Nobody expects Donald Trump to have any morality. His affairs with porn stars and assaults on women don’t surprise anybody. Neither do reports that he conned people at Trump University, that he stiffed small contractors who worked on his properties, or that the majority of his statements are lies.
So Anderson Cooper’s interviews with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal probably won’t change anyone’s opinion of him, or affect his political popularity one way or another. This is especially true of his hardcore supporters who will forgive him for anything.
But what the interviews do point out is that there is one thing that can cause President Trump real and significant problems that he can’t get out of easily: lawsuits against him.
The distressing thing for Trump about lawsuits is that they can go on for months and months — and many times for years and years. And on top of that every small legal maneuver by any attorney or judge or party to a lawsuit will be prominently reported in that day’s news.
Every lawsuit is like a chess game, with many pieces and many moves made by the players. There are three plaintiffs in lawsuits against Trump right now: Daniels, McDougal and Summer Zervos. So it’s almost like Trump and his lawyers are playing three dimensional chess. And their opponents are better than they are. The legal issues are complex and the publicity will (continue to) be enormous, which won’t help the president in any way.
Because of these highly publicized lawsuits against Trump right now we are guaranteed to see a lot of negative publicity over the next several months which will affect not just the president but also every Republican candidate for Congress in this year’s midterm elections. This kind of constant negative publicity may hurt every Republican in the country and help the Democrats take back control of Congress.
When Stormy Daniels decided to speak up about her alleged affair with Trump and risk being sued for $20 million it ensured that the issue is not going away quietly, which has happened with Trump accusers in the past.
No matter how much Trump tries to change the subject he can’t. He will continue to face more questions about his behavior and personal morality, as well as his mental state and his fitness for office. For the rest of his presidency he will not only dealing with litigation but also with almost daily public relations challenges that will frustrate and anger him.
All of these legal pressures and bad publicity come at a time when Trump is feeling fear and anxiety about the very real threat from Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
In addition, his administration is dealing with national and international crises and challenges that are typical for any president but seem more challenging for Trump. This is a man who doesn’t like the job and was not prepared for the job. Some days it seems like he thinks he’s playing a president on a TV show. When he realizes he’s actually President of the United States he takes impulsive action through tweets and firing people — the only things he really knows how to do.
Because of the three lawsuits against him Trump will find it extremely difficult to make questions about his sexual past go away. More women may arise with their own lawsuits against Trump — and possibly their own nondisclosure agreements and hush money payoffs. And he can’t just fire all these people like he can fire cabinet members or members of his legal team.
He really can’t even sue back to intimidate people suing him, which is what he has done throughout his career. When he does this, it will just create more bad publicity and keep the lawsuits at the top of each day’s news headlines. The $20 million lawsuit filed by Trump against Daniels for breach of the nondisclosure agreement is a case in point. It has added more bad publicity and it makes Trump look like a bully.
If he takes to twitter to malign and insult these women and their attorneys he will look silly and desperate, and it will accomplish nothing.
So Trump is in a corner and he is facing not only very determined women suing him but also highly accomplished and aggressive plaintiffs’ attorneys.
And you can bet that these attorneys have no intention of letting all this great publicity stop if they can help it. Lawsuits like these help their careers and are worth a fortune to them. Every day they probably wake up and give thanks that they have Donald Trump to sue. The lawsuits for them are the gifts that keep on giving — and they won’t be going away any time soon.
Which may be good news for Democrats.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.