Woman goes on Trump's favourite Fox News show to plead for his help after husband 'killed hotel worker' on Caribbean island

The Independent Politics 2 months ago

Kallie Hapgood wanted Donald Trump‘s help in the case against her husband on the Caribbean island of Anguilla, where he is accused of killing a hotel maintenance worker while on a family vacation.

So she turned to his favourite TV show.

From the Fox & Friends studio on Monday, the Connecticut woman pleaded for the US president to intervene. 

She described her husband, Scott Hapgood – a trader with UBS Investment Bank – as a “loving man” who “did nothing wrong”.

She added a dose of praise for Mr Trump. “We need help,” she said during the five-minute segment. “I’ve seen Trump help Americans in peril around the globe and we really need his help.”

Accused of abusing his office by pressing the Ukrainian president in a July phone call to help dig up dirt on Joe Biden, who may be his Democratic rival in the 2020 election. He also believes that Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails - a key factor in the 2016 election - may be in Ukraine, although it is not clear why.
Believed to be a CIA agent who spent time at the White House, his complaint was largely based on second and third-hand accounts from worried White House staff. Although this is not unusual for such complaints, Trump and his supporters have seized on it to imply that his information is not reliable. Expected to give evidence to Congress voluntarily and in secret.
The lawyer for the first intelligence whistleblower is also representing a second whistleblower regarding the President's actions. Attorney Mark Zaid said that he and other lawyers on his team are now representing the second person, who is said to work in the intelligence community and has first-hand knowledge that supports claims made by the first whistleblower and has spoken to the intelligence community's inspector general. The second whistleblower has not yet filed their own complaint, but does not need to to be considered an official whistleblower.
Former mayor of New York, whose management of the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in 2001 won him worldwide praise. As Trump’s personal attorney he has been trying to find compromising material about the president’s enemies in Ukraine in what some have termed a “shadow” foreign policy. In a series of eccentric TV appearances he has claimed that the US state department asked him to get involved. Giuliani insists that he is fighting corruption on Trump’s behalf and has called himself a “hero”.
The newly elected Ukrainian president - a former comic actor best known for playing a man who becomes president by accident - is seen frantically agreeing with Trump in the partial transcript of their July phone call released by the White House. With a Russian-backed insurgency in the east of his country, and the Crimea region seized by Vladimir Putin in 2014, Zelensky will have been eager to please his American counterpart, who had suspended vital military aid before their phone conversation. He says there was no pressure on him from Trump to do him the “favour” he was asked for. Zelensky appeared at an awkward press conference with Trump in New York during the United Nations general assembly, looking particularly uncomfortable when the American suggested he take part in talks with Putin.
The vice-president was not on the controversial July call to the Ukrainian president but did get a read-out later. However, Trump announced that Pence had had “one or two” phone conversations of a similar nature, dragging him into the crisis. Pence himself denies any knowledge of any wrongdoing and has insisted that there is no issue with Trump’s actions. It has been speculated that Trump involved Pence as an insurance policy - if both are removed from power the presidency would go to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, something no Republican would allow.
Trump reportedly told a meeting of Republicans that he made the controversial call to the Ukrainian president at the urging of his own energy secretary, Rick Perry, and that he didn’t even want to. The president apparently said that Perry wanted him to talk about liquefied natural gas - although there is no mention of it in the partial transcript of the phone call released by the White House. It is thought that Perry will step down from his role at the end of the year.
The former vice-president is one of the frontrunners to win the Democratic nomination, which would make him Trump’s opponent in the 2020 election. Trump says that Biden pressured Ukraine to sack a prosecutor who was investigating an energy company that Biden’s son Hunter was on the board of, refusing to release US aid until this was done. However, pressure to fire the prosecutor came on a wide front from western countries. It is also believed that the investigation into the company, Burisma, had long been dormant.
Joe Biden’s son has been accused of corruption by the president because of his business dealings in Ukraine and China. However, Trump has yet to produce any evidence of corruption and Biden’s lawyer insists he has done nothing wrong.
The attorney-general, who proved his loyalty to Trump with his handling of the Mueller report, was mentioned in the Ukraine call as someone president Volodymyr Zelensky should talk to about following up Trump’s preoccupations with the Biden’s and the Clinton emails. Nancy Pelosi has accused Barr of being part of a “cover-up of a cover-up”.
The secretary of state initially implied he knew little about the Ukraine phone call - but it later emerged that he was listening in at the time. He has since suggested that asking foreign leaders for favours is simply how international politics works.
The Democratic Speaker of the House had long resisted calls from within her own party to back a formal impeachment process against the president, apparently fearing a backlash from voters. On September 24, amid reports of the Ukraine call and the day before the White House released a partial transcript of it, she relented and announced an inquiry, saying: “The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.”
Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, one of the three committees leading the inquiry. He was criticized by Republicans for giving what he called a “parody” of the Ukraine phone call during a hearing, with Trump and others saying he had been pretending that his damning characterisation was a verbatim reading of the phone call. He has also been criticised for claiming that his committee had had no contact with the whistleblower, only for it to emerge that the intelligence agent had contacted a staff member on the committee for guidance before filing the complaint. The Washington Post awarded Schiff a “four Pinocchios” rating, its worst rating for a dishonest statement.
Florida-based businessmen and Republican donors Lev Parnas (pictured with Rudy Giuliani) and Igor Fruman were arrested on suspicion of campaign finance violations at Dulles International Airport near Washington DC on 9 October. Separately the Associated Press has reported that they were both involved in efforts to replace the management of Ukraine's gas company, Naftogaz, with new bosses who would steer lucrative contracts towards companies controlled by Trump allies. There is no suggestion of any criminal activity in these efforts.
The former US ambassador to NATO was appointed special envoy to Ukraine, and is thought to have played a role in linking Giuliani with Ukraine officials. He resigned just before giving evidence to Congress, which had subpoenaed him. After his testimony it emerged that he had apparently told Giuliani that he was being fed false information about the Bidens from Ukrainian officials.
A career diplomat who was appointed US ambassador to Ukraine towards the end of Barack Obama’s presidency. She was abruptly recalled from her post in May 2019 amid claims that she was not co-operating with Rudy Giuliani’s unorthodox activities in Ukraine. In the Ukraine phone call Trump refers to her as “the woman” and “bad news” and hints darkly at some sort of retribution, saying: “Well, she’s going to go through some things.” Subpoenaed to give evidence to Congress.
A Seattle hotelier who became US ambassador to the European Union after donating $1 million to Trump’s inauguration committee, despite having no diplomatic experience. According to the whistleblower, Sondland met Ukrainian politicians to help them “understand and respond to the differing messages they were receiving from official US channels on one hand and from Mr GIuliani on the other”. Subpoenaed to give evidence to Congress.
A career diplomat, he was number two at the Ukraine embassy under Marie Yovanovitch. He has been subpoenaed to give evidence to Congress.
An adviser to secretary of state Mike Pompeo, with whom he has run businesses. The two were also at West Point military academy together. Swiss-born Brechbuhl is said to handle “special diplomatic assignments”. Subpoenaed to give evidence to Congress.

