To suggest that the Trump presidency is proceeding without a hitch, as the president would apparently have you believe, is ludicrous. Just look around — the belligerent businessman turned political leader faces an array of legal challenges of various forms to his administration. These challenges range from the fact that, so far, four of his former associates have faced charges related to the Russia scandal — three of whom have pleaded guilty — to the fact that he’s currently being sued by an adult film star seeking to be freed from a nondisclosure agreement covering an affair between the two of them.
Now, there’s another challenge being lodged, this time against the Trump agenda, however, as opposed to against Trump as a person.
It’s already been reported that the company which owns The National Enquirer had bought the rights to the story of a woman who allegedly had an affair with Trump and sunk it, never actually printing anything on the allegations.
Now, that woman — Karen McDougal, who currently works as a fitness specialist and used to work for Playboy as a model — is suing to be released from the agreement that she signed with the parent company of The National Enquirer, American Media, Inc.
McDougal alleges that both A.M.I. and her then-lawyer Keith Davidson misled her about the content and implications of the agreement that she ended up signing, effectively pressuring her into becoming legally obligated to stay quiet about her alleged affair with the man who is now president.
That’s the same situation that unfolded in the case of the adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. The president’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen facilitated a payment of $130,000 in hush money to Daniels in late 2016; she is now suing because the president never signed the nondisclosure agreement associated with that cash, making it allegedly invalid.
The Trump team has claimed at times that the president didn’t actually have anything to do with the negotiations with Daniels, but that defense has slowly but surely fallen apart. He effectively recently admitted in a court filing to using the alias “David Dennison,” which is the “name” of the person who was supposed to sign the NDA associated with the Daniels case but did not.
Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen was not just involved in the negotiations associated with the Daniels NDA; he was also involved with the negotiations associated with McDougal’s deal with A.M.I. The company has confirmed that it spoke with Cohen, but claims to have done so only as a part of its “reporting process.” As a defense against the allegations of intentionally silencing McDougal, A.M.I. claims to have been unable to verify components to her story. The company unsurprisingly claims that its head’s friendship with Donald Trump had nothing to do with its decision-making in the McDougal case.
This new lawsuit is not the end of the scandal involving the president’s affairs; Michael Avenatti, who works as an attorney for Stormy Daniels, said recently that he had heard from at least six women with stories similar to his client’s.
Any “hush money” paid to women alleging affairs with the president could be considered an illegal campaign contribution, since the money was meant to benefit the Trump campaign through keeping the women silent.
Thus, this story has relevance for reasons beyond the salacious aspect.
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