Arlen Specter’s son claims Donald Trump tried to stop federal Spygate probe

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump in Washington
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Spygate turns 15 next year. Every so often, it continues to create a nugget of news.

Here’s the news from a new item from Don Van Natta, Jr. and Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com regarding the controversy that arose when the Patriots were caught red-handed videotaping defensive coaching signals by the Jets.

The late Arlen Specter, a long-time Pennsylvania senator, aggressively pursued the matter. He wanted to get to the bottom of the signal-stealing-and-possibly-other-forms-of-cheating rabbit hole, especially since the Patriots had beaten the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. Specter loudly rattled the sword regarding the NFL’s broadcast antitrust exemption, which allows 32 teams to sell TV rights collectively not through the individual businesses that make up the league.

Specter previously told Charles Robbins, who served as a communications aide and ghost-wrote two Specter memoirs, that a friend had contacted the Senator at the time of the Spygate imbroglio. Arlen Specter said (and Robbins wrote) this: “If you laid off the Patriots, there’d be a lot of money in Palm Beach.” However, Specter consistently refused to identify the friend to Robbins.

Now, Specter’s son shares the name of the friend with ESPN.com: First name Donald. Middle initial J. Last name Trump.

“My father told me that Trump was acting as a messenger for Kraft,” Shanin Specter told ESPN.com. “But I’m equally sure the reference to money in Palm Beach was campaign contributions, not cash. The offer was Kraft assistance with campaign contributions. . . . My father said it was Kraft’s offer, not someone else’s. . . .

“He was pissed. He told me about the call in the wake of the conversation and his anger about it. . . . My father was upset when [such overtures] would happen because he felt as if it were tantamount to a bribe solicitation, though the case law on this subject says it isn’t. . . . He would tell me these things when they occurred. We were very close.”

Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Trump, told ESPN.com that the claim from Shanin Specter is “completely false.” A Patriots spokesman told ESPN.com that Robert Kraft “never asked” Trump to speak to Arlen Specter on Kraft’s behalf, and that Kraft “is not aware of any involvement of Trump on this topic and he did not have any other engagement with Specter or his staff.”

Perhaps most tellingly, Federal Election Commission records show (according to ESPN.com) that neither Kraft nor his company ever donated a single dollar to Arlen Specter’s campaign committees.

So, basically, if Trump (or anyone else) directly or indirectly promised campaign contributions from Kraft if Arlen Specter dropped the Spygate matter, the back end of the alleged promise never happened. It never happened even though, per the report, Arlen Specter personally asked Kraft for a contribution in 2010.

15 responses to “Arlen Specter’s son claims Donald Trump tried to stop federal Spygate probe

  1. This claim by Specter’s son makes zero sense, other than to portray his dad as an incorruptible crusader for good.

    A better question to be explore would be, what did Senator Specter receive in exchange for making spygate a big deal?

  2. When Senators have nothing better to do than try and be an overlord of sports, you know your gov’t is doomed- get these clowns out of office- all of ’em, or America is doomed as well. Try getting some bridges repaired or creating jobs, or enforcing anti monopoly laws or feeding kids, addressing the increasing numbers of homeless folks? The list is endless, and nowhere on it is anything involving silly sporting events. The dumbing down is complete welcome to the Idiocracy as foretold by Nostradamus (or at least that awesome movie) 😉

  3. Why would this require Federal involvement? What a waste of taxpayer money. Also, let’s not forget that the Jets were caught the prior year doing exactly the same thing to the Pats.

    People act like the Patriots are the epicenter and originator of seeking “competitive advantage”, but there’s a long history in the NFL of these things and every team has done something shady at some point.

  4. An NFL owner offers a bribe (campaign dollars) to end an investigation and some of you think it’s no big deal? It’s called pay-for-play or quid pro quo, and it is a violation of campaign finance law.

  5. Specter is no good. Anyone with any sense of fairness understands the full story of Spygate: teams all over the league engaged in blind eye funny business, then the NFL finally decided to put a stop to it and sent a memo declaring such, and finally Belichick arrogantly continued one such practice, got caught, and he and his team were rightfully punished hard. But babies like the Rams and Specter hoped to use this very real transgression as an opening to try to invalidate all previous Patriot accomplishments, and they wanted to paint common league-wide practice as Patriot-specific cheating. Sore losers, simply put.

  6. Asterisk king Brady and the patriots fraud rings will be forever laughed at and tainted no matter how much crying patriot fans do. This will continue to follow the patriots forever. Forever cheaters!

  7. congress has the power to regulate commerce and last i checked the super bowl is big peanuts. to those who would say that there is nothing to see here all i can retort is that nothing after spygate came to light has given me confidence in the integrity of the game. it’s not about who did and didn’t do what. it’s about the suss manner in which all things shield related are swept under the turf.

  8. “He was pissed. He told me about the call in the wake of the conversation and his anger about it. . . . My father was upset when [such overtures] would happen because he felt as if it were tantamount to a bribe solicitation, though the case law on this subject says it isn’t. . . . He would tell me these things when they occurred. We were very close.”

    ——

    If he was so angry about it, why wouldnt he call out the people who offered the campaign cash at the time it happened ? Seems to me, if you’re in the midst of a Federal Investigation and someone comes forward with a bribe to drop the case, you’d hammer that hard. But all he does is call his son and tell him? Nah, sounds like made up stuff

  9. Arlen Specter was a world class Liar. In fact he is even now finding ways to lie from the grave it seems. No love left for him in P.A. on both sides of the aisle. I know it’s not nice to speak ill of the dead, but this time that guy deserves it.

  10. I believe Comcast was a large contributor to Specter, and that is likely the main reason to go after the antitrust issue, and spygate just gave him the cover to do so.

  11. The Federal government has no business probing something like Spygate.

  12. Spector was the king of inappropriate outside pressure being applied to sports with a team specific agenda. If Trump did something jerky too I don’t doubt it, but any such complaint from the Spector camp is just hilarious irony.

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