Stormy Daniels–Donald Trump scandal

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Daniels (2010) and Trump (2011)

The Stormy Daniels–Donald Trump scandal is a political scandal about a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) signed by U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen and pornographic actress Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 United States presidential election.

Background[change | change source]

After the NDA was revealed by The Wall Street Journal in January 2018, Daniels sued Trump and Cohen to argue that the agreement is invalid. The dispute has gained significant media coverage, and has drawn legal attention to Cohen's involvement in the matter.

In August 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges, including one related to the scandal, and he stated under oath that he paid Daniels "in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office," meaning Trump.

The first reports of an alleged affair between Trump and Daniels were published in October 2011 by the blog The Dirty and the magazine Life & Style.[1]

Events[change | change source]

On January 12, 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in October 2016, a month before the presidential election, to stop her discussing an affair she allegedly had with Trump in 2006.[2]

Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was arrested and convicted as a result of the scandal

In an interview with 60 Minutes on March 25, Daniels said that she and Trump had sex once, and that later she had been threatened in front of her infant daughter, and felt pressured to later sign a nondisclosure agreement.[3]

On April 5, 2018, while on Air Force One, Trump said he did not know about the $130,000 payment Cohen made to Daniels. He also said he was not aware of why Cohen had made the payment or where he got the money.[4]

In May 2018, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News that "the president repaid" Cohen the $130,000 that Cohen had paid to Daniels. Giuliani also said that Trump "did know the general arrangement" of Cohen's payment, but not "the specifics".[5][6]

In June 2018, Daniels sued both Michael Cohen and her own former lawyer, Keith M. Davidson, accusing Cohen of encouraging Davidson to violate her attorney-client privilege.[7] The lawsuit also alleges Trump was aware of the efforts for Daniels to deny the affair on media interviews.[8]

In August 2018, Cohen officially surrendered to the FBI.[9] That afternoon, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges: five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign.[10][11] He also said two senior Trump Organization executives were also involved in the hush money payments.[12]

In September 2018, lawyers for Trump said that Trump will neither enforce the non-disclosure agreement nor oppose Daniels' claim that it is invalid.[13]

References[change | change source]

  1. Borchers, Callum (March 10, 2018). "Stormy Daniels has successfully navigated the media 'puke funnel'". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  2. Rothfeld, Michael; Palazzolo, Joe (January 12, 2018). "Trump Lawyer Arranged $130,000 Payment for Adult-Film Star's Silence". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 14, 2018. A lawyer for President Donald Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to a former adult-film star a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.
  3. Parks, Miles (March 25, 2018). "Stormy Daniels Shares Graphic Details About Alleged Affair With Trump". NPR. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  4. "Trump breaks his silence on payment to porn star Stormy Daniels". April 6, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  5. Chamberlain, Samuel; Dedaj, Paulina. "Giuliani calls for Comey to be prosecuted, end to Mueller probe 'in the interest of justice'". Fox News. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  6. "Giuliani contradicts Trump on Stormy cash". news.com.au. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  7. Ruiz, Rebecca R. (June 6, 2018). "Stormy Daniels Sues, Saying Michael Cohen Colluded With Her Former Lawyer". The New York Times. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  8. Reporter, MJ Lee, CNN National Politics. "Stormy Daniels files new lawsuit against Cohen and her old attorney". CNN. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  9. Press, Associated. "Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme, campaign finance violations".
  10. Hong, Nicole; Ballhaus, Rebecca (August 21, 2018). "Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty, Says He Acted at Trump's Direction" – via www.wsj.com.
  11. "Michael Cohen 'strikes plea deal'". BBC News. August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  12. "Cohen Wasn't Alone: Records Suggest Others in Trump Circle Had Role in Hush Money Arrangements". Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  13. Viebeck, Elise. "Trump, Cohen do not plan to enforce Stormy Daniels's nondisclosure agreement, court filings state". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 September 2018.