Stormy Daniels Offers to Return Payment to End Deal for Her Silence

A pornographic film star who says she had an affair with President Trump will return $130,000 she got from Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer if doing so means she can speak freely, her lawyer said in a letter.

Comments: 265

  1. $130,000 is chump change, plenty of interested parties would want to buy her silence or non-silence while regular people couldn't care less one way or another

  2. Can you loan me $130K?

  3. $130K would not be chump change for Mr. Cohen - especially if he did indeed use his home equity to get that cash.

  4. @Mike, what sort of leverage do you have?

  5. The thing I still don't understand about this is that even if Trump signed the contract – he would have been doing it with that alias David Dennison. And if Stormy's lawyers were to challenge the validity/authenticity of the contract by the signature alone, Cohen's only defense would be to reveal that the alias was in fact Trump himself, which gets him to admit it. But even then, signing a fake seems to immediately make a contract null and void on the spot – though not being lawyer, maybe I'm missing something?

  6. The agreement is on line. It has an appendix explaining the aliases and who they actually are.

  7. The parties (other than Trump) signed a "side agreement" saying what each of the names meant.

  8. It seems the Porn Star and her wily lawyer have out foxed Trump and his cadre of sharks.

  9. The guy who is supposed to enter into international negotiations regarding nuclear weapons is outwitted by an actress. Sort of an actress.

  10. "the contract ensuring Ms. Clifford’s silence would be “deemed null and void’’ once she returned the sum called for in her original contract." So, just give back the money, and she can talk all she wants? No million dollar per event penalty? Maybe Trump was right in stiffing this guy--he doesn't seem to be a very good lawyer if he included this clause in the contract. Well, I have a feeling that he won't be one for long, anyway. . Now, can President Trump pardon Cohen for election law violations, if this is what this is ruled to be? And if he does, will this prevent Cohen from being disbarred for those violations, or will he simply be immune from prosecution?

  11. This is one offer the president will refuse. $130 thousand is a drop in the bucket compared to Stormy's kiss-and-tell memoirs. The president's personal relationship to the lady is his own business but having his attorney pay hush money to silence her and also violating campaign finance laws also calls into question his refusal to release his tax information. There's no way that the president or Mr. Cohen will want to give Ms. Daniels a platform or shine a spotlight on what went on between her and the Chief Executive.

  12. You miss the point. Daniels and her lawyer have forced Trump into a double bind. Taking the money back will look bad, refusing it will look bad for different reasons.

  13. If he refuses, he is STILL recognizing he’s part of this deal! He’s between a rock and a hard place now. With nowhere to turn!

  14. @TheraP -- hahaha...your fine comment reminds me of that song by Martha and the Vandellas..."Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide"...right on, TheraP!!

  15. Stormy should let the truth fly/ What are they going to do? drag her into court. They don't want it in the news now. I could see a court trial. Not good for Tramp or his crooked lawyer. This guy will be lucky he can still practice law.

  16. Who is paying Stormy Daniels to come forward? I don't think she has the intelligence to do this on her own. Great legacy pornographic films and being used to bring down the POTUS. Where does she go from here?

  17. $130,000. is chump change to give up for what the Liberal Democrats will offer her.

  18. The Senate? House of Representatives? Trump has set the bar so low for being a public official Ms. Daniels has every right to aspire to serving the people in whatever fashion she desires.

  19. That is a really foolish thing to say. Do you care at all that Trump actually had the affair and is lying about it?

  20. Ms. Clifford is outmaneuvering Trump and his lawyers at every turn, demonstrating that what is truly pornographic about this affair is their behavior and lies.

  21. I think this is starting to look really bad for Ms. Daniels. The fact that she is trying to return the money in order to speak freely about her relationship with Trump suggests a tacit agteetment to the terms of the contract. She accepted the money, so he receives her silence. If Trump rejects the offer, it seems like that is the end of her case, and the Republican Congress and Evangelical base will simply overlook/ignore Trump's elationship with Daniels.

  22. She is baiting him, and keeping it in the news cycle by giving the story a fresh turn. Very clever. Any reaction from Trump is an admission of the affair.

  23. Not in the least. Daniels and Avenatti are playing chess, Trump and Cohen are playing tiddlywinks. They are effectively checkmated, they've no move that doesn't worsen their position. The contract is deeply flawed from a legal point of view, and is likely unenforceable. There are huge resources at Daniels' and Avenatti's disposal, and growing. Frankly, Trump literally can't afford to fight this. The whole sordid mess is now firmly in the public domain, and in a state court, both of which Trump has no control over. For Trump this has nowhere to go but down, it's a lose-lose scenario. Even with some of the sleaziest tabloids on his team the smarmy details and skin crawling creepy minutiae will still come out and most of us will giggle nervously as we rush to take a shower. Congress and the Evos may give him a mulligan, the rest of us will see him for the small, petty, dirty little boy he is, if they haven't already.

  24. End of the case? I mean what are they going to do? Demand she return the $130K? Pay out some larger sum? At this point should could probably collect enough small donations from true Patriot Americans to cover any additional costs. Let alone maybe one or two very wealthy democrats.

  25. I can't wait to see Michael Cohen disbarred.

  26. Me too.

  27. "Under Mr. Avenatti’s offer, Ms. Clifford would then be allowed to “...(b) use and publish any text messages, photos and/or videos relating to the President that she may have in her possession," Ewwww!!! ..there are photos &/or videos!

  28. Trump claims he had nothy to do with Daniels. But he probably has plenty to say about getting the $130,000 back. He will say, in a round about, lying, conniving, Sarah Huckabee Sanders way - “NO DEAL!”

  29. I understand the use of a NDA as far as intellectual property and not sharing propriatary information when you leave a job and go to work for a competitor. But if your personal life is above board, why in the world do you need to have sexual/personal/intimate partners sign such an agreement? What do you need to hide from the rest of the world that you are so ashamed of?

  30. Fifty Shades of Gross.

  31. We can only imagine what Stormy has on our pathetic president. He’s being awfully quiet on this topic isn’t he? The Fox News advisory crew must be burning up the phone lines today during executive time.