Ms Hapgood’s appeal seems to have worked. Not long after her appearance, the president announced on Twitter that he would be “looking into” the case – another instance of the president involving himself in a criminal case outside of US jurisdiction.

It was reminiscent of Mr Trump’s intervention in Sweden’s arrest of A$AP Rocky. The president made repeated calls for the country to release the American rapper after his 30 June arrest on assault charges, even suggesting that race was a factor in his arrest.

Mr Trump’s attempts to influence the Swedish case caused a minor diplomatic spat with the country, a US ally.

Ultimately, A$AP was released after his trial ended on 2 August. He was found guilty but avoided a prison sentence.

To the Trump administration’s displeasure, the rapper did not bother to thank the president for his efforts, according to a Yahoo News account of the saga.

In the Anguilla case, which the president said seems “very wrong”, Mr Hapgood faces manslaughter charges for the 13 April death of 27-year-old Kenny Mitchel.

The young employee’s death – and the treatment of the man accused of killing him – sparked outrage on the tiny, 15,000-population island, where the economy is dependent on tourism.

Some residents believe Mr Hapgood has been treated favourably, perhaps due to his status as a wealthy tourist, The New York Times reported.

He was released from prison hours after his arrest and allowed to board a plane and return to the US.

At the time of the incident, the Hapgood family was a day into their spring break stay at a five-star resort called Malliouhana.

The father was in the family’s room with two of his children when he heard a knock at the door, his wife said on Fox & Friends.

“Somebody in hotel uniform said: ‘I’m here to fix a leak in the sink,’” she said. “And my husband said: ‘We don’t have any leaks in our sink, but come on in.’”

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Once in the room, Mitchel pulled out a knife and demanded money, Ms Hapgood said.

Her husband, a onetime Dartmouth football player, has acknowledged that he overpowered the smaller man and pinned him to the floor until the police showed up.

He told The New York Times it was a “hard struggle” during which he was stabbed and bitten.

A bellman who arrived in the hotel room before the police told the newspaper that Mitchel seemed to be struggling for air as Mr Hapgood held him down.

The worker, Geshuane Clarke, said Mr Hapgood refused to release Mitchel before authorities arrived, insisting that the trapped man was breathing. Mr Clarke claimed Mitchel tried to speak, but Mr Hapgood told him: “You don’t have a thing to say.” 

Mitchel died soon after. A coroner ruled that the cause was asphyxiation from the struggle, and the American banker was charged with manslaughter. Amid the uproar that followed, Anguilla police warned the accused killer that they could not guarantee his safety.

Months later, a revised autopsy report obtained by The New York Times derailed the original account of Mitchel’s death. The new report said it may have happened not as a result of the altercation in the hotel room but rather from a cocaine overdose.

The change was based on newly released toxicology tests that showed Mitchel had a lethal level of the drug in his system.

Yet the criminal case remains ongoing. Asked why that is, Ms Hapgood told Fox & Friends hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt: “It’s a great question and it’s why I’m here. We need help.”

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She said her husband, who has returned to the island three times for court proceedings, is “an amazing father” and “doesn’t deserve this”. 

“Trump, I’ve seen him do amazing things for Americans,” she said. “And Scott Hapgood is the type of American you want to help.” 

The president apparently agreed. In his tweet about the case, he wrote: ”Will be looking into the Scott Hapgood case, and the Island of Anguilla. Something looks and sounds very wrong. I know Anguilla will want to see this case be properly and justly resolved!”

He tagged Fox & Friends, Ms Earhardt and a man named Steve Ducey, who tweeted that Fox News viewers “mistakenly tag me a lot, just not... this fox news viewer”.

Later Monday, Ms Hapgood said the family had not yet heard from the president, the Stamford Advocate reported. But, she said, they were “so thrilled” he was interested in the case.

The Washington Post


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