• The Revenge of Stormy Daniels?

    March 30, 2023

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Trump

    Convicting Donald Trump for some sort of crime connected to his alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels means taking the word of that porn star and a guy like Michael Cohen, serial liar and convicted felon, over the word of someone many people think has the disposable morality of a porn star and the trustworthiness of a serial liar, Trump himself. That’s likely going to be up to a Manhattan jury if the long-rumored indictment comes through. Next for any of this to matter Trump would have to be reconvicted in the court of public opinion, something that has largely already passed as the rough details of Trump and Stormy’s relationship (financial and otherwise, though Trump denies having an affair with Daniels) have long been chewed over by everyone from law reviews to late night comics. About the only people who really think the walls are closing in, again, are in the cheap seats of blue check Twitter.

    Goodness help us, here’s the rest of the raw material of this criminal caper. Trump may soon be indicted on some sort of campaign finance law violation. This means Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg for the State of New York (Federal prosecutors have long signed out of the cheesy political revenge fantasy business) has convinced a grand jury there is enough evidence to charge Trump with the crime. A grand jury setting means Bragg faced no opposition in laying out his case, as the not-quite-a-defendant is not represented. So no cross examination, no motions to suppress evidence, no hammering away at Michael Cohen as perhaps the least credible witness of all time, and thankfully, no hoary Godfather references to it all in the media. The old joke is you can indict a ham sandwich if the DA is any good, and if Trump is indicted that motto holds true here. Indicted means only the case moves on to the next stage ahead of a possible trial anyway.

    Stormy Daniels, a porn star whose very NSFW antics are all over the internet, has sex with a businessman. She then takes more money to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) to keep silent. Sensing an opportunity when the businessman later runs for president, she willfully violates the NDA to revive her career. Meanwhile, when faced with jail time for all sorts of dirty deeds, the businessman’s now disbarred lawyer, a felon himself, violates attorney-client privilege to claim on his word the NDA payoffs (inherently legal) were actually complex technical violations of campaign finance law. And, oh yeah, most of this naughtiness happened way back in 2006, before Trump was even president. That’s the basic case to bring down Citizen Trump in the ultimate act of political revenge. Fuhgettaboutit!

    It will be interesting in a stop-and-stare-at-a-car-wreck kinda way to  see how DA Bragg presents his case. Problem One is that with paying money as part of an NDA is not illegal; lawyers regularly obtain (here’s a fill-in-the-blanks NDA) discreet resolutions of issues threatening the interests of their clients (“settlements.”) Without admitting guilt, money is paid from Party A to Party B in return for Party B dropping all future claims, agreeing to never mention something again, handing over documents or photos, whatever you’d like. It happens all the time, and in fact is the dirty little secret which keeps sexual harassment alive and well. Wealthy men pay women to remain silent under NDAs. It does not change the legality of all this even if the media calls those payments hush money or payoffs and Michael Cohen a “fixer.”
    Problem Two for Bragg is any criminality must come from twisting a not uncommon occurrence into a violation of a campaign finance law. When Trump had sex with Stormy he was just another philanderer. However, a few years later Trump became a philandering presidential candidate, and that money shifted, maybe, from a legal NDA payoff to something akin to a campaign contribution. The what in this case (money for silence) is clear. It is the why that matters most.
    So Problem Three, and it is a big one, is intent. You have to intend to violate campaign finance laws, not make a mistake or just act like a sleaze. Any illegality comes from the supposition by Michael Cohen that he can speak to Trump’s intent, that the NDA was not, say, to spare Trump’s marriage from new embarrassment, but “for the principal purpose of influencing an election” amid everyone already knowing Trump was a serial philanderer. If the whole was primarily for the purpose of hiding Stormy from voters instead of hiding Stormy from Trump’s wife and kids, then the money was essentially a campaign contribution and whole new set of laws kick in. But “it should be clear,” said the New York Law Journal, “Cohen’s plea, obtained under pressure and with the ultimate aim of developing a case against the president, cannot in and of itself establish whether Trump had the requisite mental state.”
    Thus Cohen’s testimony does not prove Trump knew the payments made to Stormy were illegal. Prosecutors would have to prove that willingness by Trump alongside proving his principal goal was to influence the election. If this ever reaches court, Trump will simply deny that and no jury can say weighing one man’s word against another, especially these mooks, eliminates all reasonable doubt. Felons testifying out of self interest make poor witnesses. Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal offenses, including lying to Congress, tax fraud, and campaign finance violations. Cohen will face questions of personal bias, given his own multiple lawsuits against Trump. He will face questions about whether he received a benefit from prosecutors, early release from prison, for cooperating. If a liar like Cohen is your only witness on Trump’s intent, you really have no witnesses.
    There’s more. Problem Four is prosecutors also have to connect Trump directly to the payment. The check for $35,000 from Trump to Cohen, which was supposedly part of $135k paid to Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen displayed at his 2019 Congressional hearing and ten others alleged to exist do not show what the payments were for. The checks do not have Stormy’s name on them. Cohen simply claimed they were part of his reimbursement for “illegal hush money I paid on his behalf.” The check(s) are not receipts; they could have been for anything. They do potentially expose Trump to another crime, falsifying business records, a misdemeanor in New York.
    They are receipts for a crime only because Cohen says they are. Under direct questioning when he testified before Congress, Cohen claimed unfortunately there was no corroborating evidence. He said he sent fake invoices to Trump only for “legal retainer fees,” so don’t bother with the invoices as evidence because Cohen now says he lied on them claiming it was a retainer fee. The checks total over $400k, because supposedly Trump rolled Cohen’s fee and bonus into the amount, so we just have to take his word for it $135k of that money was for Stormy. Cohen said some of the checks were signed by Don, Jr. and the felony-convicted tax cheat Trump Organization CFO. That means the checks would be used to implicate personally a person who did not sign them. If this all sounds complicated, it’s because it is.
    Problem Five, for Stormy’s payoff to be illegal, it will also be necessary to determine the money came from campaign funds. If it was Trump’s private money, even private money he donated to his own campaign, there is likely no case. Even if the money is shown to be campaign funds, illegality is based on the $2,000 donation limit imposed on the supposed “giver,” Michael Cohen in this case who has already been convicted, a limit which does not apply to the candidate himself. The payment is also not a donation if it was made for an expense that would have been paid even if there were no campaign, like hiding an affair from your wife.
    And so what? There is nothing to stop Trump from running for president if he is under indictment, or even found guilty and serving time. His affair with Stormy, which may be offensive to some voters, has sadly been part of the public conversation around Trump for years. Anyone who has wanted to see Stormy in the buff has done the requisite searches. Trump is not former Democratic vice-presidential nominee John Edwards, who was found guilty in 2012 and withdrew from the race. Edwards was accused of illegally arranging for two wealthy supporters to pay $925,000 to keep his pregnant mistress out of public view during the campaign. This all is no knock-out blow for 2024. Trump’s spokesperson said in a statement, “The Manhattan District Attorney’s threat to indict President Trump is simply insane.” You literally cannot embarrass Trump into quitting. The Dems are going to have to beat Trump another way.


