President Donald Trump can not escape the weight of the scandal of his scheme to pay for adult film star Stormy Daniels’ silence regarding an affair between the two of them. This week, an attorney for former Fox News reporter Diana Falzone shared that her client would be complying with a new House Oversight Committee request for documents and testimony covering her perspective of the scandal, despite a nondisclosure agreement that she signed with Fox after she sued them in the fallout of her initial pursuit of the story.
Attorney Nancy Erika Smith explained:
‘A valid government investigation also trumps an NDA… This is an exception to the NDA. Nobody can enter an NDA that will interfere with a government investigation.’
Falzone’s team has shared that senior Fox management shot down her efforts to get the story out before the 2016 presidential election took place, and it only ended up coming together the following year in The Wall Street Journal, after the election. That’s culminated in an array of legal headaches for the president that now, Fox News could soon be dragged into.
Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen will soon be reporting for a three-year jail term for his part in the hush money scheme, but the legal vulnerability hardly ends with him. Interests ranging from the Trump Organization’s Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg to American Media, Inc. (which publishes the National Enquirer) have already been granted varying levels of immunity from prosecution in exchange for cooperation.
Falzone had uncovered the beginning threads of this mess in 2016, but she faced roadblocks from her superiors, who repeatedly shot down the story. At one point, The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer shared in a recent profile of Fox News’ relationship with the Trump team, then-FoxNews.com head Ken LaCorte told Falzone:
‘Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert [Murdoch] wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go.’
Smith offered ominously during an appearance on MSNBC this week:
‘My client is going to tell the committee and Congress the truth about what evidence she had and what documents she had, and we expect that perhaps the sources of Jane Mayer’s article in The New Yorker were very good sources.’
As host Ari Melber noted, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) isn’t pursuing this line of inquiry out of pure curiosity. Trump has been implicated in campaign finance law violations that have already helped spark years of jail time, and he wants whatever evidence Falzone has. Under pressure, Trump has repeatedly lied about the case, going from denying any part in the hush money that constituted an illegal effort to prop up his campaign to being revealed to have personally and explicitly directed Cohen to take care of it and then reimburse him — while in office as president!
Smith had no kind words for Fox in light of their alleged initial dismissal of this story, telling Melber:
‘One would think that the idea that a presidential candidate was paying off a porn star would be blockbuster and perhaps a news organization really interested in news would have run with this story and put lots of resources into this story and done whatever they needed to do to get such a story.’
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