While an array of other scandals involving the president continue to rage on, the nation has had its attention turned to a new scandal as of the beginning of this year — that involving Donald Trump’s alleged extramarital affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels.
The focus in the aftermath of the story rocketing back to the front of the national political conversation has been on hush money that was delivered to Daniels in late 2016 in conjunction to a non-disclosure agreement covering her alleged affair, which she signed but the president did not. The source of that money could add to the legal questions facing the Trump team.
Daniels is suing to be free from the NDA, claiming that it shouldn’t be considered valid since the president never actually signed it.
That litigation is proceeding in the face of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who “facilitated” the hush money payment to Cohen, already having won a restraining order against Daniels under the terms of the NDA intended to prevent her from talking about the alleged relationship.
Now, there is a new detail that’s arisen in the scandal in connection to that restraining order that again raises questions of how deeply involved the Trump team as a whole is in this ordeal. Cohen has claimed that he facilitated the payment to Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — completely of his own accord.
New documents obtained by CNN have revealed a lawyer who works for the Trump Organization, Jill Martin, as the second known associate of the president to be involved in an official manner with the ongoing ordeal. She’s the one who signed onto the initial “demand for arbitration” that culminated in the restraining order against Daniels as the lawyer representing EC, LLC, the company founded by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and used as the initial funnel for the hush money to Daniels.
Pressed as to what her signing onto the paperwork meant for the involvement or lack thereof of the Trump Organization in the litigation surrounding Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels, Martin replied to CNN with a statement from the Trump Organization itself reading:
‘As previously reported, Lawrence Rosen, a New York attorney is representing EC, LLC, in the arbitration. The Trump Organization is not representing anyone and, with the exception of one of its California based attorneys in her individual capacity facilitating the initial filing pending the pro hac admission of Mr. Rosen, the company has had no involvement in the matter.’
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) March 15, 2018
Martin has appeared in the media on Trump’s behalf a number of times, including after the release of the infamous tape featuring the man who is now president bragging about his supposed freedom to commit sexual assault.
She sought to defend her boss from allegations of sexual misconduct that arose against him in the aftermath of that tape being released.
For now, the issue over the hush money payment to Daniels is continuing to rage on. The source of the cash is important because if it was anywhere other than Michael Cohen personally and fully, it could be illegal. Him paying it out and then getting reimbursed wouldn’t solve the problem.
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