Al Franken’s Future

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The Harvey Weinstein revelations and their cumulative impact have given rise to countless Hollywood sexual misconduct scandals, which have altered the cultural atmosphere of our times.

A group of individuals with compelling stories of abuse have come forward with accusations against a number of the rich and famous, including one previously celebrated figure who is currently a member of the United States Senate, “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Al Franken.

Soon after Los Angeles radio anchor Leann Tweeden brought forward detailed allegations that, without her consent, Franken had forcibly kissed her with open mouth and subsequently offensively touched her while she slept, Franken issued multiple apologies and followed up with a request that an ethics committee investigation be conducted regarding his own wrongdoings.

“I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences,” Franken said. “I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.”

Some of Franken’s defenders praised him for submitting himself to an ethics probe. However, from a public relations perspective, Franken had no choice but to take the action he did because of one powerfully strong piece of evidence, which has been widely distributed by the conventional and social media.

A photo depicting a smirking Franken placing his hands on the upper body of Tweeden as she slept is immediately recognizable for what it is, clearly incriminating in nature, and impossible to reasonably defend.

Despite claims by some defenders that the activity in the photo was merely a joke, when taking into account the context that Tweeden has set forth, it is highly likely that Franken intended the action and attendant photograph to be a deliberate provocation.

It is also highly likely that, under the circumstances, Franken has taken the ethics probe approach because it has historically provided a shield to members of Congress who have been accused of corrupt or abusive behavior.

Such an investigation opens up a path for the accused legislator to nurture the image of cooperation while slowing any pending resignation demands. Point of fact: Franken has already been asked by members of his own party to resign. The rules of the ethics committee were written by politicians and seem to have been designed to assist those embroiled in scandal.

Current Senate rules mandate that there be six members on the committee, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, with the chairman being a member of the majority party.

After the committee finds that “there is substantial cause for the committee to conclude that a violation within the jurisdiction of the committee has occurred,” it will proceed to conduct a full adjudicatory review. An adjudicatory review normally consists of interviews and sworn statements and can also involve a public hearing. When the committee finishes its review, it will issue a final report to the Senate, which may include a recommendation of disciplinary action. Both the final report and recommendations may be kept confidential at the discretion of the committee.

The committee’s options, with respect to potential disciplinary action, are typically censure, payment of restitution, or expulsion. A censure of a senator is merely a formal scolding for misconduct. Payment of restitution is essentially a fine imposed in order to compensate the victim in a monetary manner. Expulsion is the more difficult option to carry out, since it requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate. Consequently, the Senate has not expelled a member in more than a century.

If we look to history, we see that ethics committee investigations do not usually end up with the accused senator being held fully accountable for his or her actions. In the early 1990s, after only a few months of investigation by the ethics committee, Republican Senator Dave Durenberger was censured and ordered to pay $120,000 in restitution. Durenberger did not run for reelection in 1994 and the next year pleaded guilty to charges of misuse of public funds while in office. He was sentenced to one year of probation.

During the same time period, the Senate ethics panel made the decision not to investigate Democrat Senator Brock Adams, who was accused of sexual harassment and rape. The Ethics Committee sent a letter to the National Organization for Women, which had actually called for the investigation, stating that the investigation would not be pursued for the following reasons: the incidents had occurred before Adams had taken office, the alleged rape had already been investigated by the U.S. Attorney, and the committee had not received a request to initiate proceedings from the alleged victim.

Brock denied the allegations and declined to tender his resignation; however he did end up dropping out of his reelection race.

Around the same time period, Republican Senator Bob Packwood, a public advocate for women’s rights, was accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment. The related ethics investigation lasted nearly three years. Only after the bipartisan committee voted unanimously to recommend that Packwood be expelled did the senator resign.

In 2009 Republican Senator John Ensign acknowledged having an extramarital affair with a campaign aide. The following year an ethics committee began to investigate whether the Senator tried to buy his former aide’s silence. Ensign resigned in 2011, while the investigation was still ongoing. After probing for twenty-two months, the committee concluded that Ensign broke federal laws, and it referred the case to the Department of Justice. The department decided not to prosecute.

