Why Trump Settled With Stormy Daniels.
The world now knows that the President of the United States of America paid hush money to a porn star to hide an affair he had with her just weeks after his current wife gave birth to their son. How far has the morality of this nation fallen that this is acceptable, even to the religious right, which grants the President a “mulligan”?
One of the questions regarding this was, why her? With all the allegations by all the women accusing Trump of sexual improprieties, even sexual assault, why did he settle with this one porn star?
The lawsuit filed by Stormy Daniels seeking to invalidate that “Hush Agreement” and the attending release of the Hush Agreement have done much to answer this question.
One reason is that, unlike the other accusers, Daniels had evidence. We don’t know what that evidence is, or whether she still has any of it, but we do know Trump wanted it and demanded it as part of the settlement. Much of the settlement agreement is dedicated to Trump getting this material. For example, Paragraph 2.3 of the agreement states:
[Donald Trump] desires to acquire, and [Stormy Daniels] desires to sell, transfer and turn over to Donald Trump, any and all tangible copies of the Property and any and all physical and intellectual property rights in and to all of the Property. As a condition of [Donald Trump] releasing any claims against [Stormy Daniels] related to this matter, [Stormy Daniels] agrees to sell and transfer to [Donald Trump] all and each of her rights in and to such Property. [Stormy Daniels] agrees to deliver each and every existing copy of all tangible Property to [Donald Trump] (and permanently delete any electronic copies that can not be transferred), and agrees that she shall not possess, nor directly nor indirectly disclose, convey, transfer or assign Property or any Confidential Information to any Third Party, as more fully provided herein.
As you can see, any property Daniels has related to the “Confidential Information” has to be given to Trump or permanently deleted. This agreement goes well beyond mere non-disclosure. What this agreement is really about is the suppression and destruction of evidence.
The reason for this also goes beyond Stormy Daniels. This quickly-achieved Hush Agreement needs to be put in the context of what else was going on.
On October 7, 2016 the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape came out with Trump on tape bragging about sexually assaulting women and trying to seduce a married woman. The language is worth repeating, keeping in mind this nation elected to its highest office the man who said this:
“I did try and fuck her. She was married . . . I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look . . . I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
The Hush Agreement was signed only three weeks later, on October 28th (less than two weeks before the election). What happened between the October 7 Access Hollywood tape and the signing on the Hush Agreement on October 28 provides insight into why this settlement happened and why Trump sought to destroy this evidence.
Just two days after the Access Hollywood bombshell, on October 9, in the second debate, Trump was asked, and after some prompting, finally said he never assaulted women in this manner. However, within days women began to come forward accusing Trump of doing to them what he said he did to women on that tape. Many claimed to be driven to come forward by Trump’s denial in that debate. The allegations spread over the sexual evils map, ranging from lecherous consensual affairs, to beauty pageant dressing room leering, to forced kisses, to unwelcome groping, to flat out rape.
Trump dismissed all the allegations as fake, and the women behind them as all frauds seeking attention. These comments on October 22 were typical:
“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign, total fabrication. The events never happened. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over. It was probably the [Democratic National Committee] and the Clinton campaign that put forward these liars with these fabricated stories. We’ll find out at a later date through litigation and I look so forward to it.”
Of course, these women sadly had no proof. But what if one woman did? Think of that. What if in the sea of Trump denials of affairs and sexual misconduct, a porn star came forward with not only details of a lurid affair with the President, weeks after his current wife gave birth to their son, but also with evidence that it happened?
Trump’s already strained credibility would be shattered, and the credibility of the women making the allegations against him bolstered. So Trump made this one go away, so he could continue to keep his denials marginally credible.
Along the way Trump and his lawyer conspired with Stormy Daniels to destroy evidence that might be harmful to Trump in litigation Trump himself was threatening and in litigation some of his accusers were filing. Certainly Stormy Daniels did a disservice to the women making these allegations, and to the nation. However, I am less concerned with the ethical, and possible legal, breaches of a porn star than I am with those of the President of the United States.
It remains an open question whether Stormy Daniels actually gave to Trump, or permanently deleted, all the Hush Agreement demanded. Her attorney when asked if she still had some evidence said: “That’s a question that Ms. Daniels will have to ultimately answer. … I do know the answer and I’m not at liberty to disclose that this morning.” Well, if she didn’t have anything, he could have said so. Sources close to Daniels previously said she has a “Monica Lewinsky dress” that will be DNA tested.
Beyond that, expect the women who have sued President Trump to submit discovery requests demanding production of whatever Daniels turned over to him. If Trump (or his attorney) destroyed such property, that will not sit well with the court.
That Daniels is now seeking to invalidate the Hush Agreement from its beginning also suggests she has retained evidence. She needs the court to declare the Hush Agreement was never valid so as to not have committed the first breach.
A final thought. For any other person, how do you think a security clearance would be handled if the investigators discovered the person seeking the clearance secretly paid hush money to a porn star to conceal an affair?