Son, ghostwriter of late senator say Trump intervened to stop probe of Patriots’ Spygate scandal

A new report has accused Donald Trump of interfering in the investigation of the Spygate scandal to stop it from being investigated by the FBI. A source has told ‘ideasforeurope’, a blog with a reputation for accurate reporting, that Trump is attempting to control the FBI’s investigation of the Spygate scandal. The source, who we have decided to call ‘Son’ (for obvious reasons), is a ghostwriter of a late senator, and says that Trump has been trying to stop the FBI’s investigation of the Patriots’ Spygate scandal.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who frequently appears on television to slam President Donald Trump, claims that the letter he wrote to the NFL, urging the league to fire Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan after revelations that the Patriots had set a league-wide spy-gate scandal, was not influenced by Trump’s influence, despite having written the letter with Trump’s personal lawyer on the same day.

With the help of his close friend, longtime Republican operative Roger Stone, Donald Trump became a multi-millionaire businessman. Trump’s fortune was built on a real estate empire from the early 1980s, and he managed to keep a string of properties while building a reputation as a savvy businessman who could get his hands on cheap financing. Trump took advantage of the good times in the early-2000s, and used Stone to funnel funds from overseas to pay off the mob, who Trump didn’t like. The two hit it off after they met in Florida in the late 1980s to discuss Stone’s plan to stop the development of the Mar-a-Lago Club, which Trump was trying to develop. Trump’s attitude towards the mob was far more indifferent. Read more about 2020 new england patriots and let us know what you think.26. May 2021

  • Don Van Natta Jr.

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ESPN Senior Writer

    • Presenter and co-executive producer of ESPN’s new series, Medical History.
    • Member of three Pulitzer Prize-winning teams for national, community and community journalism
    • He is the author of three books, including the New York Times bestseller First off the Tee: Presidential Extortionists and Scammers from Taft to Bush
    • A 24-year career at the New York Times and Miami Herald newspapers.
  • Seth Wickersham.

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ESPN Senior Writer

    • Senior Writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine
    • After graduating from the University of Missouri, he began working for ESPN The Magazine.
    • Although he primarily covers the NFL, he also reports on the Athens Olympics, the World Series, the NCAA Tournament, and the NHL and NBA playoffs.

In the spring of 2008, the NFL was in crisis. A US Senator from Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, has launched an investigation into the Spygate scandal. He tried to figure out how many games the New England Patriots won by illegally recording the signals of opposing coaches, and why the NFL under Commissioner Roger Goodell destroyed all evidence of foul play. In May, Specter, a former Philadelphia prosecutor and Eagles fan, was so outraged that the league and Patriots opposed his investigation that he called for an independent investigation similar to Mitchell’s into the use of steroids in professional baseball. League officials and coaches may be forced to testify under oath. Such a prospect panicked the union and the new commissioner. If it comes to an investigation, Goodell said at one point it would be terrible for the league.

The NFL has tried to counter Specter’s investigation with public statements from the teams that were the primary victims of New England’s spying, stating that the league exercised due diligence. He didn’t work.

But there was one man, a mutual friend of Specter and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who thought he could block the investigation. He was a famous businessman and reality TV star who regularly poured money into politicians to seduce them, whether it worked or not. For two decades he was a generous political benefactor to Specter.

One evening in early 2008, Specter dined with him in Palm Beach at his upscale club, not far from Kraft’s home in Florida. There was a phone call. A friend offered Specter what the senator thought was a bribe: If you fired the Patriots, there would be a lot of money in Palm Beach.

IN OKTOBER 2017, an ESPN reporter visited the archives and special collections of the University of Pittsburgh, located in a five-story brick building next to warehouses and auto repair shops. For two days, a reporter sifted through Senator Arlen Specter’s letters, speeches, memos, notes, and diaries collected over his half-century career in public life, looking for clues that a friend had offered money if the senator would drop his embarrassing Spygate investigation.

2 Connected

Two autumns earlier, a journalist had received a tip on the name of a mutual friend. At the time, this man had just launched an outsider campaign for the presidency. But it was difficult to confirm this information. Among Specter’s papers, the reporter found a few clues, but nothing conclusive. Before and after visiting Pittsburgh, the reporter made more than a dozen phone calls to confidants of Specter, who died in October 2012 from complications of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but was never able to get definitive results. Another ESPN reporter traveled to Washington, D.C., and met with former Specter employees at hip businesses like BLT Steak and Off the Record. Nothing conclusive.

