Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive – Sir Walter Scott
Porn Star Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump’s attorney have weaved quite a web; one of deception, lies and innuendos. It is a complicated web, one which will require much untangling. However the web untangles, it has become apparently clear, and undeniable that the Porn Star was paid to keep certain activities under the covers.
Trump has said he would only hire the best to fill his White House staff. He may have blundered when he put his long-time attorney Michael Cohen in charge of this situation. Then again, part of the blame could be levied against Trump himself.
Daniels, Trump and Trump’s attorney were supposed to enter into the non-disclosure agreement about a month before the election. Daniels and Trump attorney Michael Cohen signed the agreement, and there is a space for Trump to do so as well. Initially, it seemed all parties were satisfied with the agreement. Daniels would receive $130,000 for her silence, and talk of an affair with a Porn Star would be kept out of the public eye during the rest of the campaign. But tick tock, the payment didn’t come as promised. Fearing Trump would never actually pay her, Daniels had her attorney send Trump’s attorney a notice that the payment would need to made immediately, or Daniels would consider the agreement null and void, and that she would be free to speak openly about their affair.
For whatever reason, perhaps on purpose, Trump didn’t make the payment. This left Cohen in a pickle. He had to quickly arrange to get Daniels paid from somewhere, or the gig would be up. Cohen has stated that he decided to pay Daniels himself, out of his own money to enforce the agreement. He has since claimed that he took money from his Home Equity Line Of Credit, and that he was not reimbursed by Trump, or the campaign. He didn’t claim he wasn’t reimbursed by somebody, just that it wasn’t Trump or his campaign.
Cohen made the payment to Daniels 11 days prior to the election. Cohen has since claimed that Trump knew nothing about his actions, or the payment to Daniels. If true, Cohen would be in all sorts of trouble, as we will address a bit later.
By taking the $130,000 Daniels may have determined the outcome of the election. Would it have mattered that Trump had an affair with a Porn Star? Probably not. It didn’t matter to Republicans that more than 18 women had accused him of sexual harassment, or that he was caught on tape bragging about grabbing women by the pussy. It simply didn’t matter, and Daniels claim would have been just one more chapter to the book that is Donald Trump.
In mid-January, The Wall Street Journal reported that Daniels received the money. Trump and Cohen denied any of it was true. Porn Star paid $130,000 To Hide Under Covers
As time went on, Daniels decided that perhaps she didn’t get the fair end of the stick. Fearing an outburst in early February, Cohen reportedly exercised part of the agreement and entered into arbitration where he was granted an injunction to keep Daniels quiet. Not satisfied with that decision, Daniels filed a lawsuit on March 8th against the President and his attorney Cohen. The suit can be read in its entirety by following the link below.
Daniels and her attorney believe that the injunction produced during arbitration is bogus. Her filing suit also allows her to make the original agreement public for everybody to see. The release of the agreement (which Trump and his attorney originally denied existed) probably raised the blood pressure of at least one person in the White House (hint: she goes by FLOTUS).
So why can Stormy Daniels release the agreement, and why does she not need to follow it? Because she believes that Cohen violated the agreement, and she has legitimate claims that the agreement is null and void. When she was able to file suit, she was also legally able to disclose the agreement itself, which may have been 90% of what Trump wanted to keep secret. Her reasons for filing suit are as follows:
- Donald Trump never signed the agreement. This matters – sometimes. It is thought that Trump may have not signed it on purpose, so he could deny knowledge of it. Normally everybody needs to agree and sign. However, Daniels accepted payment, and for a period of time abided by the terms of the agreement which demonstrates her acceptance.
- When Cohen entered into arbitration, he did so in California. Unfortunately for him, he is not listed as being a member of the California Bar Association, a requirement to practice law in California. Any decisions made by an arbitrator on behalf of Cohen could be rejected by the courts. Update – As it turns out, Cohen did not file for the arbitration. Documents show an attorney for the Trump Organization based in California filed. This enabled the arbitration, but proves the Trump Organization is involved. It isn’t Just Cohen acting on his own.
- When Cohen entered into arbitration, he is required to give due notice to the other party so that they can respond. According to Daniels complaint, Cohen did not follow this protocol, gain a reason for rejecting any decisions made by an arbitraitor. Update – The motion to arbitrate was filed on an emergency appeal, thus prior notification was not necessary, though why the arbitator thought it was an emergency is a mystery.
- Cohen was not entitled to arbitration. According to the agreement, only Donald Trump can enter into arbitration with Daniels. Arbitration between Daniels and Cohen is not a remedy per the agreement. Hence any decision made by the arbitrator is not enforceable. Update – As an attorney for the Trump Oranization files for arbitration, this point is moot. However, the attorney, listed as a VP of the Trump organization did sign the papers on behalf of Trump. This would mean Trump is part of the agreement, and is being represented by counsel.
- Cohen claims he acted alone, without Trump’s knowledge. Why he would then list Trump as a party to the agreement is a mystery. The law also requires him to keep his client (Trump) fully informed and aware of all actions against him. He is also required to keep his client informed of all actions to remedy any issues. To act without keeping Trump informed would almost certainly result in his disbarment. Either Cohen is lying, or his is facing the possibilty of not being able to practice law in the future.
- Daniels offered to return the $130,000 for full release from the agreement. By offering to do so, Daniels demonstrated she may not be so confident in her other arguments, and that she is still bound by the agreement. Unfortunately for Trump, the cat was really out of the bag once her suit was filed.
Considering just about everybody of importantance who works for Trump is required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, this situation should have been routine. It was botched, and botched badly. In reality Trump may have had a hand in causing the problem when Daniels wasn’t paid right away. If she had been paid, then Cohen wouldn’t have needed to scramble to get her paid which lead to the papertrail for the Wall Street Journal to begin with. Will Trump tell Cohen “You’re fired!”? Only time will tell.Tweet