  32. Stormy sure did find an imaginative, scrappy attorney, one who seems to be out-lawyering Mr. Cohen at every turn.

  33. How much would it take to out-lawyer Michael Cohen? He seems rather dull.

  34. Not to insult her team of lawyers, but I am beginning to think it may not be too hard to outsmart Mr. Cohen.

  35. It's possible Mr. Cohen is also experiencing pressure on the home front.

  36. I think Stormy's lawyer is looking to eliminate the notion that the original acceptance meant complete acceptance of the agreement and therefore weaken it altogether. It also keeps this in the newscycle and forces the Trump to admit to the affair by acting or reacting to it. I wonder when Melania will react to it. It must be humiliating for her. But then, that is what Trump is good at.

  37. This makes the 3rd ex-Mrs. TRump's future memoirs much more sympathetic and valuable. I hope she leaves soon and guts his family "fortune." Maybe she should get Avenetti's number from Stormy!

  38. Given her legal advisor's background, to quote Wikipedia, I have a hunch Ms. Clifford is more than likely receiving legal funds from political concerns and not via refinancing her home or her entertainment career.: "While in college and later in law school, Avenatti worked at a political opposition and media firm, The Research Group, run by Rahm Emanuel (later White House Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama, and mayor of Chicago).[17] Avenatti worked on over 150 campaigns in 42 states, including multiple gubernatorial and congressional campaigns and Joe Biden’s U.S. Senate campaign."

  39. You mean the same way Paula Jones bought her way into court? Politically funded sexual debates are GREAT levelers. I'm not opposed to either woman having her day in court.

  40. At least her lawyers will get paid promptly for their work. Unlike many of Trump's service providers and vendors.

  41. This is a no brainer. It's also perfectly legitimate and legal.

  42. This is a lose-lose for Trump. Accept the terms offered and have your dirty laundry aired out, continue to prevent Ms. Clifford from speaking and you will fuel a fire you say does not exist.

  43. What a magnanimous gesture!

  44. The only people that care about a possible consensual act between two adults are the MSM who have tried unsuccessfully to nullify the 2016 election results. This is doomed to failure as well.

  45. You are mistaken. And it isn't the sex we care about- it's the lying and the bribery. And the hypocrisy of those on the right who would seek to claim moral superiority while turning a blind eye toward Trump's philandering and nonstop lies.

  46. Two points in reply: 1. Fox News is part of the "MSM" 2. A lot of people care about the hypocrisy of the evangelical right, who would never forgive Obama for even possibly jaywalking once in his life but is fine with the decades long philandering of the current president.

  47. Too funny. I'll bet money that you don't say the same thing about Clinton.

  48. A very bold move. Trump has met his match in this publicity seeking pair of lawyer and ex-lover.

  49. A payment of $130,000, to see Trump nude, engage in sexual relations with him, and listen to his pillow talk is a tragically low amount! Imagine the mental anguish, pain and suffering, and post-traumatic stress disorder Ms. Clifford must be enduring.

  50. Sure she's cute but, do you really think it was much better for him? I'm sure he had to spend at least that much just for the delouse treatments alone!

  51. And continued sympathies to Melania, married to this odious corpulence.

  52. “Our offer proves this out.” The truth is Stormy is a greedy person and realizes she can make more selling a smut story than keeping hush. Its obvious that there is a story there but publicizing it is about the search for wealth and fame not truth.

  53. Who cares what her motives are? As long as we find out what really happened, I say let her sing!

  54. i like how you completely left out the 45th POTUS' part in this. and his repeated denials after this. But yeah, let's blame Stormy for Trump being a lying womanizer and hold her to a higher standard than the POTUS. i like your priorities Chris.

  55. Despite the evidence suggested by the Trump family, wealth and fame do not preclude the truth.

  56. Pretty sure that Mr. Cohen, when making the $130G payment, called "no backsies".

  57. @BklynBirny: You can't assume anything. He's a really lousy lawyer, especially compared to Stormy's.

  58. Can't we get Avenatti to join Mueller's team?

  59. Great! She’ll return the money that the President did not pay her to keep quiet provided he gives her a return authorization so that she can talk about what he and his minions say did not happen, and she can use text, photos, and videos documenting the non occurring events — documentation that 45 claims to own even though it documents something that didn’t happen and that he did not pay to cover up. Got it!

  60. Julie! Spot On!

  61. As the article points out, she would return the money to Michael Cohen, not Trump.

  62. Can one imagine all the webs he has weaved? At some point, reality, lies, deals, lies to cover lies... could drive someone crazy.

  63. This is a lose lose situation for Trump and his team. Either they let her speak, or admit to keeping her quiet. A very slick move by Ms. Clifford's layer team that puts Trump and his lawyers in a nasty corner.

  64. Trump: “I alone can fix it.” Stormy: “Great! Tell us where to send the money!”

  65. Don't care about the affair part. But the bribe is something else. Go for it Stephanie!

  66. Spin this one Donnie.

  67. @Eric, I'm missing this myself. How can Donald Trump be a party to an agreement that contains an alias? Or is this alias some kind of registered, legal alias? What about Daniels' alias? Things just get curioser and curioser, don't they?

  68. Trump should tie up his "divining rod" while in office. It will keep getting him into trouble, which is great fodder for the Democrats!

  69. I love how Trump's so-called Christian followers ignore his behavior at all turns. So much for those Commandments.

  70. Oh, but they sure did lose their minds over Harvey Weinstein, didn't they?

  71. Hey, Bronwyn, lay off! They granted him a mulligan.

  72. At least he didn't follow good ol' Bill C's method and do it in the WHITE HOUSE while a sitting PRESIDENT. I could care less what he did before he was President.

  73. I like the way her attorney thinks! Perhaps someone has finally backed Trump into a corner. Someone who isn't afraid of him and isn't going away anytime soon. More popcorn, please!

  74. Well good luck with that. Trump would release his tax returns before he would agree to allow Stormy to run amok in the media.

  75. what is she doing right now?

  76. Release his tax returns? I don't think so. Trump values his financial privacy much more than keeping his promiscuity private. His supporters have granted him total immunity from that indiscretion.

  77. @James: She's holding back. Can't wait to see what happens when she's completely unrestrained.

