A Washington Scandal Forecast for the Capital: Stormy

May 16, 2018

    What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the name “Stormy Daniels?” If you said “Donald Trump having an affair with a adult-film actress,” then you’re not alone. Rumors have surfaced more recently that suggest that President Donald Trump had an affair with 39 year-old Stormy Daniels (whose real name is Stephanie Clifford), who has been in the adult-film industry for nearly twenty years.
     About two weeks before the 2016 Presidential Election, the personal attorney of Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about her relationship with Donald Trump, going completely under the radar, and the public was unaware until January 2018. Stormy Daniels said she wanted to protect her family, both physically and emotionally. Years prior, in 2011, a man had walked up to her and her infant daughter in a parking lot, warning, “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,” and even threatening her daughter. Ever since, she has been afraid to come out about the alleged relationship. Why, then, is she coming out to the public with her story? 
     Stormy Daniels went on “60 Minutes” at the end of March 2018, to set the record straight. “It was very important to me to be able to defend myself,” she states in the interview. “People are just saying whatever they wanted to say about me, I was perfectly fine saying nothing at all, but I’m not okay with being made out to be a liar, or people thinking that I did this for money.”
     According to Ms. Daniels lawyers, this entire fight against Trump is about the payment made by Mr. Cohen and the cover-up. “This is about the extent that Mr. Cohen and the president have gone to intimidate this woman, to silence her, to threaten her, and to put her under their thumb,” said Mr. Avenatti, one of Stormy Daniels’ lawyers.
     This all matters because the payment made by Cohen was right before the 2016 Presidential Election. If Cohen, who paid Daniels out of his own pocket and claims to without Trump knowing, did this on Trump’s behalf, there could be serious legal issues for Trump, his campaign, and Cohen. This payment could be seen as a campaign contribution in the sense that the money had a purpose of influencing the election in one way or another, which would be considered a felony in violation of federal election law. As you could imagine, anyone with the slightest amount of hatred for the President is trying to do anything possible to rip him apart with this, however Trump has denied knowing about the payment.
     Democrats and liberals are calling this the biggest hush agreement to ever happen in the United States, or even the world, with congressmen calling the allegations “deeply troubling.” Trump supporters, Republicans, and conservatives who usually brush off alarming news or controversial comments made by Donald Trump are keeping quiet; these claims may have some truth to them, for they have not yet been discredited.
     In April, Michael Cohen’s New York offices were raided by the FBI. This came after a referral made by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible Russian collusion during the 2016 Presidential Election. Files that relate to the  $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels were seized in the raid, though this was not the sole reason for the it.
     This pressing story will continue to develop in the next few weeks and months. There is a chance that there could be an investigation on the payments made by Michael Cohen, and future developments about these startling allegations made by Stormy Daniels are expected to unfold.

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