But recently and unexpectedly, research has evolved. Subsequent conversations with the people closest to Arlen Specter – his eldest son Shanin, a Philadelphia personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer, and Charles Robbins, Specter’s longtime public relations assistant and author of two Specter memoirs – revealed the following The man who offered campaign money if Specter recused himself from the espionage investigation was none other than Donald J. Trump.

And not only that: Trump told Specter he was acting at the behest of Robert Kraft.

Kraft and Trump, who responded to ESPN through spokespeople, denied any involvement in an attempt to influence Specter’s investigation.

It’s an absolute lie, said Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Trump. We have no idea what you’re talking about. Mr. Miller declined to answer some follow-up questions. A Patriots spokesman said Kraft never asked Donald Trump to speak to Arlen Specter on his behalf.

Mr. Kraft is not aware of any involvement by Mr. Trump in this matter, and he has had no further contact with Mr. Specter or his team, the spokesman said in an email.

Senator Arlen Specter (pictured), at a 2008 press conference on Spygate, took on the investigation in part because he wondered if the Patriots had cheated to beat his beloved Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX in February 2005. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

The alleged ties between Arlen Specter, Donald Trump and Robert Kraft came to light almost by accident. On 1. In July 2010, Specter met Robbins in one of their recorded conversations in preparation for Specter’s third and final book, a memoir titled Life Among Cannibals. Six weeks earlier, Specter, who is known to have switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party, lost a hard-fought Democratic primary to Congressman Joe Sestak. The defeat ended Specter’s five-year term in the Senate.

That night, during a three-hour conversation in the darkened den of Specter’s Georgetown apartment, the senator was in good spirits and talked about what he saw as his noble crusade for justice in professional sports. Specter has been a major critic of the NFL for two decades. He was outraged that franchises were extorting money from cities for new stadiums, most of which were publicly funded. Specter has repeatedly threatened to file legislation that would repeal the NFL’s prohibitive antitrust exemption. It was part of Arlen Specter’s thesis that the NFL owned America, Specter told Robbins that night, according to a transcript of their conversation. They are addicted to pro football in a way they were never addicted to baseball. Or heroin.

Specter went on to talk about his cyclical investigation into the Spygate scandal, which has been a source of great frustration for him, as he wondered, for example, if the Patriots had cheated to beat his beloved Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX in February 2005. Moreover, he thought the NFL and the Patriots were thwarting his attempt to find out the truth.

Specter’s interest in Spygate began in late 2007. Specter was the leading Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time and wrote two letters to Goodell with questions about the NFL blitz. In September 2007, just four days after New England was caught eavesdropping on the New York Jets’ coaches’ signals from the sidelines, a league investigation ended with a $250,000 fine for the Patriots and a $500,000 fine for coach Bill Belichick, as well as a first-round draft pick. A few days later, Goodell took over the investigation and ordered his most trusted assistant, league general counsel Jeff Pash, to erase a handful of spy videos in the Gillette Stadium boardroom. The sanctions were imposed before the evidence was collected and then quickly destroyed. To Specter and others, it looked like an amateurish investigation at best, or worse, a cover-up. And then Goodell not responding to one of Specter’s emails asking for an explanation.

Specter was still reeling from it in January 2008, when New York Times reporter Carl Hulse asked him who he thought would win this year’s Super Bowl, in which the undefeated Patriots would battle the New York Giants.

That depends, Specter remarked sullenly, on whether there is any deception here.

When he told Robbins all this in 2010, Specter was sitting on the couch in his office drinking martinis and talking about his lingering frustration with Spygate. Specter recalled that during a recent fundraiser, he decided to approach an unlikely candidate, but one who exemplified my boldness, bravado and confidence. He called Robert Kraft.

Surprisingly, Kraft, still angry about Spygate, agreed to meet with Specter at 10:30 a.m. on Monday the 15th. March 2010, in a hotel room in Boston. Although Kraft now says through a team spokesman that the meeting was not memorable, Specter told Robbins that they had a delightful conversation, according to the transcript. And he said: I take no responsibility for some of the things you did to the Patriots that were very unfair. It’s just really unfair. I decided not to argue with him. At the end, Specter and Kraft discussed the purpose of their meeting – campaign money. The senator hoped that Kraft and his company would contribute to his campaign for re-election to the Senate.

