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These guys put the quid in pro quo

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The AP story outlining exactly how Elliott Broidy ran game in and around the White House provides powerful support for the theory that Broidy never had an affair with Shera Bechard.

What really happened is:

Trump had an affair with Bechard, and impregnated her.

Bechard contacted Keith Davidson and demanded money.

Davidson called Michael Cohen.

Cohen called Broidy, and asked him to come up with $1.6 million.

Broidy demanded a meeting with Trump in the Oval Office, that Broidy could use to convince his Gulf State clients that he had Trump’s ear about shifting US policy in the region.

Broidy made his first payment on November 30th.

Trump met with Broidy two days later.

A few days after that, the U.A.E. gave Broidy’s private company a $600 million contract.

And everybody would have lived happily ever after, except . . .

The AP exposé only strengthens the evidence for my hypothesis: The first payment from Broidy came two days before the meeting that apparently helped him ink a nine-figure deal with a foreign country — a deal based in no small part on his access to, and influence on, Trump. If it’s difficult to imagine Broidy being willing to take the fall for Trump’s affair with Bechard and then paying her a seven-figure sum, it’s much simpler to imagine it simply as a perfectly timed and fantastically profitable bribe.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the only hard evidence for Broidy’s claim that his payoff to Bechard wasn’t actually a straight-up bribe of the president of the United States continues to be Broidy’s own assertions. (My repeated attempts to get Bechard’s current attorney, Peter Stris, to comment on this matter have been unsuccessful.) Journalists — including those AP reporters who pulled together such a remarkable and important story — might want to be cautious about taking Broidy’s word on the matter at face value.

My editor convinced me to phrase all this a lot more politely than I would otherwise be inclined to be.  I’m going to be on MSNBC tonight at 8 PM EDT, where I’ll be discussing this in blunter terms.

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