Larry Flynt’s ad in the Sunday edition of The Washington Post is hard to miss.
Flynt, best known as the publisher of the pornographic magazine Hustler, outlined numerous reasons he felt President Trump needed to be removed from office, charging him with everything from “compromising domestic and foreign policy with his massive conflicts-of-interest global business empire” to “telling hundreds of bald-faced lies” to “gross nepotism and appointment of unqualified persons to high office.”
That was why, Flynt wrote, he was seeking information from anyone who could provide a “smoking gun” — perhaps buried in Trump's tax returns or in some other investment records — that would lead to his impeachment.
“Did he make some financial quid pro quo with the Russians?” the ad states. “Has the business of the United States been compromised to protect the business of the Trump empire? We need to flush everything out into the open.”
At the end of the ad, there is a toll-free number and an email address, along with a reassurance that Flynt fully intends to pay the full sum of $10 million for good information.
“Impeachment would be a messy, contentious affair, but the alternative — three more years of destabilizing dysfunction — is worse,” Flynt wrote. “ . . . I feel it is my patriotic duty, and the duty of all Americans, to dump Trump before it’s too late.”
Kris Coratti, a spokeswoman for The Post, declined to say how much a full-page ad costs or how far in advance one would have to notify the newspaper to run such an ad in a Sunday edition.
“We give advertisers wide latitude to have their say,” Coratti said. “Generally, if the ads are not illegal or advocating illegal actions, we try not to place limits on speech or content.”
On Saturday afternoon during a call to the hotline listed in the ad a man told The Post the number would be staffed on weekdays, between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. PT, for the next two weeks.
The man declined to give his name but said he was not Flynt.
In a subsequent phone interview, Flynt told The Post that he expected to get information “within a few days” and said he would release any legitimate information right away. He also defended offering a cash reward for information.
“Just because you pay for it does not mean it’s not any good,” Flynt said. “I don’t think you can live as recklessly as Trump has for 30 years and not leave some baggage along the way . . . I can't think of something more patriotic to do than to try to get to get this moron out of office.”
It’s not the first time Flynt, who endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential race, has offered a monetary reward with the aim of taking down a politician.
In 2007, he offered $1 million, also through a full-page ad in The Post, seeking evidence from anyone who had had an illicit sexual encounter with a member of Congress or other government official. He had done the same in 1998, and the information that emerged reportedly influenced the resignation of Republican Congressman Bob Livingston, who was in line to be speaker of the House.
In 2012, Flynt again dangled a $1 million reward in public, this time for then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s tax returns.