Because it is a highly politicized internal Senate process, an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee generally takes a significant length of time to complete and, unless evidence of misconduct is overwhelming, results in little or no accountability.

More likely than not, an ethics committee investigation of sexual misconduct on the part of Franken will provide a way for the Democrat senator to wiggle out of any repercussions for his reprehensible behavior.

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Why Judge Moore’s Supporters Remain Loyal

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Despite the avalanche of recent coverage by the mainstream media over allegations against Judge Roy Moore, Alabama voters are not buying into reports that center on his purported distant past.

An ABC affiliate television station in Birmingham sent a reporter to the town of Columbiana seeking to elicit voter reaction to the Washington Post story, which claimed that the Republican nominee to the U.S. Senate had, in excess of 34 years ago, engaged in inappropriate conduct with young women. Judge Moore has categorically denied the allegations.

Television reporter Lauren Walsh was unable to find a single local resident who believed the Post report.

“Out of all the voters we spoke with…, we didn’t find one voter who believed the Washington Post report about Moore,” Walsh stated.

Meanwhile CNN, an outlet that has set itself up as a 24/7 broadcaster of negative news about the Trump administration, conducted its own research on the attitudes of Judge Moore’s supporters.

Perhaps the cable outlet was expecting similar kinds of responses to those of Republican establishment figures, including John McCain, Bob Corker, and Mitt Romney, in which the trio suggested that Judge Moore immediately exit the race.

But that did not happen. Instead CNN was forced to print the results of its inquiry of approximately a dozen Alabamians who diminished or outright dismissed the Post’s story.

One local pastor, Mike Allison, echoed a phrase about the mainstream media that has been reverberating in segments of the population for over a year.

“I don’t even believe the allegations,” Allison told CNN. “There’s lots of fake news going around these days.”

Allison additionally indicated that he will support Judge Moore “more than ever.”

Republican Tim Huddleston acknowledged that, if the claims were true, a candidate would be required to step aside. But he is dubious about the timing of this story.

“The problem you have is all of a sudden — whether you’re Democrat or Republican — you can’t come in 30 days before the election and say here are some unsubstantiated allegations,” Huddleston said.

At his first public appearance following the Post story, Judge Moore received a standing ovation from a crowd of supporters at an event at a library outside Birmingham.

It is predictable and wholly rational for Judge Moore’s backers to doubt the veracity of the Post story. The public has routinely witnessed the ugly pattern of last minute hit pieces, which arrive in the form of an “October Surprise.”

Judge Moore was expected by most to win in the very red state of Alabama, and the polls had been indicating he enjoyed a sizable double-digit lead.

Given the fact that every Senate seat is significant to the delicate balance of power in the upper chamber, if a Judge Moore loss could somehow be made to materialize, the Democrats would be better positioned to make headway in their efforts to “resist” the Trump agenda.

Decades-old allegations that are difficult to prove or disprove, is precisely why, when it comes to the law, that statutes of limitations are imposed as an integral part of due process.

The timing of this particular piece has the smell of classic last minute political opposition research. The media outlet that broke the story happens to be the Jeff Bezos-owned Post, which during the first year of the Trump presidency morphed into the print version of CNN and lost virtually all credibility with the Republican base, the very same voters who support Judge Moore.

The Post, which during the last presidential election had a platoon of reporters whose assignment was to do nothing other than dig up dirt on then-candidate Trump, has already given its endorsement to Judge Moore’s Democrat opponent.

One of Judge Moore’s accusers, Deborah Wesson Gibson, is a supporter of his opponent, just as is the Post. The newspaper failed to disclose this fact, as well as another important piece of information, which is that Gibson worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and as a sign language interpreter for Vice President Joe Biden. A photo of Gibson standing next to Biden was posted on her Facebook page and is displayed on her business webpage as well.

