The salacious news about Donald Trump’s alleged yearlong affair with adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a “Stormy Daniels” is not going away anytime soon. Clifford’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, announced they were suing Donald Trump, claiming the “hush agreement” between Clifford and Trump was null and void because Donald Trump never signed the agreement.
At yesterday’s White House press briefing, spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders was finally asked about the Clifford “hush agreement” and she tried to brush it off, saying, “This case has already been won in arbitration, and anything beyond that, I would refer you to the president’s outside counsel.”
Arbitration? What arbitration? Asked about it again in a follow-up question, Sanders again repeated the arbitration response. In short, she confirmed Donald Trump is a party to the case.
That did not sit well with Donald Trump, the person responsible for this entire mess. He is reportedly raging:
From @Acosta: A source close to White House says Trump is upset with @PressSec Sarah Sanders over her handling of Stormy Daniels questions yesterday. Ã¢ÂÂPOTUS is very unhappy,Ã¢ÂÂ the source said. Ã¢ÂÂSarah gave the Stormy Daniels storyline steroids yesterday,Ã¢ÂÂ the source added.
Ã¢ÂÂ David Wright (@DavidWright_CNN) March 8, 2018
The arbitration case Sanders referred to appears to be a secretive restraining order Trump’s attorney got for Clifford. From the New York Times:
President Trump’s lawyer secretly obtained a temporary restraining order last week to prevent a pornographic film star from speaking out about her alleged affair with Mr. Trump, according to legal documents and interviews.
The judge issued the order without hearing from Clifford.
The restraining order took her by surprise. A close friend of Ms. Clifford’s, J. D. Barrale, said in an interview that she learned Mr. Cohen initiated arbitration proceedings when she landed on a flight from Los Angeles to Texas. “She was shocked,” Mr. Barrale said.
Mr. Avenatti said Ms. Clifford had “never even been provided an opportunity to respond” to Mr. Cohen’s action in arbitration.
A copy of the restraining order, obtained by The Times and first reported by NBC News, left open the possibility that it could be modified in the future. But Mr. Avenatti said he questioned its validity because it was brought on behalf of Mr. Cohen, not Mr. Trump.
Asked if Ms. Clifford would drop her court case if Mr. Cohen provided her with more money, he said she would not. “At this point, we are well beyond that — this is a search for the truth,” he said.
It is no wonder Donald Trump would be desperate to keep Clifford quiet. The original “hush agreement” contract alluded to texts, photos and details of other sexual partners.
The 2016 hush agreement directed that $130,000 be paid into the trust account of Clifford’s then-attorney. In return, Clifford was not to disclose any confidential information about Trump or his sexual partners to anyone beyond a short list of individuals she’d already told about the relationship, or share any texts or photos from Trump.
This case is important because it further establishes a pattern of Donald Trump being willing to lie and cover-up extramarital affairs and other sexual interactions with women, lending more credence (as if it were needed) to the claims of the 19 women who’ve accused him of sexual assault or sexual harassment. It is inexcusable the person occupying the Oval Office could escape the #MeToo movement with so many woman making accusations. Is it nearly “time up” for Donald Trump?