  78. I don't see how the NDA can be binding if Trump never signed it.

  79. There's a concept called quasi-contract. If there's a meeting of the minds and one party performs (in this instance, by paying her the $130k), the performing party can usually enforce the contract despite the lack of signatures. I'm not sure about quasi-contract under CA law, but that’s a general rule of contract law. These things can vary from state to state. It does appear that Cohen may have breached a provision of the contract by going public with information about the payment. If so, neither he nor the President can legally enforce it. A party has no right to enforce a contract it has breached. Another issue that troubles me: Every corporation that a lawyer forms must have a legitimate business purpose. What was the legitimate business purpose of Essential Consultants, LLC? To hide the source of hush money paid to a porn star so that she’d keep quiet about an extra-marital affair she once had with the Republican candidate for President? Her lawyer is playing chess while the President's idiot lawyer plays checkers. I'm rather enjoying it.

  80. Light is the best disinfectant. Thank you Stormy and you new outstanding lawyer. Looking forward to some much needed sunlight on this dark and unseemly President -easily the most corrupt in the history of the United States.

  81. Looks like Trump isn’t the only one who knows how to make a tough deal.

  82. And if the presidents signs it, it’s equally an admission!

  83. Is this really news? We know all about Trump’s misogyny and poor treatment of women, we’ve heard his many denials, and none of it seems to have any impact on him or the opinions of his most ardent supporters. It’s much ado about nothing new.

  84. Was Bill Clinton news when he was involved with an intern? I say no, but your republican congress salivated over that story until Clinton was forced to resign. trumps multiple personality disorders are still the big story here.

  85. Yes, this is news! Good news! It proves Trump is not the Master of Deal-Making! The Times is right to run this story. Thank you, Times - Free Press!

  86. It is much ado about illegal use of campaign funds, and using them for a cover up of lord knows what. Nixon was impeached for illegally using campaign funds to finance his cover up.

  87. Who's paying her lawyer and what is she going to get out of this deal? No matter what she says now it will not be believable because you don't give back 130k unless your going to make more in return for your story true or not.

  88. She'll write a book for millions. Not sure why it wouldn't be "believable". She is a lot more believable than Trump. We already know that.

  89. so you are saying that if she gives back the 130k and this money shows up on the president's account, then Ms Clifford will lose all credibility ? I don't know how you can not see that such a thing would vindicate her story.

  90. You don't seem to get the move. the money here is really not the goal or the issue. here the issue is forcing Cohen to obtain approval from his client as either a) he gets approval and Trump is forced to accept involvement in the shady deal 2) he does not get approval and since initial NDA was also unsigned by Trump and money "personally" paid by Cohen, Cohen is taking a serious professional risk and risks to be disbarred. this is a Chess game and for me we are nearing Check mat for Cohen at least. As for the 130k, this is pocket change really as CNN surely can cover much more than that for one exclusive interview.

  91. Can I describe how much pleasure this tough gal is bringing me? No, I cannot.

  92. This is what you consider fun? I am sorry.

  93. This is very clever of the Stormy side. She can likely make much more than $130,000 from a book deal advance, so she's kind of boxed Trump into a corner. I imagine that if she was free to tell all, that Trump's Teflon would face its toughest test. Go Stormy!

  94. I am loving the use of this NDA to expose the president as a liar, and his lawyer as a loaferless clod. I also thank those willing to buy back her voice for her. Let's hope some rich Believer doesn't win her silence again!

  95. For a lawyer, Mr. Cohen seems to have stepped into the "are you still breaking the law" dilemma rather foolishly.

  96. Oh just keep the money, lady. The lurid details of your story will not change what anyone thinks of Donald Trump. Liberals will roll their eyes. Evangelicals will stand behind their man. Republicans in Congress will avoid eye contact. Melania will run up her credit card.

  97. Unless, of course, the Federal Election Committee finds that the payment violated election and/or campaign laws. In meantime, let us enjoy the sordid spectacle involving a sordid president. If financial corruption, ethical lapses, constant lies and sexual attacks don't get him, maybe this one will.

  98. As is always true in politics; it's not the crime, it's the coverup that gets you in trouble......

  99. The White House denies the affair. If that's true, why do they need to silence her? Conclusion: the affair happened. Duh.

  100. Checkmate.

  101. This was not an 'affair' this was sex with a paid prostitute that if revealed prior to the election might have caused his defeat (I hope). This information could be used as blackmail and the security of this nation could be compromised. Who knows what else is out there. Best thing for Trump to do is come clean, resign and disappear in disgrace.

  102. This is the narrative that even the Trump Cult understands. Go Stormy! The unexpected warrior of the truth.

  103. It always seemed that she would have no problem crowd funding $130,000.

  104. Where was Stormy when we needed her, before the election? Would have been better for her as well, as she could have sold her story before entering into the NDA. And, for way more than the measly $130K. Not to mention the pics, texts and other “intellectual property rights” in her possession. Her current counsel seems on the ball, and The Vulgarian has met his Twitter match, and then some.

  105. I also thought that $130k was a low ball deal or sell out. She obviously hired an inexperienced attorney.

  106. She was there, netting a $130K payment from Cohen (and 45*) to ensure her silence concerning an affair, the basic substance of which had been disclosed half a decade earlier.

  107. Trump's attorney would probably like to get his money back. Clifford is likelier to give to him than Trump is.

  108. Ms. Clifford, I hope you prevail in your efforts to tell your story. Furthermore, I hope that something in it forces Trump out of the Oval Office. It's not the affair; rather, it's his track record of bullying and buying silence from whomever he perceives to be in his way. You're amazing and brave, and I'm cheering for you.

  109. Um, huh?!?! She agreed to the whole thing. I am sorry women will let men pay them for sex. It's not new, it's not going away soon. Women pay men for sex as well. Nothing here has anything to do with his Presidency so it will have no impact on anything. I guess you may just get confirmation that he had sex with her. Didn't Bill Clinton do this while IN THE WHITE HOUSE? That seemed like a much bigger deal.

  110. Brave? How do you figure? Opportunistic would be more apt.

  111. She also stands to make a lot more money by returning the $130K. It’s all so sleazy, but I agree with your basic sentiment.

