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Catch and Kill: The Protection Racket Used by Trump, Weinstein, Epstein and Wall Street

Courtesy of Pam Martens

U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, Announcing the $7 Billion Settlement With Citigroup on July 14, 2014

U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, Announcing the $7 Billion Settlement With Citigroup on July 14, 2014

When it comes to the crime families of New York, they literally do catch and kill people who can’t be trusted to keep the secrets of their criminal operations. When it comes to the superrich in New York, they’re more inclined to “catch and kill” the story, rather than the accuser. (Jeffrey Epstein’s untimely death last year may be an exception.)

On October 11, 2017, Jim Rutenberg, writing for the New York Times about the aiders and abettors to Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assaults, explained the catch and kill strategy as follows:

“There is also another dynamic at play, involving something akin to a protection racket. This is the network of aggressive public relations flacks and lawyers who guard the secrets of those who employ them and keep their misdeeds out of public view.”

Keeping the secrets out of public view can involve a payoff to the victim and an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) or it can involve a more twisted version: getting a news outlet or Hollywood studio to pay big bucks to buy the story rights from the victim, with the promise to release the story to the public, then killing the story and making sure it doesn’t see the light of day anywhere else. This happens to a far greater extent than Americans currently understand.

The mushrooming transmutations of catch and kill today involve not just public relations flacks, high-priced lawyers, publishers, mainstream media and Hollywood studios. Increasingly, catch and kill includes the U.S. Department of Justice, making this version of catch and kill exponentially more dangerous to American democracy.


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