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Those halcyon days when Roger Stone fronted for Donald Trump against Indian casinos

 
Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

It’s worth recalling just how far back Roger Stone goes with Donald Trump. Back in the early 1990s, just as Trump’s casinos were emerging from bankruptcy, Indian casinos were sprouting up as a result to a change in federal law. Trump viewed this development as a threat and spent more than $1 million on “lobbying efforts” against the Indian gaming industry.

Trump even testified before Congress, where he told lawmakers that the Indians running Foxwoods casino “did not look like real Indians.” Trump also alleged that organized crime ““is rampant — I don’t mean a little bit — is rampant on Indian reservations.”

In 2000, as New York was considering a law that would expand Indian casinos to the Catskills, Roger Stone, on Trump’s behalf, secretly formed an astroturf group called the “New York Institute for Law and Society,” which ran ads in the area accusing the Mohawk Indian tribe of having mob ties. The ads featured cocaine and syringes, asking viewed “Are these the new neighbors we want?” The “group” claimed it was funded by 12,000 “grass-roots, pro-family” donors but it was 100 percent funded entirely by Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, Inc., with Roger Stone as its front man.

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The reason we know this is because it all came out in a lawsuit that put a stop to the ads. During that lawsuit, Stone was deposed, where he admitted that the “Institute for Law and Society” was merely a front group for Trump.

LAWYER: It didn’t exist. Only reason it existed was so you could hide the actions of Trump?
STONE: Yes
LAWYER: From the public?
STONE: Yes
LAWYER: And you did that?
STONE: Yes
LAWYER: Over and over again?
STONE: Yes.

Here’s a statement issued by Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, Inc. from that time, formally apologizing…

A STATEMENT BY TRUMP HOTELS & CASINO RESORTS, INC., IKON PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND THE NEW YORK INSTITUTE FOR LAW AND SOCIETY
Last spring the Institute sponsored ads and direct mail as part of a lobbying effort related to casino gambling. The ads and mail did not disclose that they were paid for by Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, Inc. Although we did not believe that the ad and mail campaign was reportable lobbying activity, we have agreed to report the expenses for the lobbying effort pursuant to an agreement with the Commission and to pay to disseminate this statement. Donald Trump, Roger Stone and Thomas Hunter on behalf of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, Inc., Ikon Public Affairs and the New York Institute for Law and Society, respectively, apologize if anyone was misled concerning the production and funding of the lobbying effort.

The larger point, I suppose, is that this sort of scumbaggery is what the Attorney General for the United States spends his days running interference for, and what 52 senators flushed their dignity down the toilet for. Trump and Stone are the same degenerate criminals they were back then.

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