There’s so much more to the Stormy 60 Minutes interview than just the spanking with his own magazine cover embarrassment for the President.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) March 25, 2018
The Stormy Daniels 60 Minutes interview presents a multipronged criminal danger for President Donald Trump, Norm Eisen, chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Virginia Canter, Executive Branch Ethics Counsel for CREW wrote in an opinion piece for USA Today.
The issues are several. The first is that Daniels’ claim that she signed Trump’s non-disclosure agreement after being threatened, which if true would nullify the agreement.
“Leave Trump alone. Forget the story. That’s a beautiful little girl. It would be a shame if something happened to her mom,” Daniels said, relaying an alleged threat she received to Anderson Cooper on CBS.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) March 25, 2018
While people might be skeptical of Daniels’ claims, they write, “She had reasonable answers, including that the threat accounted for the fact that she did not attempt to negotiate, instead rapidly agreeing to a contract — one with onerous terms, and for much less money than she might otherwise have gotten.”
Further, they write that Daniels’ claims “should be enough to call the agreement into question under legal rules invalidating agreements tainted by coercion or duress.” This will open Trump up to discovery, which means “that the case could drag on in the public eye for many months — perhaps years — to come.”
That would not be good for a president already under constant fire due to his myriad of ethical problems. The Trump base won’t care, true enough. But enough of the the Independents and Trump Democrats will care. For a President who won an election with a mere 77,000 votes spread out over three states with massive voter suppression, the help of the Russians and 50 million Facebook accounts being mined for personal information to help Trump, he can’t afford to lose any voters.
Also, Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti told MSNBC’s Ari Melber that the President knew about the threats to Daniels. “When the MSNBC host asked Avenatti if he had evidence to support this claim, he responded confidently and simply: ‘Yes.’”
A second “possibly criminal danger for Trump stems from his omission of any Stormy-related information on his 2017 financial disclosure forms,” Eisen and Canter explain. This one, if proven it was done knowingly and willfully, exposes Trump to up to 5 years in prison.
And lastly, there’s always Trump Russia they remind us. The Daniels’ claims could feed Special Counsel’s probe into “Trump’s potential vulnerability to alleged Russian kompromat and he may turn to Daniels for evidence to corroborate a pattern of personal peccadilloes.”
Trump has an odd problem with things that begin with “P”- Putin, porn, p*ssy, Playboy, and if the Steele Dossier checks out fully, pee.
It’s disconcerting to remember that Donald Trump won the evangelical vote, and they do not appear to be anywhere near abandoning him even as revelations that he cheated on his third wife with an adult film star and a Playboy model surface.
Stormy Daniels came across as a very credible witness during her interview. The biggest piece of the puzzle she put together for this writer was admitting that she did not want to sleep with Trump, but did it anyway. She made clear that she does not see herself as a victim, that she did it willingly, but not out of desire. Having sex with someone you find undesirable is part of sex as a business commodity/negotiation that is prevalent in industries that carry a lot of power.
Daniels also explained that she accepted a lesser sum in exchange for her silence even when being offered larger sums by media outlets because she was afraid for her family’s safety. This put some pieces together that previously didn’t make sense, and added the cherry of disgust that we might have a president whose people threatened the mother of a young child in front of that child.
Trump fans wrote Daniels off as an “opportunist”, as if they don’t love that very trait in Trump and as if a man cheating on his wife and using his cache as a reality TV show host to get sex from someone who didn’t desire him is not opportunistic. Daniels is opportunistic in the sense that anyone who uses their sex appeal for personal and professional gain is. That is to say, almost everyone who has it. She slept with someone she didn’t desire probably precisely because he dangled opportunities that she says she knew were unlikely.
But she admits all of this. A liar she does not seem to be. And that is a claim the President can’t make. Adult film actress and producer Stormy Daniels is a more credible witness than the President of the United States. That fact in and of itself puts Trump in legal danger.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.