The conversation about Kraft led Specter to offer Robbins a fascinating digression about his Spygate research: During the flight of the signalmen, a mutual friend told me there would be a lot of money in Palm Beach if I took out the Patriots. And I said: It’s the same for me. Although this exchange was published in Specter’s 2012 book, the senator did not mention the name of an influential friend – nor did he report in the press that the friend told him he was an emissary of Kraft.

It has become a fascinating footnote in the Spygate saga, one of many unanswered questions: Who was the mutual friend of Specter and Kraft who offered a lot of money to delay the Spygate investigation of the influential senator?

In an interview with an ESPN reporter in October 2017, Robbins said the recently inaugurated President Trump was among the options for a mutual friend. In a follow-up interview initiated by a reporter, Robbins provided more details: I asked Specter, and he said: It’s okay, let’s move on, and I didn’t insist. Robbins added that it bothered him that Specter didn’t trust him with the name. But in the end, it didn’t matter, Robbins says: I was pretty sure it was a suggestion from Trump. At the time, it didn’t seem like such a big deal. Previously, Trump was a real estate agent and television host.

He was also an avid political donor. The friendship between Trump and Specter began shortly after Trump was elected on the 19th, according to data from the Federal Election Commission. In August 1983, he wrote his first check for $1,000 to Specter’s campaign.

Over three decades, Trump contributed a total of $11,300 to Specter’s campaign committees, often giving the maximum amount allowed for each cycle, according to FEC data. Trump and Specter also exchanged a series of friendly handwritten notes in which Trump repeatedly refers to Specter as a close friend. On 1. In September 2004, during the Republican National Convention in New York, Trump hosted a dinner at Trump Tower to raise money for Senator Specter. Trump and Specter took photos with more than 100 people who had written checks for Specter’s re-election campaign. The man is a great character, Trump said of Specter, according to The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Arlen is just my friend. He’s just someone I like. Trump then looked at Specter and added: I don’t know if this will help or hurt you.

Trump and Specter were also linked by mutual friends: Roger Stone. Stone was the chairman of Specter’s presidential campaign in 1996, and Trump later hired Stone to help him again with his political activities, a role that led to his conviction for lying to Congress in Robert Mueller’s 2016 investigation into Trump’s presidential campaign. Stone, whose sentence was commuted by Trump in July 2020, declined repeated requests for comment on the story. He said he often praised Specter about all sorts of things.

When Robbins said he thought Specter’s mutual friend who offered him money in Palm Beach was Trump, the ESPN reporter again turned to Shannon Specter, Arlen’s son. In October 2017, Shanin Specter and the reporter discussed several people who may have made the phone call to her father. He said he left the conversation feeling like he was pointing to Trump as the man. But now it’s much clearer: It was Trump.

My father told me that Trump is acting as an emissary for Kraft, Shanin Specter said. But I’m also sure the money in Palm Beach was for a campaign contribution, not cash. The offer was to help Kraft’s campaign. … My father said it was Kraft’s offer, not anyone else’s.

He was angry, Shanin Specter said of his father. He told me about the phone call after the interview and how angry he was about it. … My father was always angry when [such offers] were made, because he felt that it amounted to extortion of bribes, although the case law in this area shows that this is not the case. … He told me about these things when they happened. We were very close.

Donald J. Trump at the January 2007 game with his wife Melania and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

He insists that his statements today were not politically motivated, although he did support former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign last fall. And, to be fair, it wasn’t information he leaked on his own; he answered the reporter’s follow-up questions after Robbins made it clearer that the friend who offered Specter the money could only be Trump.

According to Shanin Specter, Arlen Specter did not report the offer to authorities or Senate ethics officials after concluding that the offer did not constitute extortion of bribes according to case law.

Whether such an offer would constitute a bribe in the sense of a crime remains an open question, according to election experts.

Federal law 18 U.S.C. 201 covers bribery of public officials: The government must state the case, matter, cause of action, suit, proceeding, or dispute that may be pending or brought against a public official at any time under the Act. The Act also applies to an offer made on behalf of a person to make a formal decision. The statute of limitations is five years.

