According to a report, Donald Trump offered money to senator Arlen Spector to drop his crusade against the NFL over the Patriots Spygate investigation.
What connects Donald Trump and the Patriots Spygate investigation?
An ESPN report from Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. alleges the former president tried to bribe former senator Arlen Spector into dropping his quest for an independent investigation into the NFL’s handling of the scandal.
The bombshell report claims Specter and Patriots owner Robert Kraft were mutual friends of Trump. Trump even donated $11,300 to Specter’s campaign committees over the years.
In 2008, while Specter was calling for a government probe into Spygate, Trump allegedly told the senator. “If you laid off the Patriots, there be a lot of money in Palm Beach.”
That anecdote was published in Specter’s 2012 memoir, but the identity of the friend was not disclosed.
Specter’s son and his former ghostwriter both confirmed Trump made the offer.
Donald Trump allegedly tried to bribe senator Arlen Specter over Spygate
“He was pissed,” Specter’s son Shanin said. “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.”
Shanin also claimed Trump was acting as a messenger for Kraft.
Kraft and the Patriots have denied that allegation. Trump’s spokesperson also denied any bribe or offer of money.
Specter was interested in the entire affair because he was an Eagles fan. The Patriots’ victory over Philadelphia in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005 was a point of concern. He didn’t think the NFL had done their due diligence to uncover the full extent of New England’s cheating.
The senator, who died in 2012, never got his independent investigation, though it doesn’t appear direct bribes were to blame for that. There just wasn’t enough interest.
Trump’s involvement in Spygate is another twist in an investigation that still has lingering questions a more than a decade later.