Stormy Daniels is suing Donald Trump, saying that he never signed the nondisclosure agreement that his lawyer had arranged with her. Filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by NBC News, the suit alleges that her agreement not to disclose her “intimate” relationship with Trump is not valid because, while both Daniels and Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen signed it, Trump never did.
Just days before the 2016 election, Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) signed both the agreement and a side letter agreement using her professional name on October 28, 2016. Cohen signed it on the same day.
The “hush agreement,” as it’s called in the suit, refers to Trump throughout as David Dennison, and Clifford as Peggy Peterson. The side letter agreement reveals the real identities of the parties as Clifford and Trump and each includes a blank where “DD” is supposed to sign. Neither blank is signed.
The agreement said that $130,000 would be paid into the trust account of Clifford’s then-attorney and in return, Clifford was not to disclose any confidential information about Trump or his sexual partners to anyone. Except for those people she’d already blabbed to.
The suit says that Trump KNOWS that Cohen is trying to keep Stormy quiet. Rules for the New York bar, of which Cohen is a member, require him to keep his client informed at all times.
“[I]t strains credulity to conclude that Mr. Cohen is acting on his own accord and without the express approval and knowledge of his client Mr. Trump.“
The suit also alleges that Cohen tried to keep Clifford from talking about the relationship as recently as late last month, Feb. 27, 2018. The suit says,
“To be clear, the attempts to intimidate Ms. Clifford into silence and ‘shut her up’ in order to ‘protect Mr. Trump’ continue unabated. On or about February 27, 2018, Mr. Trump’s attorney Mr. Cohen surreptitiously initiated a bogus arbitration proceeding against Ms. Clifford in Los Angeles.“
Clifford and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, are asking the L.A. County Superior Court to declare that both the hush agreement and the side agreement,
“were never formed, and therefore do not exist, because, among other things, Mr. Trump never signed the agreements. In the alternative, Plaintiff seeks an order of this Court declaring that the agreements in the forms set out in Exhibits 1 and 2 are invalid, unenforceable, and/or void under the doctrine of unconscionability.“
You can read the entire hush agreement here.
Trump has never addressed the alleged relationship publicly. White House spokesperson Raj Shah said he had never asked the president about the alleged relationship. (Don’t ask, don’t tell.) Cohen has acknowledged the payment, but has repeatedly declined to say what the payment was for.
This is the perfect move by Stormy’s lawyer because it essentially traps Trump. If he ignores the suit, and says he doesn’t know her, she’s free to talk. If he disputes it, then he’s admitting publicly to the agreement, the pay-off and the affair.
On The Rachel Maddow Show, Monday night Rachel was introducing a segment about Stormy saying,
“However titilating the Stormy Daniels story is… I’m sorry I just said ‘titilating’.“
The oddest (saddest) and most frustrating thing about this whole Stormy affair is that, because the Trump White House is in such chaos, this it isn’t even the top news story.
But satirist Andy Borowitz, as usual, nails it, so to speak;
“Trump denies having sex with Stormy Daniels citing boner spurs.“
(Photo, Instagram; via NBC News)