Matthew T. Sanderson, a Republican election lawyer and partner at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, said: It doesn’t matter if Specter formally accepted Trump’s offer. You can’t go to a U.S. senator and say, my friend has a big bag of money for you, even if it’s his campaign money, if you stop doing your research. It’s a bribe.

But the truth is that such things happen and are not prosecuted, two other experts said. There are bribes and there are bribes. You’d think campaign contributions would be considered bribes, and it’s hard to see why they wouldn’t be, an expert told ESPN. We just decided it wasn’t – and senators and congressmen, of course, don’t believe that.

Before he was elected president, Trump considered himself a one-man lobbying firm. During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly said he used campaign funds, which he often gave away to Democrats and Republicans, as an effective way to achieve business results.

I support politicians, Trump said during a Republican debate in Detroit on the 4th. March 2016. In 2008, I supported Hillary Clinton. In fact, I’ve supported many other people as well. And it had to do with the fact that I was in business.

Despite Shanin Specter’s claim that Trump made a bid on behalf of Kraft in 2008 and that Senator Specter asked Kraft for campaign money when they met in March 2010, FEC documents show that neither Kraft nor its company, Kraft Group, gave a single dollar to Arlen Specter’s campaign committees. Kraft confirmed that neither he nor any of his organizations ever donated to Specter. But surprisingly, Trump’s offer – and Specter’s anger at it – wasn’t enough to dissuade Specter, two years after the conclusion of his Spygate investigation, from visiting Kraft in Boston for a campaign check. Specter thought that, now that the Spygate investigation was long over, the opportunity to support his re-election campaign would have attracted Kraft.

Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick gave the president a Patriots jersey during a visit to the White House in 2017. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

To understand why Trump may have interfered with the spying investigation of a senator he considered an old friend, you need to understand the origins of the nearly 30-year friendship between Donald Trump and Robert Kraft – and how Trump often tried to insinuate himself to Kraft’s team leaders. The relationship between Trump and Kraft was symbiotic long before it became controversial. It all started in the 1990s, when Kraft and his wife, Myra, bought a condo in Palm Beach, near Mar-a-Lago. Kraft and Trump played golf together, and Trump, along with Jon Bon Jovi, regularly attended Patriots games during the first half of the team’s dynasty. After New England defeated the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI – the game that began the Patriots’ dynasty and that Specter would have liked to see investigated for fraud years later – Tom Brady, 24, found himself with Trump in the businessman’s souped-up Boeing 727, eating sandwiches on an Italian leather couch, in the mystical beginnings of fame, en route from New York to Gary, Indiana, where Brady would be a judge at Trump’s Miss USA pageant. Let me tell you, Trump later told Sports Illustrated, if there’s one thing that sets Tom Brady apart, it’s that he loves these women. And you know what? They love him too.

The relationship between the two men grew stronger as the Super Bowl rings piled up in New England. Trump considered himself a winner and liked to stay around winners. To Brady, Trump was Mr. Trump, which embarrassed the businessman. For Kraft and Belichick, he was Donald, a good friend whose calling card was not his pompous self-promotion and flashy narcissism, but his thoughtfulness and selflessness. Kraft attended Trump and Melania Knauss’ wedding at Mar-a-Lago in January 2005, and Donald and Melania attended Myra Kraft’s funeral in July 2011. Kraft was devastated by Myra’s death, and Trump called Kraft every week for a year to see how she was doing. Mr. Kraft has often said how important Mr. Trump’s gesture was to him. Loyalty and friendship take precedence over politics for me, Kraft said. I always remember the people who were kind to me during those vulnerable times, and he falls into that category.

At one point, Trump wanted his daughter Ivanka to date Brady. You have to meet him! Trump told her that according to the book Raising Trump. Ivanka wasn’t interested and married Jared Kushner in 2009 – the same year Brady married Gisele Bundchen. Trump reportedly later told Kraft that he could have taken Tom Brady as his son-in-law, but preferred Kushner, who is about half the size of Tom Brady’s forearm. Before a game, Trump bragged that Belichick hugged and kissed him. All of these people – Kraft, Belichick, Brady and Trump – share the same anger over Roger Goodell’s handling of two cheating scandals in New England. According to the New York Times, Trump mocked Goodell during Deflategate, calling him an idiot and publicly calling on Brady to sue the league to clear his name.

