Literally, in a paper bag, he would carry twenties or a jar of sauce made by the iconic chef at the local Italian restaurant. The recipients ranged from politicos to the head of an old-aged home who could push the name of your grandmother up on the list.
That was then.
More recently, reports Eve Peyser in Vice, that middleman role is being carried out by brandname lawyers.
Allegedly, those top lawyers are the go-betweens. The bag is not paper, not any more. The transaction is facilitated by the financial system. It's a check or a direct deposit. Among the recipients are those engaged in a campaign for public office.
As is now widely know, Donald Trump's lawyer lawyer Marc Kasowitz contributed $25,000 to the reelection campaign of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. The latter, as Peyser notes, "put a stop to a two-year investigation" of two of the Trump children.
In addition, Harvey Weinstein's lawyer David Boies and those on his network had contributed over time $182,000 to Vance during his career in public office. As Peyser also reports, in 2015, Vance "decided not to bring chargers against the Hollywood mogul after Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez accused ... groping."
Whether the funds were later returned or not seems irrelevant.
The point is that there had been "goodwill" transactions and there had been favorable actions taken on behalf of clients.
There might or might not have been a correlation between the two.
However, this is the era when perception is reality. Surely, the lawyers should have known how such activities might be assessed by myriad constituencies. They range from media to voters.
What is most puzzling is why do brandname lawyers get in the middle? They should be clever enough to create a web of transactions in which their fingerprints wouldn't be on the bag. Was it hubris, a common trait of JDs, which made lawyers assume their actions would not be noticed?
Unfortunately, for all lawyers, these experiences throw shade on their advocacy duties in the U.S. legal system. Moreover, the brandnames of Kasowitz and Boies could be tarnished.
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