Fox News host and former judge Jeanine Pirro has long been one of Donald Trump’s most passionate — or at least shoutiest — advocates, her tirades so loud and flamboyant that Cecily Strong’s SNL impersonation of her may be better known than she is. But as per a new report by The Washington Post, her love for the former president may wind up getting him in trouble.
A month after Trump lost re-election, friend-lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former NYPD chief Bernard Kerik were shelling out “thousands” for hotel rooms and travel in their desperate, and ultimately fruitless, attempt to find evidence of voter fraud that could overturn the 2020 election. After being denied a campaign credit card, Kerik says he thought, “How do I know I’m gonna get my money back?” (Then again, Trump’s always been good at paying people for goods and services.)
Then someone came to their rescue: ostensible journalist Judge Jeanine, who felt their pain. She first tried to get RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel to reimburse them. She refused, but she pointed Pirro to the Trump campaign directly. Eventually, they forked out over $225,000, some of it spent on hotel rooms and suites at D.C.’s Willard Hotel that served as their “command center” to overturn the election and pave the way for the Jan. 6 riot.
But therein lies the rub. Trump has been trying to use “executive privilege” to block hundreds of files and documents sought by the Jan. 6 committee. But these payments, former Watergate prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste told the Post, “further undermines a wildly broad assertion of executive privilege.” He added, “Executive privilege is typically limited to the protection of communications involving a president’s official duties — not to those relating to personal or political campaign matters,” he said.
Even John Yoo, the legal scholar who infamously penned the Bush II-era “Torture Memos,” thinks this puts Trump in hot water. “If he acts as a president, he gets these things we talk about — executive privilege and immunity,” Yoo said. “But if he’s acting as a candidate, he’s deprived of all of those protections.”
Of course, we’ve seen the words “Trump” and “Watergate” used closely before. But speaking of lawyers, Trump could really use one right about now, and he can’t even rely on Pirro to be his judge.
(Via The Post)