By the time Trump ran for the White House, the alliance between Trump and the Patriots was already crumbling – in large part because of Trump’s divisive and racist rhetoric. When a red Make America Great Again cap was spotted in Brady’s locker in September 2015, the star quarterback dodged questions about it and said he was just supporting a fellow golfer. In the summer of 2016, Trump asked Brady to speak at the Republican National Convention, but the defense attorney declined. At the end of the 2016 campaign, after Trump read a letter of support from Belichick – in which the coach ranted about the media’s general disdain – it led to such a reaction that Belichick was forced to address him at a press conference on Wednesday, usually the least publicized day of the week. The coach described himself as apolitical and waved away follow-up questions like We’re going to Cincinnati say: Seattle. Seattle. Seattle. On Instagram, Bundchen was asked if she and her husband support Trump. NO! she replied. But despite everything, Kraft has remained a loyal friend. For me, Kraft said in May 2017, it’s like having a high school buddy or fraternity brother as president. It’s weird, but it’s cool. Kraft opened his friend’s checkbook; he was one of seven NFL owners who supported Trump’s inauguration committee with $1 million each.

After New England’s Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons, just weeks after Trump’s inauguration, the team had to go to the White House. Many players missed out, including Brady. Hoping to avoid a lack of participation, Kraft showed the players a photo of himself in Lincoln’s bedroom and said a special tour of the White House residence would be arranged for the team. Of course, on a visit to the 19th. In April 2017, Trump told a small group of players and coaches: Let’s go to the Lincoln Bedroom!

An adjutant told the president that visitors do not go upstairs.

Let’s get the Patriots! Trump said.

But the proportions are still difficult. After Trump waged war with the NFL in the fall of 2017 over players kneeling during the national anthem, it was Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, not Kraft, who bragged about his direct connection to the president during owners’ meetings. Kraft continued to meet with the president in social circles, including informal dinners at Mar-a-Lago. But when the Patriots won the Super Bowl for the second time during Trump’s presidency and beat the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, the team did not go to the White House. Twice the Patriots have set a date. Sometimes the team had to reschedule and other times it was the White House. Neither side seemed willing to find a date for this change. In one of his last acts as president, Trump proposed in January 2021 that Belichick receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It was the kind of honor a military student whose father was a World War II veteran and who spent three decades at the U.S. Naval Academy could appreciate. But the coach declined the award, citing the Capitol offense on the 6th. January.

Former New England Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh shakes Specter’s hand after meeting on Capitol Hill in May 2008. AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson

SPECTRE says it decided to launch the Spygate investigation itself for a simple reason. The NFL has a very privileged status in this country because of its antitrust exemption, he told The New York Times in early February 2008. The American people are entitled to fair treatment.

Two weeks after that statement, Specter and his team met with Roger Goodell and Jeff Pash for an hour and 40 minutes in the Senate office on Capitol Hill. The Commissioner defended the sentences and offered little new information in response to numerous questions from the former prosecutor. Danny Fisher, an adviser to the Specter Judiciary Committee team and the man in charge of the Spygate investigation, had a list of 13 current and former Patriots he wanted to interview, including Robert and Jonathan Kraft, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Ernie Adams, Charlie Weiss and numerous wideouts. None of the current Patriots wanted to talk and referred Fisher to an outside lawyer.

Although his one-man investigation has no subpoena power, Specter’s outspoken criticism of the NFL’s Spygate investigation has hurt the league and Kraft, who less than two years earlier had backed Goodell to replace Paul Tagliaba as commissioner. Goodell convinced the Eagles and Steelers to issue statements emphasizing that the league had done its due diligence, even though executives of both teams were convinced that the NFL’s investigation was flawed and intentionally uninformative. Goodell also called Mike Martz, who was the Rams’ head coach in Super Bowl XXXVI. In early 2008, the Boston Herald newspaper reported that the Patriots had filmed the Rams’ practice the day before the game – a report the Patriots denied and the Herald later denied. (Videographers from the Patriots witnessed the pass, but did not record it). Panicked, Goodell asked Martz to make a statement. He said to me: The league doesn’t need this. We ask that you publish a line or two exonerating us and saying we did our due diligence, Martz told ESPN in 2015. Martz was convinced that New England cheated its team in the Super Bowl, but he also thought a broader investigation with subpoena power could ruin the league. Martz wrote a statement that he said was significantly redacted by the union before it was released.