Much to the frustration of the mainstream media, Democratic Party, and certain members of the Republican establishment, the first poll issued after the Post story had circulated indicated that the race was tied.

Now an Alabama poll conducted two days after the Post piece hit has Judge Moore holding onto his double-digit lead, only dropping 0.2 percent since the allegations were reported.‬

Judge Moore has said that he will not leave the race but instead intends to fight back against the Post story.

Alabamians have little faith in the mainstream media, particularly the Post. On the other hand, Judge Moore is known statewide as an individual who after successfully running for office served as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

As time passes, it is a distinct possibility that even more Alabama voters will support Judge Moore rather than a Democratic candidate, making the GOP Senate nominee still the favorite to win.

 

Hollywood Unravels

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Hollywood is experiencing a seismic displacement that is impacting its business, brand, and future prospects.

Since the disgusting serial behavior of Harvey Weinstein was made known to the public courtesy of the tenacious reporting of journalist Ronan Farrow, some of the most powerful members of the Hollywood community have been accused of various forms of sexual misconduct ranging from sexual harassment to criminal sexual assault.

The alleged perpetrators comprise a list of some of the biggest and most heralded names in Hollywood, including Ben Affleck (actor and Oscar winning director), Dustin Hoffman (Oscar winning actor), Kevin Spacey (Oscar winning actor), Jeremy Piven (Emmy winning television actor), James Toback (director and Oscar nominated screenwriter), and David O. Russell (Oscar nominated director).

For decades the Hollywood community has in large part ignored and even condoned the contemptible behavior of Roman Polanski (Oscar winning director) and Woody Allen (four-time Oscar winner).

New revelations related to Hollywood’s unseemly side seem to be pouring in by the hour. Now accusations against Spacey are opening up yet another horrific illegality that has been the subject of rumors in the town for years, the unspeakable crime of pedophilia.

Never before has a scandal this dark and pervasive draped the Hollywood community with such ill-repute. And never before has the Hollywood brand been sullied as badly as it has been during this past year.

Adding to the crushing weight of it all is the fact that the entertainment business is suffering damages in a dollar amount that is still impossible to calculate. Many of those who are currently accused of misconduct have potentially profitable current and future projects that have been cancelled or put on hold.

Some of the accused have careers that are, at a minimum, severely impaired. For others it is most certainly over.

As viewers of entertainment industry award shows are able to attest, Hollywood has set itself up as an agenda driven purveyor of cultural norms. Many entertainment figures are infamous for talking down what they view as “fly-over” country.

Middle America is the place that so-called progressives on the Left Coast use to bolster one another’s views with unfounded smug certainty. Even as Hollywood pitches its out-of-the-mainstream worldview, a twisted form of narcissism, self-idolatry, still rules the roost and blinding hypocrisy reigns. This is particularly evident when it comes to the outward display of self-congratulation via the award ceremony industry.

Movies about Hollywood itself seem to be the recipients of a disproportionate degree of attention, e.g., “The Artist,” “La La Land,” “Argo” and “Trumbo.”

The Left Coast is also in the ugly habit of deriding those who promote government reduction, self-defense rights, border enforcement, and the like. Judeo-Christian faith expression serves as fodder for snide comedic skits and perverse story plotlines. Intact marriages and loving families are the stuff of ridicule. And patriotism has been recast as divisive, outmoded, and worse.

There is a consequence to embracing a worldview that is devoid of time-honored values. What we have now in Hollywood is a frayed fabric that continues to unravel with no apparent way of mending.

Indictments Tainted by Conflicts of Interest and Media Leaks

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Robert Mueller recently received some sharp criticism for his role in conducting an investigation into purported Russian collusion. However, the disapproval of the special counsel seems to have come from an unexpected source.

The Wall Street Journal, which is known to be unfriendly to President Donald Trump, called on Mueller to resign.

The Journal opined, “The Fusion news means the FBI’s role in Russia’s election interference must now be investigated—even as the FBI and Justice insist that Mr. Mueller’s probe prevents them from cooperating with Congressional investigators.”

