President Trump isn’t exactly having a wrinkle-free presidency. From the moment his campaign began through his time in office, Trump has spouted offensive language, dealt with a revolving door of staff, and most significantly, had to contend with Robert Mueller’s investigation into reports that his campaign colluded with Russia. Now, the president is dealing with another scandal, one that he never saw coming.
When news broke about Trump’s alleged affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, many folks just chalked it up to another one of Trump’s scandals. However, Daniels is proving to be a real issue for Trump. In fact, in the end, despite everything else that is happened, she might be the catalyst for his downfall.
A year-long affair
The alleged affair between President Trump and Stormy Daniels began in 2006. According to Daniels, the duo met in July of 2006 at a charity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. In an explosive 2011 interview given to In Touch Weekly that wasn’t published until January 2018, Daniels recalled, “He was all sprawled out on the couch, watching television or something. He was wearing pajama pants.”
According to Daniels, the duo ended their affair in 2007, but continued speaking for years afterward.
Next: A bundle of hush money
A worrisome payment
As we’ve stated before, news of Trump’s alleged affair with an adult-film actress came as a shock to no one, even though the affair began just four months after his youngest child Barron Trump was born.
However, his connection with Daniels is back in the news now is because in January 2018, The Wall Street Jornal published an article claiming that Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, made a $130,000 payment to Daniels in October 2016; one month before the election, to stay silent.
Next: Lies and fairytales
Deny, deny, deny
As the report of the hush payment dropped in the WSJ, The White House immediately denied the claims stating, “These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election.”
Meanwhile, Cohen called the payment reports “outlandish,” claiming wholeheartedly that it never occurred.
Next: A very telling paper trail
Changing their tune
Unfortunately for Cohen and Trump, you can’t erase a paper trail. By February 2018, Cohen changed his tune and told The New York Times that he had in fact paid Daniels the hush money. However, he claimed the money was from his own pocket, and neither Trump nor his administration knew anything about it.
He claimed, “The payment to Ms. Daniels was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.” This seems ludicrous because lawyers cannot ethically pay third-party settlements with their own funds. Cohen could be putting his career on the line big-time if he did this.
Apparently, Cohen and the White House never got their stories straight. While Trump has continued to deny his affair, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a White House Press briefing in March 2018, “This case has already been won in arbitration and anything beyond that, I would refer you to the president’s outside counsel.”
In doing so, she acknowledged the affair for the first time, and Trump is reportedly not too pleased about it.
Next: Getting the FBI involved
A problem on their hands
If attorney Cohen did, in fact, pay Daniels the hush money using his Trump administration email while also failing to follow up and get the president’s signature, Daniels’ gag order is pretty much null in void. Additionally, Congressmen are now asking the FBI to investigate the payment.
California Rep Red Lieu tweeted, “If this article is true, it shows Cohen coordinated with @realDonaldTrump or his campaign. That makes the $130k payment to Stormy Daniels a felony in violation of federal election law. Last week @RepKathleenRice & I asked @FBI to investigate this suspicious payment.”
Next: Whispers of impeachment
A Clinton issue
If you recall, former President Bill Clinton ultimately had to go through impeachment proceedings for perjury and obstruction of justice, after he lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
If it is proven the Trump not only lied about his relationship with Daniels, but also used campaign money to pay her off, he could very well be facing his own impeachment.
Next: Some major damage
A ‘Stormy’ situation
Even before Stormy got to tell her side of the story, the news of her alleged affair with Trump did way more damage than the POTUS or his administration ever expected. From unsigned documents to scandalous lawyers, the Daniels storm is causing way more investigations, and digging up even more information that we’re sure Trump would rather remain buried.
In the end, it might be an affair from a decade ago that brings Trump to his knees.
Follow Aramide on Twitter @midnightrami.
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