Donald Trump dodged a bullet. Stormy Daniels failed to deliver a knockout punch in her “60 Minutes” interview. The sex scandal engulfing the president is still his word against hers, after Daniels failed to produce corroborating evidence of their affair.
Like boxing, the tie goes to the champion. Stormy never moved the needle beyond “he-said-she-said.”
If you believe her, you believe her. But the millions who make up Trump’s base still don’t. And, they’re the ones who need convincing.
Not that Anderson Cooper didn’t give her every opportunity to knock Trump out of the ring.
“Did you do that?” Cooper asked, on the question whether she possessed text messages, photos or audio recordings of the president.
“I can’t answer that right now,” Daniels replied.
“You don’t want to say one way or the other if you have text messages or other items?” Anderson countered.
“My attorney has recommended that I don’t discuss those things,” she said.
If not now, in front of a national television audience, then when?
Cooper pressed Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti on the same question.
“You seem to be saying that she has some sort of text message, or video, or– or photographs. Or you could just be bluffing.”
“You should ask some of the other people in my career when they’ve bet on me bluffing,” Avenatti said.
Geeze, all this hype and that’s where it ends?
There’s only one reason Daniels and Avenatti refused to answer the question.
They need any possible texts, video or photographs to negotiate their way out of their lawsuit challenging the validity of Daniels’ non-disclosure agreement with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
Leading up to the “60 Minutes” interview, the media had widely reported that Avenatti had legally outmaneuvered Trump and Cohen.
But now just the opposite seems to be the case.
Cohen’s decision to file a $20 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against Daniels seems like a deft move. Sure, it brought Trump into the case, clearly establishing him as the person behind the pseudonym David Dennison, who is named as a signatory in the non-disclosure agreement.
But the move still allows Trump to hide behind his flat denial of an affair.
Instead, the case hinges purely on contract law. While it’s true Trump never signed the agreement, that is not the ultimate factor determining the legitimacy of a contract.
Contracts are considered legally binding when real and valuable consideration changes hands. In this case, that would be the $130,000 Daniels accepted as part of the deal. Errors or omissions in the agreement are immaterial.
That’s one of the basic principles of contract law and the agreement meets that test. Avenatti must know that. So where does that leave the case? Would you believe twisting in the wind?
Daniels obviously wants out of the agreement to cash-in on books, magazine articles and personal appearances. She admitted as much when she said the matter could be worth millions of dollars to her. No sin in that. She’s a porn star and that’s how she makes a living.
But if a court upholds the agreement, she’s dead in the water and possibly on the hook for millions of dollars in damages.
Trump is out on a limb as well. He’s yet to be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he is a liar. But that’s his Achilles heel.
He’s lied about every woman who has accused him of sexual harassment, sex assault and consensual affairs.
Stormy seems to be the only one who claims to have corroborating hard evidence. If so, the President would be toast.
She threw out a few tantalizing tidbits. Donald, she said, pulled down his pants and let her spank him with a copy of his magazine in their first meeting.
But then, the interview kind of went limp (so to speak) when she said they only had sex one time, during their relationship.
The fact is Daniels could have destroyed Trump, simply by producing some of the evidence she claims she has.
She failed to do that. As a result, the ball is still in her court. She needs to put up, or shut up.
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