The whole premise behind Acting Attorney General Sally Yates emergency meetings with White House Counsel Don McGahn was that Michael Flynn could be blackmailed by Russia. Flynn had allegedly misrepresented information to Mike Pence, the American public and possibly the FBI. Russia knew he had lied and “could likely prove it,” said Yates. Flynn who was the National Security Advisor, had access to America’s secrets and that vulnerability to a foreign power could not stand.
Though the Trump administration initially did nothing with the knowledge that their leading security advisor was compromised. When the Washington Post broke the story about the Yates/McGahn meeting. Flynn was fired, 24 days into Trump’s term as President. There is another high level member of the Administration (at least one anyway) susceptible to be blackmailed. That would be Donald Trump himself.
On October 7, 2016 an Access Hollywood video was released showing Trump talking to Billy Bush among other things about how “when you’re a star” you can kiss women against their will, physically assault them, “grab ’em in the pussy!” Trump said he never actually engaged in the behavior he described and that it was just “locker room talk”.
The uproar and outrage was immediate and many thought it would be enough to ruin his chances to become President. In a “totally unrelated coincidence,” within 48 hours, Wiki-leaks released copies of John Podesta which muted the furor and distracted the media.
Additional reporting surrounding the Access Hollywood tapes revealed that there are dozens of other videos, outtakes from Trump’s, “The Apprentice” show where Trump is alleged to have demeaned women with sexist language, is overheard rating women based on breast size and describes which ones he’d like to screw. The shows producer and long-time Trump friend Mark Burnett, refused to release the videos along with owner MGM citing confidentiality agreements.
MGM, once one of the biggest film studios in the world, has seen better days. Now they rely mainly on partnerships and joint ventures with other firms, primarily Sony Pictures. Sony is active in Russia in both film and television through it’s subsidiaries including Lean-M Producers Center. That company is a Russian firm in which Sony has taken a majority stake.
Mark Burnett and MGM did not succumb to the pressure of reporters during the campaign. Could financial pressure on MGM from any source cause them to change their mind? Will Burnett perhaps do for money what he would not do out of honor. What if MGM is hacked like Sony notoriously was in 2014?
Does the Justice Department, FBI or CIA have the right to subpoena these tapes to understand the vulnerability of Donald Trump to blackmail in the same way they worried about Mike Flynn? Does the public have the right to end any doubt (as if there were any) about the grossness and misogyny that is Trump? Inquiring minds want to know!
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