“Mr. Mueller is a former FBI director, and for years he worked closely with Mr. Comey. It is no slur against Mr. Mueller’s integrity to say that he lacks the critical distance to conduct a credible probe of the bureau he ran for a dozen years. He could best serve the country by resigning to prevent further political turmoil over that conflict of interest,” the Journal stated.

The discredited dossier, paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to the opposition firm Fusion GPS, may have been used to launch the investigation that led to Mueller’s appointment.

Mueller is the same individual who was the FBI director that oversaw the agency’s investigation into the criminal behavior of Russian bribery, extortion, and money laundering that had the underlying purpose of obtaining control over America’s uranium supply.

Part of Mueller’s FBI probe at the time centered on Uranium One, the infamous entity involved in the sale of one-fifth of the U.S. supply of uranium. It is self-evident that any current investigation into Russian activities would be severely impacted by Mueller’s past. This special counsel evidently lacks the independence that is required in order to conduct an impartial probe and may additionally have conflicts when it comes to looking into the propriety of the FBI’s investigation of Russian criminality.

In this same time period when the Journal is applying pressure on Mueller and several scandals that implicate the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee are dominating much of the media, CNN is somehow the recipient of an exclusive breaking story indicating that charges have been brought by Mueller’s grand jury and an arrest may soon occur.

The cable news outlet cited anonymous sources that were “briefed on the matter.”

Sharyl Attkisson, former investigative journalist for CBS News, does not view the timing of the reports of the Mueller indictments as coincidental.

“Friday leak of grand jury indictments. If you’ve ready [read] The Smear, you probably believe it’s intended to dominate news coverage this weekend and drown out talk of Uranium One scandal. You’re pretty smart!” Attkisson tweeted.

Conventionally, an individual who is indicted by a grand jury is immediately notified; however, according to CNN, neither the defendant or the defendant’s lawyers have been notified.

The grand jury is an important part of our criminal justice system and is prominently featured in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure specify that a prosecutor may not leak evidence, or even the existence of a grand jury’s investigation, to the press. A sealed indictment is an indictment that is sealed so that it stays non-public until such a time as it is unsealed.

In the rare case such as this when the indictment is sealed, the judge orders that the indictment be kept secret until the defendant is in custody or has been released pending trial. No person may disclose the indictment’s existence, except as necessary to issue or execute a warrant or a summons. Consequently, it is clearly illegal to leak information on a sealed indictment to the press.

In August of this year, leaks appeared in the press indicating that Mueller had impaneled a grand jury, and the possibility exists that an individual or group of individuals within Mueller’s office may be the source of information about the initial impaneling of the grand jury as well as the sealed indictments recently leaked to CNN.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made the criminal nature of such a leak clear.

“First off, it’s supposed to be kept a secret … There are very strict criminal laws about disclosing grand jury information. Now, depending on who disclosed this to CNN, it could be a crime,” the governor told ABC’s “This Week.”

Christie, calling upon his experience as a former prosecutor, emphasized how seriously grand jury secrecy is taken by those in the criminal justice system, stating that the public has to have “confidence in the fact that the grand jury process is secret and as a result fair… Again, we don’t know who leaked it to CNN. It would be a crime if prosecutors or agents leaked it.”

South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, appeared to lay the responsibility on Mueller for allowing the media to learn about sealed grand jury charges in the Russia investigation.

“In the only conversation I’ve had with Robert Mueller, I stressed to him the importance of cutting out the leaks,” Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday.”

“It’s kind of ironic that the people charged with investigating the law and the violations of the law would violate the law,” the chairman remarked.

Even though CNN did not indicate who had been charged, the number of individuals charged, or what charges had been filed by Mueller’s team, the cable network appeared to have some knowledge of whom the subject of the sealed indictment may be.

CNN reporter Pamela Brown indicated that the network knows more than they have reported concerning the identity of the individual or individuals targeted by Mueller’s indictment.

“We have a sense of who the charges are against, the person or people, but our understanding is that the person or people who have been charged have not been notified yet,” Brown said.