  112. I think Stormy has nothing to worry about legally. Cohen has already said Trump did not know about the NDA. If this is true, Cohen a) broke ethics rules by acting on behalf of his client without the client's knowledge, b) made an illegal campaign contribution, and c) created an agreement signed by a fictitious client called David Davidson. If Cohen doesn't take the fall for Trump, Stormy can "discover" all kinds of salacious evidence in preparation for court proceedings. This affair will be one of several scandals and/or criminal acts that can sink Trump - which will be the first?

  113. We need to increase numbers of STATE level criminal acts that are pardon proof as opposed to federal acts that may be pardoned. What about the impeachable offenses, state vs. federal and pardons?

  114. Not "signed by" David Davidson, it was supposed to have been signed by that fictitious client but wasn't.

  115. Sounds like a fair deal to me. Why should Trump object? Let me count the ways.

  116. Who is paying her to share her story - probably a lot more than $130,000. True or not.

  117. Sounds like a great deal. I'm sure Trump and Cohen will let her return the money and speak freely. After all, what possible reason could they have to keep her silent?

  118. NDA that are unrelated to business secrets or a family law matter should be unenforceable as against public policy. There are only two plausible fact scenarios: 1) the underlying allegations of wrongdoing are a lie in which case, the person bringing the allegations, if they go public, should be sued for defamation; 2) the underlying allegations of wrongdoing are true in which case, the public has the right to know of the allegations of wrongdoing if they are newsworthy. After all, unless one of the parties is in the public sphere--ie running for office or trying to profit from their fame--then the story has no monetary value.

  119. I'm not even sure about the "business secrets"—especially when they involve how a business launders its money, and especially when their owner is now in government but still de facto runs it. All to say nothing of "intellectual property"...

  120. SR, I was referring to NDA that occur when businesses are discussing collaborating and need to be able to ensure that their trade secrets will not be shared if the deal does not work. The same for executive employees. I agree with you that when any behavior unrelated to legitimate and legal business interests is discussed or that is in contravention of public policy is involved that SDA should be unenforceable.

  121. Try to develop a sense of humor. She's already making money on this story and more power to her.

  122. After a lifetime of shafting people in his business dealings, Trump brought his penchant for backstabbing to the Presidency. Is it possible that the person who dishonored the US by pulling out of the Paris Accord, and threatens other long-standing alliances like NAFTA and NATO, could be brought down over a paltry $130 agreement with a porn star?

  123. Stormy Daniels makes her living as a sex toy. Without casting any aspersion on the First Lady, Donald Trump is a man who has used his money and power to attract beautiful women, who otherwise would have little time for him. These two are a perfect pairing. And had he never sought elective office, Trump probably would have bragged about the porn star experience, at least among trusted associates. True to form, Ms. Daniels now wants capitalize on the immense opportunity presented by forces in the media and elsewhere who would pay or do anything to bring Trump down. Unfortunately, she was already bought off with a piddling $130K, which apparently seemed like a great payday for Ms. Daniels at the time. It is certainly true that this entire tawdry affair is further evidence of Trump's poor character. But I am equally embarrassed for the those seeking to make this into a news story or national crisis. Stormy Daniels is doing what she does. Donald Trump is doing what he does. There is no surprise here. Get over it!

  124. If everyone is "doing what they do" then why care how it shakes out?? Trump gets up there at his rally in PA and lies his head off. He faces no repercussions from his followers. They love his lies. Daniels sees a chance to make millions just like the guy who throws anyone in his way under the bus for a buck and who voluntarily had a year+ affair with her, not some one night stand. She sees the same dollar signs Trump does. It isnt the media's fault when they report it.

  125. @AR: and the federal prosecutors will do what they do ....

  126. "... an account of Mr. Trump's choosing..." Ha!

  127. Given how dishonest, vulgar and utterly reprehensible this president is I wonder why he's even the least bit concerned by this latest scandal. It's a small drop in a giant bucket. None of his hypocritical evangelical christian backers could care less about this. And his base probably sees this as yet another entry in his vast portfolio accomplishments. What's this going to prove that hasn't already been proven over and over? Trump is unfit for the office he holds.

  128. As with any difficult procedure, simply "rip the bandage off the wound" and then work to repair the damage. The longer the Trump people allow this story to fester, the more long-term damage will be done. Besides, is it really worth the ink to print all of these stories about a faded porn actress who (probably) had sex with countless married men! We should be more concerned about how Mrs. Trump and their son are dealing with this fiasco. They are the innocent bystanders.

  129. Cohen will plead guilty to a campaign finance violation, be disbarred by the NYS Office of Court Adminstration and receive a presidential pardon. And Melania will get a bundle.

  130. Mr. Cohen seems to be violating some legal ethics rules here. Did he lead SD to believe that he represented Trump? If not, why was he paying her for her silence? Who signed this agreement? Did Mr. Cohen knowingly obtain a false signature? Has anyone filed a complaint with the State Bar?

  131. The Dealer in Chief? He’s now a laughing stock! Stormy & Lawyer are outmaneuvering the “let’s make a deal” Trump. And it is a joy to watch!

  132. She can make a lot more money speaking out. A book deal could net millions. Trump never signed the agreement and the agreement stipulated that all parties must sign it in order for it to be valid. If she returns the money, that should kill the deal. Even if Trump refuses the money, he ends up looking just as bad. Her lawyer has Trump boxed into a corner. He has denied that any affair ever took place. Now the payoff has been absolutely substantiated. If anything, the entire sordid affair has been muddied to the point that it is going to be increasingly more difficult for Trump to shut her up. What I want to know is, who else did Trump fool around with? She may know. I also would like to know if the evangelical preachers who stand by Trump gave him a blanket forgiveness pardon or does he have to have another hands on session for each major transgression?

  133. @Bruce Rozenblit, KC: Of course the “evangelical preachers” will extend to him “a blanket forgiveness pardon.” Do you expect them to admit to being wrong about this chamber pot of a man? Pride is the father of all sins and the evangelical “Christians” lead the majors in going to bat for him.

  134. @Bruce Rosenblit -- who else did the president fool around with? I'll bet that Robert Mueller has the answers. The noose is getting tighter and tighter.

