to be a modern day OJ trial for a lot of people.

On a personal note, I would like to call bullshit on anyone who waves off the need to impeach Trump. I feel it’s out of hands at this point. History has made its decision and it won’t take too much investigation on the part of the House for it to become apparent that Trump has to at least suffer the historic shame of impeachment, even if we all know he won’t be convicted. Remember, the absolute last argument of MAGA will be, “Yeah? Well convict him.”

In other words, we will all know the gory details of Trump’s obstruction of justice, his conspiracy with a foreign power to influence his election….and nothing will happen to him. He will be impeached, but not convicted and that, as they say, will be that. He will win re-election and there will be a lot — a lot — of stories about Trump is now “unbound” because we had one silver political bullet and we didn’t manage to strike the werewolf.

Or, put another way, what will have to learn about Trump will have to be simply staggering for us to get anywhere near convicting him in the Senate. I would also like to note that the moment MAGA people do the “Pence Pivot” whereby they talk about what a “man of God” Pence is and they really voted for Pence, not Trump in 2016 is the moment Trump’s goose is cooked. But what would have to happen for the Pence Pivot to happen would be so astonishing as to leave me astonished.

In short, Trump is likely going to get impeached, be acquitted in the Senate and cruse to a pleasant victory in 2020. That is without considering the possibility of a major terrorist attack or war with either Iran or the DPRK. So, Trump will start campaign in 2024 for his “legacy” and hopefully by that point The Resistance will have come up with the leadership necessary to deny him one.

Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He is working on his first novel. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.

Rudy: There Are 183 Cohen Tapes Dealing With Years 2016-2018

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The issue for me is we may be in for a bumpy August if there is anything juicy in the 183 Cohen Tapes Rudy Giuliani alleges exist. I am of the opinion that it’s a big nothingburger unless Trump forced someone, anyone to have an abortion at some point in the last two years. It doesn’t have to be Shera Bechard, it just has to be someone.

The point of all of this is the president is a raw dogging hound dog. It’s obvious the base has long ago factored in his rakish behavior and the only thing that might leave a political welt is if you could PROVE he not only paid a woman to have an abortion, but that she felt PRESSURED to do so. If you could prove that, you got yourself an earth shattering story. One for the ages.

But our only option at this point for that, Shera Bechard, simply isn’t viable anymore. Elliot Broidy got her pregnant, end of story. So the more stories of women Trump’s had affairs with over the years come out, the more the base look up to him as some sort of stud.

Then there’s this:

Continue reading “Rudy: There Are 183 Cohen Tapes Dealing With Years 2016-2018”

Pondering What’s In Those ‘Hundreds’ Of Cohen Tapes

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It pretty obvious at this point, at least to me, that while we may be in for something of a bumpy few weeks, it’s likely that nothing too astonishing is going to come out from any attention Cohen Tapes. I say this because, well, Team Trump would have fought a whole heap of a lot harder to prevent prosecutors from getting them if there was anything all that damaging in them.

One thing I disagree with my “partner in crime” about is what happens if there’s a tape of Michael Cohen conspiring with Keith Davidson against Shera Bechard. He says it’s a big meh because, well, Elliot Broidy was the father and so fuck it. But I disagree for us, personally. I believe *anything* found in those tapes will be rolling thunder in the public consciousness for about 24 hours, no matter what’s in them.

Hence, even though he and I have settled that Trump isn’t the daddy — even though logically he should be — he and I are bound to get a least a little bit of attention for no other reason than I (by in extension HIM) have been involved in at least trying to figure out what the fuck happened. I say this knowing full well that it will be New York Magazine’s Paul Campos who will get the bulk of the attention, no matter who the Shera Bechard babydaddy is.

But, whatever. I have very low expectations. No tape may exist and even if it does, we may never hear it. So if nothing else it’s existence or lack thereof has given me something to write about.

1 Cohen Tape Of Him Talking With Keith Davidson About Shera Bechard & Whoa Buddy

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have no inside information about anything, but I would like to note in passing that there are allegedly “hundreds” of Michael Cohen tapes. This is the point when I say I have a vested interest in what’s in those tapes because, well, even if there’s absolute proof that Elliot Broidy is Shera Bechard’s babydaddy and not Donald Trump, there will probably be about 24 hours when that whole thing is going to be of huge national interest.