Leaking to the press would appear to be consistent with the heavy handed tactics Mueller’s team has been utilizing. In July the team reportedly told former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort that it planned to indict him. Subsequently, Manafort’s door lock was reportedly picked and an unannounced pre-dawn raid of his Virginia home was conducted.

A Timeline of Treachery

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2004

Frank Giustra of Canada establishes a firm called UrAsia Energy Ltd. to invest in uranium mining.

2005

At a fundraiser that Giustra holds at his Vancouver home, he meets Bill Clinton.

Giustra’s UrAsia company sends engineers to Kazakhstan, which is ruled by a regime that controls approximately 20 percent of the worldwide uranium supply.

Giustra takes Bill Clinton aboard his private jet to ostensibly tour several nations for Clinton Foundation work: Destination, Kazakhstan. Giustra seeks a business relationship with the Kazakhstan-owned uranium company. He and Bill Clinton dine with the authoritarian dictator of the uranium-rich country.

Giustra’s UrAsia company strikes a $450 million deal with the state-owned Kazakhstan company. UrAsia becomes a top-tier uranium producer overnight.

A former opposition party leader, who planned to publish documents indicating government corruption in Kazakhstan, is found dead from four gunshot wounds, three in the chest and one in the head. The Kazakhstan government rules the death a suicide.

2006

Giustra makes a $31 million donation to the Clinton Foundation, which is not revealed until December of the following year.

Giustra co-produces a celebrity-filled 60th birthday bash for Bill Clinton, an event that eventually raises $21 million for the Clinton Foundation.

2007

Uranium One, a South African mining company, merges with UrAsia in a $3.5 billion transaction. The new company, which maintains the Uranium One name, is controlled by UrAsia investors, including Ian Telfer, a Canadian who becomes chairman, and Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal is estimated at approximately $45 million. Giustra sells his stake the same year.

2008

Giustra donates $31 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Giustra holds a fundraiser for the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, to which he pledges $100 million. The event, which is held in Toronto, includes performances by Elton John and Shakira as well as appearances by celebrities Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Robin Williams. The event generates $16 million in pledges.

2009

While Barack Obama assumes the presidency, the FBI begins to investigate Russia’s criminal activity in relation to U.S. uranium. Prior to Hillary Clinton assuming her new secretary of state position, the White House requires that she sign a memorandum obligating the Clinton Foundation to publicly disclose all contributors.

Telfer, Chairman of Uranium One, gives $1 million to the Clinton Foundation; this is the same year that his company appeals to the American Embassy to help keep its mines in Kazakhstan.

Moukhtar Dzhakishev, head of the Kazakhstan-owned uranium company, is arrested for illegally selling mining rights to foreign companies, including some rights owned by Uranium One. American diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks indicate concerns that Dzhakishev’s arrest is part of a Russian power play for control of Kazakhstan uranium assets.

A Russian entity gets a 17 percent ownership interest in Uranium One.

The FBI allows an American businessman to make kickback payments at the direction of Vadim Mikerin, Russia’s overseer of Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the U.S.

The FBI investigation uncovers proof that, between 2009 and 2012, Mikerin engaged in bribery and blackmail to compromise U.S. contractors in the nuclear industry.

2010

Telfer, Chairman of Uranium One, gives $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation using his family charity; this in the same year that Russians sought majority control.

Uranium One asks the American Embassy in Kazakhstan to take up its cause with Kazakhstan officials. The American Embassy ultimately reports this information to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

A Russian entity seeks majority ownership of Uranium One. Since Uranium One owns mining interests in the United States, it is required that the transaction be approved by the Hillary Clinton-led State Department.

Bill Clinton is paid $500,000 for a one-hour speech in Moscow. The money comes from a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin.

A Russian entity obtains approval from the U.S. to acquire a majority ownership interest in Uranium One.

2011

Telfer, Chairman of Uranium One, gives $600,000 to the Clinton Foundation using his family charity.

