Thursday, December 3, 2020

Call Me Sherlock Holmes: Never Mind


So no, I was pretty totally wrong. The guy whose name ends in -s buying the pardon in the case Judge Howell was dealing with was nobody we know at all:

A federal judge in Washington unsealed heavily redacted court documents on Tuesday that disclosed the existence of the investigation into possible unregistered lobbying and bribery. The people said it concerned efforts by the lawyer for Mr. Kushner, Abbe Lowell, and the fund-raiser, Elliott Broidy, who pleaded guilty in October to a charge related to a different scheme to lobby the Trump administration.

A billionaire San Francisco real estate developer, Sanford Diller, enlisted their help in securing clemency for a Berkeley psychologist, Hugh L. Baras, who had received a 30-month prison sentence on a conviction of tax evasion and improperly claiming Social Security benefits, according to the filing and the people familiar with the case. Under the suspected scheme, Mr. Diller would make “a substantial political contribution” to an unspecified recipient in exchange for the pardon. He died in February 2018, and there is no evidence that the effort continued after his death.

No Giuliani, no Dowd. I'll admit I'm a little disappointed. Glad to see Abbe Lowell in trouble, of course, and not sorry to see it piling on that turd Broidy, but a little disappointed over my brilliant reconstruction, which turns out not to be actually applicable to the case.

Still, the joy is in the hunt. Also everything I said about the Lev Parnas case could still be true! Except for, you know, it being this case. And all the other cases it could be, because, you know, Trump could be selling pardons all the time.

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