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  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...


      The Democrats may have already picked out a suitable grassy knoll concluding it is the only guaranteed way to stop/beat Trump. I hope not but politics today is a rough vocation.

      03/30/23 3:59 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      You don’t have to read the National Enquirer to know Donald Trumps’s Pecker would be his downfall.

      03/30/23 4:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The Dem strategy to convict THE Don on hush money payments is akin to getting Al Capone on tax evasion. Donnie is a bigger murderer than Al, increased the Covid death toll by 130,000. He was the best friend of the 2019 bug telling his idiot cult it was nothing to worry about. His insane response to these weak charges will kill the Repug chances in 2024.

      03/31/23 7:43 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Trump does feel the prison walls are closing in on him. The wacko rally at Waco tells US he will call for civil war if he faces prison. Tucker just told the Trump cult not to give up their assault weapons. Of course, DeathSantis victory in the primaries will mute all this talk when Trump is no longer the useful idiot for the Repugs. Yes, Peter will have to find new material to write as nobody wants to read about lost wars. Right, Peter?

      03/31/23 8:40 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer: Alvin Bragg is not hunched in a grassy knoll. My guess is that Trump will come out stronger from the presently sealed indictment- not that I want that to be the outcome. The Democrats are actually going to have to run a candidate that can resonate with sane people.

      03/31/23 12:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      Sorry to pee on your wet dream of Dems doing the Repugs job eliminating Trump. The Dems will do everything they can so that Trump is free to be DeathSantis worst nightmare.

      03/31/23 2:21 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- your childish crudeness is finally too annoying to accommodate. You seem an arrested male. I thought you were capable of deep thought but your “peeing on my wet dream” I think ends the dialogue. I don’t have a wet dream about Trump-his continuance or downfall. Grow up! If you had a wife maybe you heard the same exhortation as she slammed the door. John Poole

      03/31/23 4:58 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      You Russians are so emotional. Stay off the Vodka, druggie.

      04/1/23 7:43 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The Revenge of this hooker? Donnie has risked everything for cheap sex. We know it wasn’t the first time he had cheap sex in the US. Donnie is even reportedly on tape having sex with Russian hookers. Donnie wont go to jail for this crime. Hopefully he will be tried for inciting a riot that resulted in deaths of his cult fans as well as police. If there is any justice, revenge should be at the hands of his cellmate who wants some cheap sex.

      04/1/23 12:13 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      It is said a grand jury can indicated-haha a ham sandwich. Well a New York City jury can convict one:

      Donnie Little Fingers Trump faces the embarrassment of arraignment, fingerprinting and a police mugshot in Manhattan on Tuesday, but his worst nightmare will come from a jury made up of New Yorkers who know him all too well. But not too soon. Donnie has to win the Triple Crown, the biggest loser of the popular vote in three elections.

      04/2/23 9:38 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      (National) Enquiring minds wonder why Trump is facing the weakest case first, when he will face much more serious crimes. Big thinkers on Fox News today assured the Trump white cult that Trump stands only to improve his poll numbers by playing the martyr at the hands of a black Dem DA. MSNBC agrees that Trump will see a boost in his poll numbers, sufficient to defeat DeathSantis , who would stand a better chance of beating the Dem candidate.

      04/2/23 5:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      If Trump is convicted for his business crimes, what would be suitable punishment, you ask? How about parading Donnie Little Gingers down 5th Ave in his birthday suit ala Game of Thrones? No, that would be cruel and inhuman punishment for New Yorkers to witness.

      04/3/23 11:32 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The Great Exaggerator Going Down in the Stretch

      Handicapping the 2024 race, look for Donnie Little Fingers to drop in the polls as the weight of the criminal charges takes its toll. The only chance the Repugs have to win the race is to disqualify DLF from running. DeathSantis is the dark horse who can get the DLF Cult to put DLF out of his misery.

      04/4/23 7:28 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Donnie Little Fingers would not be in this mess if he did what he always does: not pay. He discussed stiffing poor Stormy, promising to pay her after the election and then not pay her. But Stormy has been stiffed too many times by this clown.

      04/4/23 5:05 PM | Comment Link

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