Former President Donald Trump and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft were accused in a new report on Wednesday of trying to influence the team’s 2007 Spygate scandal investigation.
The NFL has determined that the Patriots were guilty of videotaping the signals of the New York Jets defensive coaches from a prohibited location during a game on September 9, 2007. The league fined $ 500,000. to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, $ 200,000, and won a first-round pick in 2008.
Then-Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., Who died in 2012, has sought to launch a separate investigation into the Spygate scandal. Specter said at the time that he believed the NFL had a conflict of interest in its investigation of the Patriots and that the public deserved to know more about the team’s practices.
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Specter raised an issue with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the time about the destruction of the Tapes and questioned if there was a connection between the Tapes and the Super Bowl victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. in 2005.
Specter did not go so far as to request a hearing in the US Senate, but wanted an outside “Mitchell report” type investigation. The Mitchell Report investigated steroid use among MLB players, according to the Washington Post. Goodell said at the time that he had no plans to hire an outside investigator.
The Spygate affair would eventually fizzle out. The Patriots would win three more Super Bowls and help support Tom Brady as the greatest quarterback in NFL history and the Patriots as the most dominant sports franchise at the turn of the 21st century.
An ESPN report on Wednesday alleged that Trump had “suspended campaign money” for Specter in exchange for ending the investigation. Trump reportedly told Specter he was acting on behalf of Kraft.
Fox News did not immediately receive a response from the Patriots, Trump or Shanin Specter on a request for comment.
Robbins confirmed to Fox News the comments made to ESPN.
Specter’s son Shanin and Charles Robbins – a former Specter communications assistant who also co-authored their books – spoke to ESPN about the late senator’s involvement in the scandal and Trump’s alleged involvement.
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According to ESPN, Robbins and Specter spoke about a then-upcoming book “Life Among the Cannibals,” which published in 2012, and recorded their conversation. Specter reportedly told Robbins that a “mutual friend” told him that if he fired the Patriots his pocket would be doubled and that “the friend” was acting on behalf of Kraft. The friend was neither revealed in the conversation nor published in the book.
Robbins told ESPN in 2017 that the “friend” may have been Trump, who by then had just walked into the Oval Office as president, and that he had never pressed Specter on it. Trump had already cut Specter’s campaign a check for $ 1,000 in 1983, according to the report. Trump had also publicly called him a friend. Shanin Specter had previously spoken to ESPN about the “mutual friend” but was unsure of the name until now.
“My dad told me Trump was acting as a messenger for Kraft,” Shanin Specter told the point of sale. “But I’m just as sure the reference to money in Palm Beach was campaign contributions, not money. The offer was a Kraft aid with campaign contributions. … My dad said it was Kraft’s offer, not someone else’s. “
Shanin Specter said her father was mad at this. He said his account of the ordeal was not politically motivated despite his support for President Joe Biden and that he did not report the allegations because he did not believe, citing case law, that it would be considered a bribe.
Records have shown that neither Kraft nor its company Kraft Group donated to Specter.
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Jason Miller, Trump’s senior adviser, has denied the ESPN report’s allegations.
“This is completely wrong. We have no idea what you are talking about, ”he told the outlet.
Kraft also denied allegations made to ESPN through a spokesperson: “Mr. Kraft is not aware of any Trump involvement in this matter and he has had no other engagement with Specter or its staff. “