  135. Trump's Christian followers have been accused of ignoring Trump’s behavior at all turns. But, Trump’s Christian followers are not ignoring commandments. They are following a commendation to “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Those Christian followers are shaking in their boots remembering their judgments when President Clinton was in office, and other spontaneous times, and believe they can restore evangelical standing in muddy waters by ignoring more recent transgressions. The point being, evangelicals are not interested in their Lord. Evangelicals are betraying their Lord by supporting the anti-Christian evangelical church, which is magnetically tossing political weight around to divert attention from the clear Gospels, so much that evangelicals were invited to an evangelical photographic session in the White House office of a loudmouth politician. Too late to un-sin that publicity stunt.

  136. I am curious if the women that voted for President Trump, will now vote against him given his infidelity with his wife just after she gave birth? Will his children forgive him?

  137. His children are as tawdry as he is. Don't they know how he treated their mothers? One ex wife claims he beat her and pulled out her hair!

  138. Nobody cares except Democrats. Clinton paved the way for all indiscretions.

  139. Re Trump's women supporters... https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/11/us/politics/white-evangelical-women-t...

  140. Oh what wicked webs we weave... At some point The Donald's house of cards will fall.

  141. Yep, after 7 more years.

  142. I dont know who her lawyer is, but hes absolutely excellent.

  143. The lawyer in question, as seen in recent interviews, is very smart, speaks in thoughtful, measured tones, appears reflective and has excellent tailoring. A credit to his profession! He's all the things our buffoon - in - chief and his sycophants are not.

  144. Seriously? She has to pay $1 million per violation of the contract. If she gets sued, he runs like a rabbit.

  145. check out Avenatti's web site.

  146. The offer to return the 130K may be suffering from over-interpretation by the commentariat. Perhaps the offer (which likely would be rejected out of hand by Trump's attorneys) is simply at item on the checklist should the case come to litigation. Ms. Clifford would be best served if she is able to answer truthfully (with the public record as support) any questions surrounding her willingness to return the money. A quick observation on the picture accompanying this article: Miss Storny surely does look like Ivanka, maybe even prettier.

  147. It looks like Trump will be making another deposit.

  148. trump has paid dozens of women for silence. He has paid women he had affairs with, ones he harassed, and ones he assaulted. What is SO damaging about Stormy that he is spending more effort to silence her than he has spent collectively trying to do anything even resembling the job the Kremlin installed him in?

  149. He can't bear to back down from a woman, and he can't stand to admit to a lie.

  150. Scratching my head as to why the Trump camp would give this offer any consideration. The existence of the gag contract and the recent arbitration results are publicly known; rejecting the offer to tear up the contract adds no material evidence to this equation, and provides Ms. Clifford a free path to reveal Trump in all his glory.

  151. To the extent that Ms. Daniel's pending lawsuit to void the confidentiality agreement has merit, Mr. Trump's lawyers would be inclined to accept a settlement offer. I don't think they will do so. They don't want Trump's emails and pictures to her published.

  152. He cannot accept it. But the article points out that Cohen has an obligation under NY laws governing lawyer's conduct to bring any offer to the attention of their client. Wonder who Cohen considers that to be? This is a calculated endeavor to tease out who is the "other party" to the agreement? Trump says it is not him. Then who is it? Cohen?

  153. well there is also the chance that the NDA could be void if it wans't signed by both parties.

  154. The $130,000 is nothing compared to the money Ms Clifford and her lawyer will make from the book deal, publicity and future movies of whatever kind. And, that is why the suit was filed in the first place. Ms Clifford decided that what she received before was a paltry amount compared to what could be made now. This is about greed, but the whole episode is shameful, and yet another extremely poor reflection on the US by the man we elected to be President.

  155. The lawsuit says she has to pay 1 million per instance of her violating the contract. She has 10 interviews, she pay 10 million. Not sure a book deal, which would be another million, could make up for it.

  156. How do you know that?

  157. There are many reasons why I don't support Trump and hope he is impeached. However, who he sleeps with is not among them unless it can be used to blackmail him.

  158. I believe this is about flagrant violation of Federal campaign finance laws. Not about an affair that is rightly an issue only between the married couple.

  159. Well, that is a very real concern.

  160. I agree -- what two consenting adults do with one another is no business of ours. However. This administration includes members who are in deep financial trouble, who have made multiple, secret efforts open back channels to our Russian cyber-attackers, and who have access to highly-classified reports despite their inability to obtain security clearances. In that light, blackmail is a very real possibility.

  161. This certainly gets more interesting by the day. The issue isn't the relationship that could matter to the faithful voter, it is Campaign finance laws and paying hush money. Is the smart lawyer representing Ms. Clifford going to be the party that takes down Mr. Trump instead of Mr. Mueller?

  162. I hope both of them.

  163. I keep having to remind myself why I should care about some fool married man having an affair with some woman-not-his-wife more than a decade ago. Half of all married Americans having done the same thing. Thanks for your clarification: It didn't matter, until he tried to erase it on his path to the presidency. But this fool should have realized that he'd already let out the worst secret of all -- that he liked to grab and grope unsuspecting women because he thought of them as his entitlement as a "star." I wonder how much Trump would have paid if he'd known the tape was out there and could be made public.

  164. #WHY_NOT_BOTH? and Devin too.

  165. Trump said he ain't signing nothing. His handwriting would be traced and it's probably something he learned from the other Cohen (Roy) to not only deny, deny, but don't sign, don't sign. But Ms. Daniels could go ahead and donate the money to a charity; and in 90 days if Trump is not in agreement with whom the money (or the charity) was funneled to he could decide where it would go. But again it looks too much like complicity and he would balk at that probably.

  166. It is roy cohn

  167. OMG, what has NK got on DD? They can see this debacle and raise him another! Trump jumped on their offer without it even being in writing, much less signed! If he makes second hand verbal agreements, he's DD, most assuredly.

  168. Who is NK? I thought it was PP in the agreement.

  169. Only in the Trump era can a porn star legitimately position herself as an American hero. I wish her the best of luck in her efforts.

  170. Yes, I thought the same except she's probably more competent, ethical, and kind in her job than Trump. My mother used to say never look down on anyone doing an honest day's work and I would have to apply that here.

  171. We are left to imagine, and witness, heroic efforts by a porn star. It's perfect, considering the abject cowardice of the Republican Party opposition.