2012

President Obama is caught on a hot microphone in a private conversation in Seoul, South Korea, telling outgoing Russian president Dmitry Medvedev that Vladimir Putin should give him more “space,” and that after his election he would “have more flexibility.”

Telfer, Chairman of Uranium One, gives $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation using his family charity.

(Over a span of years, Telfer’s charity has contributed millions to the Clinton Foundation. The contributions are not publicly disclosed, despite the agreement Hillary Clinton had made with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.)

2013

A Russian entity gets 100% control of Uranium One, a company with uranium-mining stakes that now stretch from Central Asia to the American West. The company is then taken private. The deal makes the Russian entity one of the world’s largest uranium producers and gives Russia control of much of the global uranium supply chain, including 20 percent of U.S. uranium.

Summary

Investigative reporting by John Solomon at The Hill and Sara Carter at Circa have uncovered a sordid tale worthy of the best Hollywood screenwriters; a saga involving blackmail, corruption, and bribery conducted by the mainstream media’s favorite scoundrels, the Russians.

Details have emerged of a story involving a multi-year investigation, conducted by the FBI, into criminality and money laundering emanating from Russian entities. The Russian entities were attempting to strengthen Russia’s nuclear weaponry by obtaining access to U.S. uranium.

The FBI investigation took place when the Obama administration was in power.

Former President Bill Clinton was paid an extraordinary amount of money as a speaking fee while his wife, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, approved the uranium deal for the Russians.

Millions of dollars flowed into the Clinton Foundation from parties related to the Russia-uranium deal during this same time period. Hillary failed to disclose the monies received, despite her pledge to do so.

The FBI assembled proof dating back to 2009 that Russian operatives were trying to get their hands on U.S. uranium, and they were doing so using criminal methods. The FBI knew that several individuals, who were also major donors to the Clinton Foundation, created a company that they sold to the Russians.

The sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Uranium is considered a strategic asset, with a serious impact on national security.

A sale of this type had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of U.S. government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the Hillary Clinton-led State Department.

The Obama administration had evidence that Russia was involved in a bribery and extortion scheme, which started in 2009, but the information was kept from the public until October 2017.

Some familiar names are involved in the Russia-uranium saga, including the following:

— Robert Mueller was the FBI Director during the multi-year investigation that assembled critical information on Russia and uranium. Mueller is now the special counsel investigating the so-called Russia collusion matter.

— The multi-year investigation was headed up by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who is now Deputy Attorney General, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who is now the Deputy FBI Director.

— Mikerin, the Russian operative, entered into what appears to be a sweetheart plea agreement with prosecutors in August 2015, a plea agreement co-signed by Rosenstein and head of
the Obama Department of Justice Fraud Section Andrew Weissmann, now one of the top prosecutors in Special Counsel Mueller’s office.

— After Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian meddling case, Obama appointee Rosenstein is the same person who appointed Mueller as special counsel.

Reportedly, no details of what was an active FBI criminal investigation were given to Congress at the time of the Russia uranium deal.

Harvey Weinstein’s Growing Legal Quagmire

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Harvey Weinstein has now lost his job, his wife, and his reputation. Next on his agenda is the prospect of spending a great deal of time huddling with his lawyers.

The disgraced movie mogul is facing a mounting pile of legal troubles swarming at him from every conceivable direction. The details that have been revealed in allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein, particularly those contained in Ronan Farrow’s reporting for the New Yorker, could result in civil and criminal liability for Weinstein and his company, with legal actions against the former film executive emanating from multiple jurisdictions.

More than 20 women have voiced allegations against Weinstein, claims of which include harassment, groping, forced sexual relations, and even rape. The alleged incidents took place over many decades in numerous locales.

The names of women who have lodged charges in the public square include an unusually high number of well known actresses including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino, and Kate Beckinsale.

Most of the alleged victims would not be in a position to sue Weinstein in a civil court, due to the relatively short statutes of limitations governing the former mogul’s alleged torts (one or two year time periods).

