A secret quid pro quo?
Silence ain’t cheap
Remember a lawyer named David Boies? He led the storming of Florida by Democrat(ic) lawyers — wingtips on the tarmac — in the wake of the razor-thin victory of George W. Bush over Al Gore in the 2000 election.
Despite every recount; despite parsing every hanging, dimpled, and pregnant chad; despite cherry picking Democratic counties rather than conduct a statewide recount, Bush kept coming up the winner. So the Democrats tried to get the courts to overturn the vote. (Bitter-enders like John Nichols still believe Al Gore won.)
Boies is back in the news for seemingly trying to monetize Jeffrey Epstein’s depredations. Boies and an associate bit hard on a mystery man’s claim to have computer servers crammed with clandestine video of Epstein’s well-heeled friends enjoying Epstein’s stable of under-age sex slaves. The lawyers’ ploy was to confront the wealthy men with this supposed evidence, then settle “out of court” for vast sums — ostensibly on behalf of the victims. The lawyers, of course, would take 40 percent.
As a second option, as reported in the New York Times, “the lawyers would approach the videotaped men. The men would then hire the two as their own lawyers, ensuring the they would not get sued, and ‘make a contribution to a non-profit as part of the retainer.’” The lawyers themselves would set up the non-profit.
⇒ “Did the notion of extracting huge sums from men in exchange for keeping sex tapes hidden meet the definition of extortion?”
Boies and his associate were looking at settlements approaching one billion dollars from the unnamed men — unnamed because that would be part of the deal. Now THERE is your quid pro quo!
Removes his glasses when doing that
At least one problem: establishing the actual identity of the females for compensation. Same problem with the men. The mystery man with the supposed evidence represented that one of the men portrayed in samplings of his grainy smartphone video was law professor Alan Dershowitz. The NY Times piece carries a priceless quote from Mrs. D. After viewing the video. The wife is quoted to say to her husband, in the reporter’s hearing: “You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that.”
⇒ Quid pro quo, btw, is NOT a crime. (Your paycheck is this for that. So are your groceries.) Blackmail IS a crime.
Going to the news media was integral to the lawyers’ strategy, according to the Times, which is how that publication learned of the scheme. Splashing the existence of the secret videos and the lawyers’ gambit throughout the nation would panic the guilty men into ponying up big money to stay off the front page and cable TV. Or, for that matter, innocent men, lest their reputations be ruined. With no one setting foot in a court of law, no opportunity to confront witnesses or clear one’s name.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: For, as we are learning, the public accusation carries its own verdict these days regardless of the legal system. Just ask Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas.