Donald Trump reportedly tried to stop Spygate investigation on behalf of Patriots, Robert Kraft

Did Donald Trump make a phone call on behalf of Robert Kraft and the Patriots during the Spygate scandal? According to a report from ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham, the answer is yes.

Shanin Specter, the son of former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, who famously launched an investigation into the Spygate scandal, and Charles Robbins, the senator’s communications aide and ghostwriter, both claim to know that Trump offered money to make Specter’s investigation go away.

The elder Specter, who was a staunch critic of the NFL, wanted league executives to testify under oath about why evidence of cheating had been destroyed. The investigation never made headway.

Why it matters: If Trump did offer Specter any money to make the Spygate scandal go away, that could be considered a bribe and would potentially have been a prosecutable offense. 

What they’re saying: Of course, the former president of the United States and the Patriots’ owner both deny that Trump made any overtures to Specter while the Spygate investigation was in the works.

But … : The younger Specter insisted that Trump was “acting as a messenger for Kraft,” according to Van Natta Jr. and Wickersham’s report.

What came of this: Arlen Specter did not report the offer to the after concluding the offer wasn’t a bribe solicitation, Shanin Specter said. Campaign contributions, which is reportedly the form that Trump and Kraft’s offer came in, aren’t considered bribes. But even at this stage in the history of the Spygate scandal — 13 1/2 years removed from it — this story is an intriguing anecdote.

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