Stormy days ahead for Trump

By Dorothy Inman-Johnson
Special to the Outlook

Porn star Stormy Daniels (birth name Stephanie Clifford) has alleged that for a year, beginning in 2006, she had an affair or “friends with benefits” relationship with President Trump. This affair reportedly took place only a year and a half after he married Melania, and just four months after their son Barron was born.  Trump, of course, has denied the affair. Yet, he dispatched his longtime attorney, Michael Cohen, known as Trump’s fixer, to get Stormy’s signature on a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) and buy her silence with $130,000, days before the 2016 election. There was, however, a problem. It seems Stormy had already disclosed the affair to friends and in an interview in 2011, long before she signed Trump’s 2016 nondisclosure agreement.

Since Trump is known for requiring staff and everyone privy to his business and White House activities to sign nondisclosure agreements with indefinite terms, Stormy’s story has a ring of truth. Further, Trump’s own admissions of nonconsensual sexual assaults on women, and documented adulterous behavior in previous marriages, make this new revelation not so farfetched. His problem is not the fact that he continues to engage in salacious activities, but that the $130,000 payoff may be a violation of the law.

Michael Avenatti, Stormy’s attorney, has filed a lawsuit to have her released from the NDA based on the fact that it was not signed by both parties to the agreement. Trump never signed. Legal analysts agree the last thing Trump wants is to deal with this in open court where discovery will require both parties to disclose all the juicy details under oath. So Trump’s team of attorneys have filed to have the case moved from state to federal court, in hopes that federal judges will require the matter to be settled in a closed arbitration session, preserving secrecy from the public. In addition, they are attempting to enforce a $20 million penalty against Ms. Daniels for violation of the agreement. But it seems Trump has finally met his match in Attorney Avenatti who does not seem the least bit intimidated by the threats and bullying tactics. Instead, he has allowed his client to give a detailed interview to CBS’s “60 Minutes” scheduled to be broadcast on next Sunday, March 25. Millions of inquiring minds are likely to be tuning in to get Stormy’s side of the story.

It, also, seems the 2016 nondisclosure agreement was about 5 years too late. Stormy disclosed details about the affair in a 2011 interview, and to close friends who can serve as witnesses in any court proceeding. It will be difficult for Trump’s team to succeed in penalizing Stormy in a 2016 NDA for information shared in 2011 before the agreement existed. Further, it was Cohen, Trump’s fixer, who slipped up and disclosed details about the “hush” payment.

The real victims in this mess are First Lady Melania and young Barron. At the same time, she must have figured out by now that she is married to a narcissist who is too selfish to care about anyone except himself.  The House Republicans could not wait to impeach President Clinton for his consensual affair with Lewinsky. And though I don’t condone Clinton’s horrible behavior and disrespect for the office of U.S. President, it is a mystery to me that Republicans and most Evangelicals seem to have no problem at all with this President who lies daily, shows flagrant disregard for laws, threatens, bullies, and uses illegal tactics to punish political enemies or anyone who disagrees with him, has made America less respected around the world, and may have committed the serious crimes of money laundering and treason. In comparison, there has never been a President who disgraced the Office as completely as Trump.

So, it seems the very best example of poetic justice that after all the abuse women have taken from him, it may be a porn star who finally brings Trump down off his high horse. He certainly has a worthy opponent in Attorney Avenatti. I can hardly contain my excitement over this impending “battle of the Titans”, and will be among those tuning in to “60 Minutes” on Sunday. For all of those reasons, I am forecasting well-deserved, stormy days ahead for the President.

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