  172. It's a win win for Stormy. She returns the $130,000 and then can get a book deal in the millions. If Cohen turns her down, she can probably still talk as Trump never signed the contract. Stormy's lawyer is calling out Cohen to put up or shut up. I hope he says yes, but my guess is he won't accept the money. Either way he has egg on his face

  173. The reason Avenatti is offering to return the $130K is only because he risks losing in the arbitration and the contract may be enforceable after all. As you learn in Contract 101 -- if you accept the benefits of a contract ($$) and everyone performs for a year as if the contract is in place -- it likely does not matter whether it was fully executed.

  174. Even if the terms of the apparently unsigned contract were executed for a year, don't the effort to suppress information constitute a conspiracy?

  175. I am not a lawyer, but I am curious what would count as Trump performing as if the contract was in place. Supposedly he didn't even know the contract existed, so how could his acts have confirmed its existence?

  176. She’s willing to return $130K—for free? Then she’s got a lot more to tell. When she’s done, she’ll be able to crow “isn’t America great?” And “I love all this winning!” Can’t wait for Donald Trump’s 2020 catchy campaign slogan.

  177. I'm not so sure Trump will make it in office until 2020.

  178. The 202 slogan is "Keep America Great!" (Maybe 2 exclamation points if you watch his hands closely...announced in Pennsylvania this weekend).

  179. @Sox -- if Stormy can cut deals like this she should replace Rex Tillerson as SOS and negotiate with Kim Jong-un at the summit in May.

  180. I would too if I stand to make millions on book deals and media appearances.

  181. Her sordid 15 minutes of fame will reward her very well monetarily in the end. Already is.

  182. Sadly, his will last three more years.

  183. Well the Presidents pathetic life is paying millions for his swamp family, so why shouldn't Ms. Daniels be compensated. The shoe is on the other foot for a change and she is no ones fool. Trump put himself in this position and all the lies he is telling wont get him out of this one.

  184. "Her sordid 15 minutes of fame will reward her very well monetarily in the end. Already is." It's much less sordid than the entire Trump presidency.

  185. The real analysis is that people DO care. Our country has never seen a president so hellbent on tearing down everything America has stood for in terms of decency, ethics and a never ending desire to better herself. Between reading Charles Blow's excellent piece today and hearing Donald Trump's utterly narcissistic, dishonest and sophomoric "speech" recently in PA, I can declare that I for one care about DT trying to silence the women he had an affair with for purposes of winning an election and avoiding getting caught. Its just another disturbing example of his serial debasing the highest office in the land.

  186. Let’s see, a woman sells herself for one price, then finds a higher bidder and makes a deal with them. What exactly do you call this kind of person nowadays? I want to be careful and not make a politically incorrect statement.

  187. A person with the business acumen that Trump covets but does not have?

  188. I am afraid you are unclear on what happened. She made a deal to stay silent; now she is working to renegotiate that deal. I call that type of person someone who is negotiating a contract. What do you call them? Do you consider it selling yourself when you take a job offer? and do you resell yourself when you try for a job with a higher salary?

  189. @Kenny A smarter businessman than the Billionaire who misjudged the value of the product?

  190. Cohen should definitely take this. Poor fellow, he used a home equity loan to raise the money in the first place. If it's returned, he can use the money to put pink flamingoes on the White House lawn.

  191. This is a brilliant legal-maneuver version of, "Senator, are you still beating your wife?"

  192. None of these sleazy revelations matter to Trump supporters. None of the coarse, angry, vulgar language matters. None of his non-sequiturs and name-calling matter. As long as Trump is white, male and Republican, his base (and those who deny being in his camp, but are) will refuse to criticize, condemn or abandon him. Trump is appointing conservative judges to lifetime appointments; he is giving tax breaks to the wealthy; those are more important to those people than dignity, measured thinking, respectful dialog or what is best for America. Americans who saw him as their savior will never stray from their endorsement of him. They voted for him despite the Access Hollywood Tape, despite his mocking of a disabled journalist, despite his appeal to Russia to hack HRC's e-mail. Trump supporters are devoted cult members. They could be compared to Jim Jones and his followers, except that Jones had fewer in his group, and he was not president.

  193. Your profile of a trump supporter is spot on, and too think that HRC called some ( not all - it is all of them now if they are still a trumpie) of followers a 'basket of deplorable's".

  194. To Greengae: Jones' followers took only themselves to their graves - the Trump followers are dragging the rest of the country with them.

  195. Overall, today's Kool-Aid is just as deadly.

  196. Uh, could we send Stormy to negotiate with Kim Jong Un? She's outsmarting the Idiot in Chief at every turn.

  197. I'd pay to see that!

  198. My thoughts exactly!

  199. Regardless, he wakes up today and is called Mr. President, and will do so tomorrow...

  200. She must have some story to tell if she's willing to return the money. I wonder what Trump has done to deserve this sort of treatment from another human being.

  201. Her story, true or false, will be worth a lot more than $130K.

  202. I’m sure she’s been offered more money by someone else to release the hush money

  203. You wonder? where have you been, man?

  204. Why do we continue to devote so much attention to this matter. Either we will get the bare truth or not, but until this matter reaches some conclusion do we not have much more pressing Trumpian issues to attract our attention? We deserve to hear Ms. Clifford's story because of the possible blackmail and IRS implications. But until she releases the details let's move on to a meeting with North Korea (not likely to happen), Russian meddling in our past and future elections, the corruption of Trump's cabinet members, the corruption of Jarvanka, the Mueller investigation, tariffs, the loss of confidence by our (perhaps, former) allies, and on and on.

  205. Well, now the matter is important because Trump may have committed a financial crime of some sort in getting Cohen to pay Daniels off. It depends on the quid pro quo deal Cohen agreed to in order to pay the settlement. If the agreement was to pay him a consideration through the campaign, for instance, that would be a felony. Misuse of campaign funds has brought down many politicians.

  206. I think that both Mueller and our allies are both very interested in a story about how our president pays out hush money to silence people from talking about his bad actions. Do you really think that this is some sort of isolated incident, and not part of a trend?

  207. While I agree the matter is important and that misuse of campaign funds might represent a felony that could be Trump's downfall, Ms. Clifford will not be the judge of the misappropriation of campaign funds. The Mueller investigation, more likely than not, will sort out this issue.

