Elliott Broidy, RNC deputy finance chair, resigns amid reports of Playmate payoff
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The various scandals surrounding President Donald Trump and his crew have generated much speculation and even some conspiracy theories. One theory that has drawn significant attention is the possibility that top Republican fundraiser Elliot Broidy took the fall for a supposed Trump affair with a Playboy Playmate who ended up pregnant. While this is a delicious piece of conjecture for Trump foes, I have to report that I recently tripped over information undermining this fanciful idea.
Here's the official story: In April, the Wall Street Journal revealed that in late 2017, Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime fixer, fixed a problem for Broidy, arranging a $1.6 million payment to Shera Bechard, a former Playboy model who said she had been impregnated by Broidy during an extramarital affair. (Bechard said she had terminated the pregnancy.) At the time, Broidy, a married Beverly Hills venture capitalist, was a deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee; he had raised a ton of money for Trump's campaign and inauguration. And Broidy 'fessed up, telling the Journal: "I acknowledge I had a consensual relationship with a Playboy Playmate. At the end of our relationship, this woman shared with me that she was pregnant. She alone decided that she did not want to continue with the pregnancy and I offered to help her financially during this difficult period."
It was a sordid episode involving a GOP moneyman and the president's personal lawyer, who had previously brokered deals to earn the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, another former Playmate, who each had claimed to have had an affair with Trump. But this matter did not seem to add to the list of sex scandals directly involving Trump.
Then came a piece for New York magazine by law professor and blogger Paul Campos that presented the theory that l'affaire Broidy was something of a false flag. Noting that the nondisclosure agreement in the Broidy case was "very similar" to the NDA in the Trump-Daniels settlement -- each one used the pseudonyms David Dennison and Peggy Peterson for the involved parties -- Campos presented the "hypothesis" that Trump, not Broidy, had been the one who got Bechard pregnant.
Broidy, Campos speculated, had served as the beard for Trump in the $1.6 million hush-money deal. And what was Broidy's motive for what might be "yet another audacious lie from Trumpworld"? Campos provided this explanation: "By stepping up to take responsibility for the affair and to fund the seven-figure settlement, Broidy was ensuring that he could continue to peddle his influence with Trump to governments around the world." That is, Campos characterized the $1.6 million payment (which would come in installments) from Broidy to Bechard as a direct bribe from Broidy to Trump.
Go to Mother Jones to read the rest of this article.