Throw in the possibility the two men might be talking about putting the squeeze on her to pressure her into having an abortion in exchange for $1.6 million and things get really wild, really quick. I say this as a I stress that Donald Trump isn’t the father. I absolutely, 100% believe Elliot Broidy is the father of Shera’s bechard fetus.

I’m just saying that there is a real possibility that people will be interested in what I’ve written about all of this at least to the extent that my website crashes for about 24 hours. I will note that Paul Campos will probably get the vast majority of the attention and I’ll just get a little bit on the side.

But to venture off into crazy town again, if there’s a tape proving that *Trump* is the father then I black out in disbelief. I just don’t see that happening. It’s just not going to happen. Absolutely. It’s never going to happen because Trump isn’t the father.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see when, if ever, we hear the rest of those tapes and what happens to be on them. It could be a long time before we hear the tapes, or not. You just never know.

The Magical Mystery Michael Avenatti ‘Cohen Tape’ Tweet In The Context Of Shera Bechard

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Ok, if I didn’t absolutely, 100% know Trump had nothing to do with Shera Bechard, I would kind of flip out seeing the below tweet:

But I feel as thought I absolutely know what happened with Bechard and so this is all a bunch of silliness. The idea that Trump might be mortally wounded politically because of the the FOTUS (Campos) Theory is so addictive, so delicious that it’s easy for one to get a sugar rush from it all.

We know the facts. Bechard got pregnant by Elliot Broidy and that’s it. But it will be interesting to see who, if anyone, Avenatti is talking about. Nothing fun-interesting ever happens, so I should just go back to my novel(s) and continue to struggle with how to flesh the concepts out.

Meh. Just meh.

Lulz, nothing matters.

Is Something Up With Don Jr.?

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Editor’s Note:
NEVER MIND.

Now, let me begin by saying that this is so whacked out, so out there, so quick to be proven to be just me being paranoid that the shelf-life on this post may be counted in minutes rather than hours or days.

But something weird is going on.

My partner in crime on the Shera Bechard front….is quiet. And he posted a big old picture of Don Jr. on his Twitter feed. And he’s made it very clear in the past that he would be quick to vanish if he felt he needed to. But by writing this post, it should bait him into yelling me for writing something so stupid.

Weird, bruh. Weird.

Probably means nothing.

Right? Right?

Like A Bad Penny, Keith Davidson Pops Up Again, This Time In The Cohen Tapes

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Let me be clear — just because there may be tapes of Keith Davidson talking to Michael Cohen doesn’t mean Shera Bechard will get roped into any controversy associated with the Cohen Tapes that allegedly exist. From what I gather, the tapes might have Cohen and Davidson talking about the Stormy Daniels situation, not anything to do with Bechard.

Or, put another way, there’s nearly zero possibility that there will, at last, be some big revel that indicates it was Trump, not Broidy who got Shera Bechard pregnant. It’s just not going to happen. We may hear Cohen and Davidson talking about something that could be interpreted as a violation of campaign finance law, but there won’t be any bombshell where they talk about the “truth” of what happened.

We know the actual truth, Elliot Broidy got Shera Bechard pregnant, end of story.

I will go so far as to say, even if there’s a tape of Michael Cohen and Keith Davidson going into explicit detail of how they’re going to pressure Bechard to have an abortion in exchange for $1.6 million, if Broidy’s the father, it will barely make a blip in today’s modern media landscape.

If it’s Trump, Trump’s got an enormous problem on his hands, but it’s not Trump so we’re just going to have to accept we’re ruled by a vile, mad tyrant for the foreseeable future.

Lordy, There Are Tapes — How Does Shera Bechard Factor Into Michael Cohen’s Tapes?

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

If anything, the existence of Michael Cohen tapes would seem to disprove completely the notion that Elliot Broidy was Trump’s fall guy in the Shera Bechard matter. I say that because of all the juicy tapes Cohen’s team could leak at this point, you’d think they’d leak a tape of Michael Cohen, Keith Davidson and Donald Trump working together to screw Shera Bechard over.