  208. It's a clever strategy and smart business move. In responding to the offer, even if the answer is "no", Trump's lawyer would be acknowledging the existence of the original hush agreement. If she can speak publicly about it, she'll make much more than the $130k settlement from interviews, selling the evidence she has, book deals, publicity, and other opportunities.

  209. A contract requires a meeting of the minds, understanding of and agreement to the terms. Trump, we are informed, has already enforced the arbitration clause in the contract with Ms. Daniels, which means he has taken the legal position that he is bound to the contract. I take that to mean that which Ms. Daniels agreed not to disclose is essentially true. I also take that to mean that she received $130,000 for her silence and that it was for the benefit of then-candidate Mr. Trump. And who thinks Mr. Cohen took out a home equity line out of the goodness of his heart? (Best lawyer ever!) And that the $129,997 or some odd in transfers to Trump companies from the campaign just before the payment were mere coincidence? Wonder what transfers were made to Mr. Cohen or his mortgagee just after? John Edwards knows how this goes. I hope the indictment comes soon and is more successful ultimately.

  210. I don't see how this offer to return payment does anything. Obviously Trump and his lawyer refuse, because she can be sued for far more than the payment should she now talk under the signed agreement.

  211. Checkmate! Stormy Daniels/Linda Clifford has made one of the most brilliant moves ever in a situation of this kind. No amount of slut-shaming/bashing/humilating/belittling, demeaning, dehumanizing will work, because it means Trump has to admit the affair. Nor can he call her a golddigger now that she has offered to return the hush payment. Of course, she will make more, but that's not the point! Trump is between a rock and a hard place: let her keep the money and he has lost the leverage the agreement provides; accept the return and it becomes a prima facie admission that he paid for her silence! We are beyond sex. We are witnessing the ways in which men intimitidate women turned around to intimitidate a man who fears even admitting he had consensual sex. Trump is stuck. He looks scared and foolish. Cohen can't save him. Either way, she talks.

  212. In other words, we are watching a President being blackmailed in real time. How many others are out there...including Putin. A president that can be blackmailed is likely not one of the criteria that people think of when voting...but clearly,it should be.

  213. Whatever was left of the women voters just left the room.

  214. This entire story is a no-win situation for Trump, and Ms. Daniels knows it. In fact she seems to be beating Trump at his own game. Consider: * By accepting a return of the money, Cohen and Trump acknowledge that the affair plotline is true - and allows Stormy to speak even more freely. * By not accepting a return of the money, Ms. Daniels' lawsuit against the NDA will continue, and will provide the drip-drip-drip of news AND will require Cohen to respond in court - further acknowledging the existence of the NDA and its subject's particulars. * By going after Ms. Daniels harder, Cohen and Trump would continue to lend credence to the topic that the NDA was meant to silence. * Or Ms. Daniels can simply start talking right now: The worst that can happen to her is that Cohen and Trump would sue her for breach of the NDA that they don't want to acknowledge, and the penalty in that NDA is 'only' $1 million. She'd be saying, "go ahead and sue me." A few book deals, gofundme campaigns and sympathetic left-leaning Trump haters will take cover the 1 mil. This is a civil case for Daniels, not criminal. But because of campaign finance laws this is a potential criminal case for Trump, and one that might get Cohen disbarred.

  215. there won't be the drip drip drip in court if the matter is compelled to arbitration per the agreement.

  216. The $1 mill might be per violation . . but I am sure wealth Trump haters would still cover it . . .To whom dop they make the check payable?

  217. Brian: "the penalty in that NDA is 'only' $1 million." Actually, it is $1 million PER violation. So, every time she discloses, she's potentially at risk. Of course, a court might say it violates public policy and throw it out.

  218. Looking forward to the interview. We are dwelling too much on the tawdry aspects of this affair when it is hush money cover up and violations of Federal Election Laws including required reporting of campaign contributions that are the most issues in this matter. It is sad that we live in an age of uninformed populism, demagoguery and voter apathy. When will Americans awaken to the reality that this gilded age benefits a small den of Vipers that prey on the very subjects that look to them for aid?

  219. When ? Never

  220. Mr Avenatti is charting new waters in what promises to be a continuing saga, dragging down the Trump as Deal-maker Extraordinaire Brand! Not only that, how many other women are going to check their “agreements” and follow the same tactics Mr. Avenatti has created? This story has legs. And could so easily metastasize. Great to see the crooks cornered by their own mistakes.

  221. It would appear that Trump just got "trumped".

  222. Check. Mate. Two things to watch: 1) If Michael Cohen still has a license to practice law by the end of the year. 2) If Michael Avenatti has dozens of other women come forward with NDAs to be invalidated.

  223. The most imaginative minds couldn't create a hypothetical act by Trump that would actually sway the opinions of citizens in this country, nor his lap dogs in Congress. Trump's random walk through the Presidency has pretty much made anything plausible.

  224. Any lawyers? For a tortious interference case against CBS, or even a civil case against "daniels" wouldn't the actual damages max out at the 130,000?

  225. Stormy should get a copy of Melania's pre-nup too. I bet that if she says or does anything against Trump even Barron will be broke.

  226. She got a better paying offer to share her story or she would never do this. She is playing let's make a deal.

  227. She probably learned it from reading some sleazy book. Like "The Art of the Deal"....

  228. Let's make Stormy a second Special Counsel. She's moving much faster than Mueller. We need both.

  229. The original $130,000 probably came from one of Trump's "charities", so Ms. Daniels can donate the money to one of those - only for it to to be used again for the same purpose.

  230. Ms. Daniels will become my hero if the end result of her revelations serve to rid us of Donald Trump anytime before 2020.

  231. Sure, she could make a lot more money telling her story than not, but it is beyond crazy to think that the Trump camp would ever accept her offer which runs counter to the entire purpose of the NDA. While I would like nothing better than to see Trump finally get some comeuppance for his serial degeneracy. I am reminded of a lawyer fried who used to laugh about opposing lawyers who made settlement offers AFTER they lost the case. OK, here's a dollar...