The alleged assaults took place in many different jurisdictions, including New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Utah, as well as the French Riviera, each of which has varying statutes of limitations and time limits on reporting to authorities.

The alleged acts date as far back as 1984. Eight of the incidents allegedly occurred after the 2005 founding of the Weinstein Company. Moreover, the eight settlements Weinstein reportedly reached with former accusers could prevent those women who already settled from taking him to court.

However, Weinstein’s legal problems in the civil arena are just the beginning of an expanding legal vortex. He now finds his alleged actions are the subject of investigations by the FBI as well as the New York and London police, while Los Angeles law enforcement is looking into launching a probe of its own.

Weinstein has been accused of committing both sexual assault and rape. A sexual assault occurs when an individual is offensively touched without consent or compelled to engage in a sexual act. Rape occurs when an individual is sexually penetrated without consent.

Three of the women have alleged that Weinstein raped them. Predictably, the film executive released a statement denying any allegations of non-consensual sex.

Felony rape is a very serious crime, and a conviction in New York can carry a sentence of up to 25 years. Since 2006 New York has had no statute of limitations for first degree felony sex offenses; this law did not take effect until after 2006 and therefore prosecutors would probably be barred by the statute of limitations for crimes that occurred prior to 2006.

The case that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. had ready to go two years ago should have been prosecuted. An Italian model cooperated with police to obtain an audio recording of Weinstein admitting that he had groped her, yet Vance failed to bring the charges forward. He had no adequate explanation for his lack of action.

The Weinstein Company itself is also facing potential legal consequences. Female employees of the Weinstein Company could bring individual or class action lawsuits against the company for subjecting them to alleged hostile work environments.

The company released a statement indicating that the “allegations come as an utter surprise to the Board” and additionally that “any suggestion that the Board had knowledge of this conduct is false.”

The New York Times followed this statement with a report that the Weinstein Company directors were informed of at least three confidential settlements with women. One of the remaining board members claimed that although he knew about the settlements he believed they dealt only with consensual affairs.

The former and current directors, including Weinstein himself, could be sued by investors in a breach-of-fiduciary-duty lawsuit. The directors could be liable for their failure to address Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct.

Harvey and his brother Bob Weinstein own 42 percent of the company; this leaves a significant number of outside investors who may go after former and current members of the company’s board, including Weinstein.

Weinstein, as a director and officer of the company, would have breached his duty of loyalty if he acted in bad faith for a purpose other than advancing the best interests of the company. If a co-chairman of a company uses his or her position of power to sexually assault potential and actual employees, it breaches the duty to the firm. It also does considerable harm to the company’s brand and the reputation of the enterprise.

According to TMZ, Weinstein’s employment contract with the company had unusual passages in which the contract explicitly addressed the possibility of future misconduct claims against Weinstein.

According to the website, Weinstein agreed to reimburse the company for any settlements or judgments arising out of his misconduct and to make an additional payment to the company for each instance of wrongdoing. The contract purportedly provided that Weinstein could not be fired for committing heinous acts against women as long as he came up with the required payments.

If the TMZ description of the contract is accurate, it means that former and current board members of the Weinstein Company would have been put on notice of Weinstein’s unlawful behavior and sadly would have deliberately allowed his behavior to continue.

Harvey Weinstein: Hollywood’s Open Secret

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The Hollywood left and the Democratic Party are reeling from the recent revelations reported by the New York Times, which describe three decades of alleged serial sexual harassment on the part of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Each story seems to follow a similar plotline. A young female employee or Hollywood hopeful in search of a film role is invited to what is represented as a professional meeting with Weinstein. Instead of a meeting, though, what the individual encounters is an attempt to coerce various sexual favors.

More that 20 women, former employees and well known celebrities, were referenced in the New York Times report. Weinstein reportedly paid settlements to at least 8 different women, and other media outlets are planning to release further investigative stories about the filmmaker’s purported misconduct.