Specter was furious that the investigation was dragging on. In his notes during his meeting with Goodell and Pash, he wrote: Concealment.

On each occasion, we were denied interviews with Patriots staff and employees, as well as others with direct knowledge of the videotapes and the allegations of fraud, said Fisher, an attorney for Specter State. This is extremely frustrating for Specter, especially considering the fact that the NFL has told us that there is no competitive advantage or benefit associated with video recordings. If there is nothing to hide, why not be open and transparent?

Even before Specter officially announced his investigation, Donald and Melania Trump invited Specter and his wife Joan to a private dinner at Mar-a-Lago on Sunday the 20th. January 2008 – the day of the AFC and NFC championship games. Four days later, Specter wrote a handwritten card to Trump: Dear Donald and Melania, Joan and I enjoyed our dinner with you. The food was excellent and the company was even better. Donald, you should seriously consider becoming Cabinet Secretary. In the meantime, we look forward to the 18th. March. Good luck, Arlen.

On the 18th. In March 2008, a party was held in Philadelphia to celebrate Specter’s recent book, Never Give Up. According to Specter’s documents, Trump co-hosted the book party. By this time, Specter’s investigation into Spygate had made many headlines. Shanin Specter said he couldn’t remember exactly when his father told him about Trump’s offer, but he said it was shortly after the senator received a phone call from Trump in the first half of 2008.

Shortly after the book festival, on the 31st. In March 2008, Trump wrote a $1,300 check to Specter’s campaign committee account. This will be Trump’s last check to Specter.

By mid-May of that year, after Goodell had conducted an interview with former Patriots wideout Matt Walsh and nearly announced the conclusion of the third Spygate investigation, Specter’s Spygate investigation was exhausted. Specter failed to interest his Senate colleagues in investigating the issue, but he continued to threaten to file legislation that would repeal the NFL’s antitrust exemption. Some observers condemned Specter for spending so much time investigating Spygate at a time when the economy was rapidly deteriorating and the United States was still fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Specter has also been accused of fighting the NFL over Spygate on behalf of one of its most powerful political patrons: Comcast, the Philadelphia-based cable television company that was Specter’s second-largest sponsor. At the time, Comcast was in a public battle with the NFL over whether the cable operator could charge its customers to broadcast NFL Network. The criticism infuriated Specter, who strongly denied the speculation. Nonetheless, Specter later admitted in notes in his personal papers that the delay in his investigation, as well as the mounting criticism and questions about his motives, made him weary. At age 78, he battled cancer with chemotherapy treatments and told friends it was time to end his personal struggle with the Patriots and the NFL.

The 5th. In June 2008, Specter delivered a lengthy speech on the Senate floor, handwritten by himself over the course of several weeks, that was supposed to be his final word on Spygate. He defended himself against Comcast’s criticism while again decrying the league’s investigation into Spygate and calling for an impartial investigation.

Shanin Specter says he’s proud of his father, who he says did a great job of bringing the truth about Spygate to the surface. He was alone, so what? He’s used to it, he says. He was a football fan who felt cheated, and a senator who felt the NFL needed to control itself to keep the antitrust exemption granted by Congress. He was right on both counts. We now know Belichick was and is a serial cheater, and in this case his boss has closed ranks to him.

Shanin Specter (left) says her father was outraged by Trump’s offer, which he saw as an extortionate bribe. Shanin Specter.

Arlen Specter told confidants that the secrets of Spygate – the exact number of games the Spygate operation had won for New England, why the league was so quick to destroy all the evidence the Patriots had provided – would remain stubborn secrets. And in the process, Specter has a few secrets of his own. Why didn’t the senator mention Donald Trump in his latest memoir? Was it because Trump was his friend, despite the fact that the proposal offended him? Or is it because Specter knew Kraft wasn’t giving him campaign money, and there’s a glimmer of hope, so why name names?

I don’t know why he didn’t put in his book that it was Trump, Scheinin told Specter. But he loved Trump. They had a cordial relationship. So that would explain it. But, of course, that was a different Trump. If my father were in the Senate today, many things would be different.

Like much of what happens with Spygate, no one will ever know.

Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. are senior editors for ESPN. They can be reached at Seth.Wickersham@espn.com and Don.VanNatta@espn.com. On Twitter, their names are @sethwickersham and @DVNJr.

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