  232. I see nothing wrong with Stormy Daniels and her ways - she is a hustler who sees an opportunity and is acting on it. This is the American way, like Trump she is a deal maker and she's got her moment now. She has the upper hand and Trump is scrambling. It is all in the art of the deal.

  233. Kathy, I, Bill, agree to buy your aunt a house. The aunt doesn't know about this. Bill doesn't buy the aunt a house. Kathy can sue Bill even though aunt had nothing to do with it.

  234. wrong, there is no consideration for the promise

  235. flix - The consideration is what Kathy gives to Bill (or forbears from doing in exchange for the promise). The aunt doesn't have to receive any consideration because she is not undertaking the obligation.

  236. It is laughable to hear the pundits going on and on about the validity of a contract. As if Trump honored any contracts he ever signed. But the potential explosive bit is in the NDA where it references 'paternity information.' If there is anything there the Evangelicals better have a lot of mulligans on hand.

  237. He was not even close to being president in 2006 But please all trump haters please dont forget monica and mr Clinton what was going on during the time he was president . what does it matter who and when he had a affair sure has not hurt the dow any and all these jobs that is available now were at least we can go buy things now

  238. Your logic (or complete lack thereof) is twisted at best. Stock market did great under Obama, and you hated him. Job Market recovered mightily under Obama. And you hated him Stock Market did gangbusters under Clinton, and you hated him. Job market was unbelievable under Clunton. And you hated him. Goes to character. I bet you were applauding Ken Starr the entire 8 year investigation. And then they got Clinton on something completely unrelated to that 8 year worthless investigation.

  239. Yes, sure, switch it to Clinton. Nice try Trump con victim. The Stormy story is a much better movie, much better.

  240. Rumor has it that the DNC is offering double the money if she will return the money to Trump. Problem is that Trump did not give her the money and the attorney says she is only grandstanding but is not going to give her more money because she is trying to ruin Trump for the dems in 2020. He says she is one of many that are doing the same thing. Let the cards fall where they may. I am pretty sure she does not have a blue dress with his DNA.

  241. Doesn't matter in the long run. What matters is where the $130K payment originated from.

  242. Fake news.

  243. It does not matter because his base could care less he is not an alter boy. They voted for him because he is a bully which was needed to combat the deep state. It appears they were right.

  244. Not to diminish the excellent work of Ms. Clifford's lawyer, but it's hard to imagine an opponent having painted himself into a more impossible corner. This one's a gimme.

  245. No, it's a mulligan.

  246. Just imagine the character witnesses if this goes to court. We knew this was the reality TV president, but apparently it's more "The Jerry Springer Show" as much as it is the apprentice. You just couldn't make this stuff up.

  247. The ongoing Stormy Daniels scandal is my guilty pleasure. Trump can't tweet about it without (here, "fake news" doesn't make any sense when the facts are pretty clear and in black and white) essentially confirming that his denials are lies. I hope the Daniels legal team continues to poke the Cheeto-haired bear on a daily basis. Drip drip drip. I wish I was a better person but Trump has exhausted my good will.

  248. What this actually signals is that Avenatti is not the legal genius he touted himself as and the contract and its arbitration clause may be enforceable after all.

  249. He's getting tons of free publicity while making Trump and the holier-than-thou "family values" GOP squirm. He's a genius.

  250. I am wondering about the constant reference to her as a pornographic film actress, rather than just an actress. I know that I have heard the term action film star, or something like that, so perhaps it is standard to specify type of film made to refer to some people. But I also hear people referred to as just actress, or usually even actor.

  251. Um, because that’s what she is, an actor in porn films.

  252. Good Lord. I remember, during Campaign Season 2016, thinking (repeatedly) that things couldn't get much weirder, and I was grateful that I thought I was right about that. I was wrong. Also repeatedly. Each time I thought this and was "corrected," the whole show DID get weirder. Then, after DJT's swearing in, I thought "Okay, that's over with" and figured we were past all the weirdness. Of course, I was wrong about that as well. This sequence also has repeated itself a bunch of times. Now it's all just a tawdry soap opera. What bugs me the most is the knowledge that I shouldn't really be surprised. So I'm not anymore. It'd be nice if that made things sit better, or at least a little easier, but it doesn't. I think it's because I'm becoming increasingly numb. And now I find myself grateful for THAT.

  253. I suspect many law professors assigned to teach first-year contracts will have lots of fun with these facts.

  254. Trump the transaction President is notoriously cheap and doesn't like paying contractors. So why would he pay Stormy130K six days before the election? She has something more valuable than the boring details of a white bread romp in Lake Tahoe. She is playing him like he plays everyone else. I am betting on Stormy.

  255. I like it, she is just playing the game. Can't judge her.

  256. Is it too late to remove Trump and have him played by Christopher Plummer?

  257. lcsw, thank you for your heart warming and fabulous comment. Understand that Christopher Plummer in starring in the remake of the "Ten Commandments" in the role of Moses and is not available at the moment.

  258. a twofer - take down Cohen and Trump - two bullies have gotten away with too much for too long - sweet, sweet justice!

  259. Trust me, we can get all excited about trump being made a fool of, but I don't have a lot of hope that it's ever going to make him go away.

  260. Stormy has probably one of the best litigators in the country who'll eat Cohen for lunch. Michael Avenatti graduated first in his law class from George Washington University and so impressed his alma mater it established the Michael J. Avenatti Award for Excellence in Pre-Trial and Trial Advocacy. He has made millions by winning high-profile cases against mega-corporations, NFL owners and Donald Trump, the latter for idea-theft by The Apprentice. He is also a professional sports car driver, having participated in 33 races around the world including a team effort with Saudi Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Saud at Le Mans. In short, Avenatti makes Cohen look like an amateur.

  261. And good looking, too.

  262. Stephanie Gregory Clifford Robert Swan Mueller III Two people Donald John Trump will not be inviting over for Thanksgiving dinner this year.

  263. "Two people Donald John Trump will not be inviting over for Thanksgiving dinner this year." Depends if they're serving breast or thigh.

  264. She can just have someone hack her account with all the information - oh my look what happened - sound familiar?

  265. Is there still a sixth commandment (thou shalt not commit adultery) for Republican "Christians," or is it just for everyone else? We already know the seventh (thou shalt not steal) has been relegated to the 99%.