But it’s pretty obvious such a tape doesn’t exist because Trump had nothing to with her despite how much logic says he does. So That’s it, that’s the end of the Shera Bechard – Elliot Broidy — Donald Trump theory. It was fun while it lasted.

Really, at this point for me, the Holy Grail of Trump Scandals is audio of Donald Trump through Michael Cohen pressuring Shera Bechard to have an abortion. But it doesn’t exist. It just doesn’t exist.

#FOTUS: Just A Little Idle Noodling About Elliot Broidy, Shera Bechard & Trump

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I feel confident that the theory that Trump, not Elliot Broidy, was Shera Bechard babydaddy has been put to rest. There’s totally no there there. Any number of things might ultimately save us when it comes to our tyrant American Caligula leader, but, alas, it’s not going to be Paul Campos of New York Magazine no matter how hard he may try or we may wish it.

Having said all that, there continue to be lingering, somewhat puzzling, issues with fact that it was, in fact, Elliot Broidy who is responsible for all this pointless, useless speculation.

1. There’s no proof of a Bechard – Broidy romance.
Someone who knows a lot more about this than me says, “meh” to this, saying he’s not surprised. That doesn’t stop me from cocking an eye, tapping my noggin and saying, “Hmmm.” You’d think that there would be some proof, somewhere that would put an end to all of this continued — and unfounded — speculation. A picture, a voice mail, hell, even a text or an email. No one stray email exists between the two of them that someone could leak? What the what?

2. Bechard picking Keith Davidson to represent her.
I used to think she was lying about this, but now I don’t. But all I gotta say is, history is pretty freaky. The entire Broidy Did It theory rests on Bechard picking Davidson completely independent of Trump. Apparently, that’s what happened. Doesn’t stop me from scratching my head incredulously, but that’s actually 100% apparently what happened.

3. Broidy picking Michael Cohen to represent him.
What really gets people talking about this is not so much Keith Davidson representing Shera Bechard, but that Elliot Broidy would have the president’s personal fixer Michael Cohen represent him in this legal matter as well. Of course, we know it happened because Davidson looked up Broidy, saw he was on the RNC with Cohen and the rest took care of itself. That’s why the notion that Bechard was casually referred Davidson by a friend grows in significance every time you find yourself reviewing this issue. That Broidy “wasn’t thinking straight” when he passed over his actual lawyer (yes, I know his wife represents him in most things) to use doofus Michael Cohen in an NDA that he felt was $1.6 million’s worth of embarrassment is unusual. (At least to me.) But that, apparently, is what actually, in fact, did happen.

4. That $1.6 million figure for the NDA.
I think that’s a lot of money, and given that Broidy’s stopped paying, apparently he does, too. He’s only paid, I think, $400,000 of the total and that seems generous to me. Given who he is and how chill his wife is, I would see him being a lot more comfortable with something closer to $200,000.

5. That Broidy stopped paying Bechard.
Why would Broidy stop paying Bechard if it was so embarrassing? But not paying, he only brings the whole thing back into the news again. Broidy has a knack for doing something really stupid PR-wise that stirs the pot and gets people talking again about the very subject he doesn’t want people to talk about: his relationship to Shera Bechard. But maybe sees his romance as a given now and he just doesn’t want to spend any more money than he has to. For him, to a certain extent, this is over for him.

This is over for me, too, but I keep going for my morning walk and finding reasons to if not doubt the Broidy Did It theory, at least have cause to revisit it. But I would definitely say that barring something really astonishing dramatic in the near term, that this will fade away. Broidy had better not screw up AGAIN if he wants everyone to forget about this.

Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.

#FOTUS: Woah Buddy. The Elliot Broidy, Shera Bechard, Trump Train Rumbles Along

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Now, before I begin let me get some stuff out of the way. I’m just some shmo with no life, no career and obsessive personality. That’s all I got. Meanwhile, Paul Campos is a law professor and he gets published in New York Magazine while I write a self-published blog that usually gets about 20 page views a day.

Having said all that, let’s get into it.