With the prospect of more sordid details yet to come, the Hollywood left and its favorite political party are feeling the heat. For his part, Weinstein appears to be of the mindset that he can resurrect his image by simply demonstrating his unwavering adherence to the tenets of liberalism.

Despite his stature as a movie executive, bought-and-paid-for connections with numerous politicians, and sizable crisis management machine, Weinstein’s effort to be granted the same latitude as Woody Allen or Roman Polanski does not appear to be working.

The tactical failure may be occurring, in part, because Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse has a number of high-profile celebrity victims, including actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan.

There is another component that is of even greater import for Weinstein in general and the Democratic Party in particular; that is, the issue of women’s rights and its attendant agenda items, which includes sexual harassment in the workplace. As the mid-term elections loom, liberals can in no way afford to protect a Hollywood filmmaker, even one that has been a prime source of financial support for left-wing campaigns and political causes.

Weinstein assembled a team of political spin doctors and public relations experts to counter recent allegations. He enlisted the help of Democrat public relations firm SKDKnickerbocker and former Obama White House Communications Director Anita Dunn.

He had also brought onboard attorney Lisa Bloom, the daughter of high-powered agenda-driven attorney Gloria Allred, to provide tutelage on feminist principles, and former President Bill Clinton’s chief crisis manager Lanny Davis, who is known for his quick responses to sexual abuse allegations. However, Davis and Bloom have abruptly left “Team Harvey,” perhaps pulling out after Weinstein combined an attempted apology with a threat to sue the newspaper that broke the story.

Weinstein had sent a poorly written statement to the New York Times, which shifted the blame for his behavior on having supposedly grown up in a sexist time. In the same statement, he makes a commitment to seek therapy.

It would be of interest to know whether any of Weinstein’s experts advised him to make the claim that a “right wing conspiracy” is to blame for the predicament in which he finds himself. It would be equally intriguing to know whether he was counseled to include in a release, which was supposedly written to express remorse, his intention to go after the NRA.

Perhaps to demonstrate that he is still trendy after all these years, Weinstein included in his statement a quote, which he purportedly obtained from a Jay Z tune, to somehow partially explicate a long history of alleged harassment. (Reports indicate that no such lyrics exist in any released Jay Z material.)

“Jay Z wrote in 4:44 ‘I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.’ The same is true for me,” Weinstein wrote.

It is predictable that Weinstein would believe that Hollywood would let him off the hook for any abusive behavior toward women. After all, he has held a unique position in Hollywood for a very long stretch. Along the way he was able to grab a Best Picture Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love” and to also create a large number of critically acclaimed films that include “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “Good Will Hunting.”

When he served as head of Miramax along with his brother Bob, he pioneered the art of turning an artsy independent film into box-office gold. Known as the master of the Academy Award campaign, he was able to obtain nominations for lesser known titles. In fact, Miramax snagged an unprecedented 249 Academy Award nominations and was able to secure 60 wins in a mere 15 years.

After Weinstein and his brother left Miramax and started up the Weinstein Co., they were able to use their Oscar formula to win Best Picture two years in a row for “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist.” All the while Weinstein nurtured the image of the consummate liberal, supporting left-leaning causes, particularly feminism, to bolster his progressive bona fides.

In light of the New York Times article, one cannot help but see the irony of Weinstein’s 2015 distribution of “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary that examines sexual assault on American college campuses.

The entertainment community ignored the incessant rumors about Weinstein that circulated for years. Hollywood insiders knew about Weinstein’s purported conduct and in keeping quiet became enablers of the most hypocritical kind.

Reacting to the New York Times article, Rebecca Traister wrote in The Cut, “I have been having conversations about Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment for more than 17 years,” adding that she had heard from “lots of other people, now other reporters, who were working, often for years, to nail down the story of Harvey’s sexual abuses.”

“It wasn’t a secret to the inner circle,” said Kathy DeClesis, Bob Weinstein’s assistant in the early 1990s, as quoted by the New York Times.

“The only thing I’m surprised about,” one former Miramax executive, who worked closely with Weinstein, told the Los Angeles Times, “is how long it took.”