Campos, bless his heart, is still completely convinced that Elliot Broidy was Trump’s fall guy in the Shera Bechard matter to the tune of $1.6 million. I will give him this — the logic of his argument is absolutely, 100% airtight. Logically, Donald Trump, not Elliot Broidy banged Shera Bechard, got her pregnant ’cause he raw dogs and using his now well-established script, used Michael Cohen and Keith Davidson to fix the problem. Along the way, there was probably — so goes the argument — a quid pro quo for an abortion that may, or may not, have been coerced.

So why am I so sure that it was Broidy and not Trump? Good question. Let’s just say I have my sources and they are enough for me to pretty much feel completely comfortable thinking this all stems from the somewhat surreal co-incidence of Bechard picking Keith Davidson randomly to represent her.

Now let’s go through what Campos thinks and pick it apart.

(1) Broidy, who has a history of bribing public officials, met twice in the Oval Office with Donald Trump, to lobby for the interests of his client, the United Arab Emirates. The second of these meeting took place on December 2nd, 2017, that is, the day after the first payment was made to Shera Bechard. A few days after that, Broidy’s defense contractor firm signed a $600 million deal with the U.A.E.

This is a prime example of how the airtight internal logic of the Broidy as fall guy theory leads you to what you think are obvious conclusions. But in reality, if you work from the assumption that Broidy is the father, then the above is just white noise. Broidy also met Trump (as I understand it) BEFORE the first payment occurred to Bechard, so what we’re using as some indication that Trump is the father is really just another bit of circumstance that doesn’t really mean what we think it means. Remember, once you work on the assumption that Bechard randomly picked Davidson to represent her, then the sequence of events that disproves Trump as the father makes a lot more sense.

(2) Last week, Broidy suddenly announced that he considered the NDA “void,” and he wasn’t going to make any more payments (he had made two of the scheduled eight). Significantly, he announced his decision to do so to the WSJ.

The reason this is significant is, because, like so many other aspects of this strange case, announcing to the media his decision to stop making payments seems to make no sense in terms of basic litigation strategy. If Broidy’s lawyer on this matter, Chris Clark, thinks he actually has some legal ground for voiding the NDA, the standard tactic would be to approach Bechard’s lawyer Peter Stris, present the argument, and try to hammer out some sort of settlement that would make sense to both parties under the circumstances. Simply announcing to the world that you’re not going to pay any more guarantees that you’ll be sued. It also throws this story, which Broidy’s lawyers keep swearing he’s desperate to keep out of the news, back onto the front page.

I can honestly say Campos makes a very strong point with this point. Even though I feel this issue is settled and Broidy’s the father he keeps committing forced errors that make no sense what so ever. It’s like he wants to screw Trump over as much as possible by keeping the story in the news. It really doesn’t make any sense. But if you work on the assumption that Trump has nothing to do with any of this, then Broidy’s just a screw up.

(4) Two days later Bechard sued Broidy, Bechard’s original lawyer Keith Davidson, and Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti filing her complaint under seal, meaning that, unless a judge ruled otherwise, the complaint would remain unavailable to the public. Yesterday, Avenatti went to court to get the complaint unsealed. The judge refused to do so, but did provide him with a copy (he hadn’t seen the complaint until then). Avenatti has already scheduled a deposition with Bechard for next week.

Per the Daily Beast, the lawsuit includes “troublesome claims that Broidy wouldn’t want to become public.”

To me, the fact that Avenatti would know what’s under seal and hasn’t said anything publicly to indicate that there might be some there there definitely seems to mean that there really isn’t any there there. Avenatti is a lawyer, he’d figure out some way to freak out, to get the speculation going without breaking the court seal. But as far as I know, he’s not said anything at all about what he may or may not have learned about any Trump connection.

A little later down the post, Campos writes:

(5) There is still not a shred of evidence that Elliott Broidy had ever met Shera Bechard, at least not before he started forking over huge tracts of cash to her last December.

This is another one where I will concede the point to Campos. It’s a head scratcher that there’s no photographic evidence of any affair between Bechard and Broidy given the continued interest in the matter.

Anyway, as I keep saying, if there was any rock hard evidence that Trump was somehow involved that came out, I might black out in shock for a few minutes. I totally, 100% believe Broidy is the father and I only keep writing about any of this because it’s interesting and Broidy keeps screwing up.

Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.