Tag Archives: Stormy Daniels

Strange legal bedfellows?

This is weird.

Lanny Davis, one of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s better friends, is now representing Michael Cohen, who until just recently was supposedly a friend of and legal adviser to Donald J. Trump … although I am unclear just how many “friends” the president actually has.

Cohen is now declaring some form of independence from Trump, the guy he used to work for as a “fixer” and, oh yes, for whom he wrote that $130,000 check to keep the porn star Stormy Daniels quiet about the tryst she had years ago with the man who would become president of the United States.

As The Hill reported: Cohen, who previously worked for Trump, told (ABC News’s George) Stephanopoulos last week that his “first loyalty” lies with his family, not the president. 

I don’t know about you, but this is looking to me as though Cohen is about to unleash all he knows about Trump’s behavior. I am pretty sure the special counsel, Robert Mueller, is going to be all ears.

What about Cohen’s relationship with Lanny Davis? I guess there’s something to be said about strange bedfellows, yes?

Connecting some dots inside the White House

I feel like connecting a few dots. So … here goes.

The 2016 Republican Party presidential nominee was revealed in a decade-old recording boasting about how he could grab women by their “pu***” because his status as a “star” gave him license.

The nominee, Donald John Trump, was elected president.

He declares war on media outlets that he finds disagreeable. He calls them “fake news” and then submits to interviews almost exclusively with Fox News, which was run by the late Roger Ailes.

Ailes, meanwhile, gets hit with complaints of sexual harassment by a number of high-profile female journalists; Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson are two of them.

Ailes gets the boot. But his No. 2 man, Bill Shine, stands with him and allegedly covers up for the boss.

Then, just this week, Shine — who left Fox News — has been named deputy White House chief of staff in charge of communications.

So, we have the president — who has a history of sexual harassment complaints leveled against him by many women — hires a guy with a sexual harassment history of his own. The White House underling is now director of communications for the administration.

It’s fair to wonder about Trump’s values. He never rails against accusations of sexual harassment. He defends those against whom these complaints are leveled; he called former Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly — who also faced such accusations — a “good man.”

Trump reportedly takes a dim view of the “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” movements, believing that the women who make accusations against powerful men are off base.

Oh, and then his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money to keep quiet about a tryst that Trump says never happened.

What do you suppose is the common denominator here? Let’s see. I think it’s boorish behavior toward women, which appears to have Donald Trump’s fingerprints all over it.

Stormy’s lawyer talks too much

Allow me a brief moment to say something critical about the lawyer who represents the woman who has said that she and Donald Trump had a one-night sexual encounter in 2006.

Michael Avenatti is Stormy Daniels’s lawyer. Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — is the porn star who alleges the tryst with the man who would become president of the United States. She also received $130,000 in hush money to keep her quiet about the encounter, which Trump — believe it or not — denies ever occurred.

As for Avenatti, he talks too much. He is becoming an annoyance, at least to me. He shows up on late-night talk shows, on Sunday morning news shows, during the week, day and night. He is everywhere.

He yaps, yammers and yowls about Trump, about his “Mr. Fix It,” lawyer Michael Cohen.

I know how this works. Lawyers who get hired to represent high-profile clients often see their entry onto the public stage as their ticket to legal prominence. They end up becoming celebrities all by themselves.

It helps, as it does in Avenatti’s case, that they’re media friendly. He’s on a first-name basis with every interview who asks to talk to them. George, Chuck, Chris, Margaret, Rachel, Lawrence, Anderson, Don … you name ’em, Avenatti is their “best friend” while chatting it up about Stormy/Stephanie’s case against Trump.

Don’t misunderstand me. I believe Daniels’s account of what happened. I also believe that she got the money to keep quiet. I also disbelieve the president’s denials. I came to those conclusions not long after this story broke.

The porn star’s lawyer doesn’t need to persuade me of anything.

I just wish he’d shut his trap and do his job, whatever it entails, behind the scenes … and away from the spotlight.

It’s not really our business, however …

Donald J. Trump’s lawyer of the moment, Rudy Giuliani, has decided to speak about the first lady’s view of one of her husband’s, um, episodes involving other women.

Giuliani said Melania Trump “believes” the president when he says he didn’t have a tryst with a pornographic film actress, Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, in a hotel room back in 2006.

So, how does the former New York City mayor come to that conclusion? Do you think he asked Mrs. Trump directly? Did he ask the president himself? Or is he just making a conclusion based on nothing at all?

None of this in reality is anyone’s business. However, since one of the principals involved in this idiocy happens to be the president of the United States, it sort of morphs itself into the public domain.

I have difficulty accepting that Mrs. Trump would even answer such a question, even if it comes from the man who’s now representing her husband in his myriad battles to fend off investigations of all sorts. They include this matter involving Clifford/Daniels … allegedly.

I still circle back to the one aspect of that tryst that makes it all so very believable. It’s the payment of 130 grand in real American money that another lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to Daniels to keep her quiet. One must ask: If there was no sexual encounter, why would he have to pay the hush money?

As for whether Giuliani is relying on Donald Trump’s assertion that his (third) wife believes his denials about a one-night stand with Daniels — sigh! — I only can fall back on the many lies Trump has told since he began his political career in 2015.

If it were me — and I am so glad that it isn’t — I wouldn’t believe a single word that flies out of the president’s mouth.

What became of America’s Mayor?

Rudolph Giuliani used to be a revered public figure. He stood tall amid the rubble of Ground Zero in lower Manhattan and rallied a stricken city in the wake of the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Center.

Time magazine named him Person of the Year in 2001. It was richly deserved. Giuliani became America’s Mayor.

Then something happened to him. He decided to get involved in national politics. He dressed in drag to spoof something or someone. He ran for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2008.

Rudy Giuliani has gotten a bit strange. If you saw his shtick at the 2016 Republican National Convention, then you understand my point. If you haven’t seen it, take a look:

His latest gig is as Donald J. Trump’s lawyer, representing the president as he does battle against what he calls the “witch hunt” being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Giuliani has managed to step all over Trump’s denial about hush money being paid to a porn star; he argues now that the president cannot be subpoenaed or indicted by the special counsel, even if Mueller produces evidence that Trump broke the law.

Giuliani has become a shill. He has behaved in a seriously unattractive manner as he defends the president against Mueller’s investigation in whether Trump obstructed justice or “colluded” with Russians who interfered in our 2016 presidential election.

Honestly, I much prefer the former Rudy Giuliani, the man who faced down terrorists while standing in the rubble.

The “new Rudy” is acting like a clown.

‘No one is above the law’?

I must presume that Rudy Giuliani is a good lawyer. He once was a federal prosecutor in New York before becoming mayor of the nation’s largest city.

He’s run for president a couple of times. He’s now back in private practice, representing clients, one of whom is the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

Now the ex-mayor says this, that Trump can ignore a subpoena issued by special counsel Robert Mueller if it comes. Yes, the president can ignore a federal subpoena, says Giuliani.

Hold on! I thought that “no one is above the law.” Presidents of the United States are citizens of the same country as you and I — and Rudy Giuliani. Aren’t they subject to the same demands that fall on the rest of us?

Giuliani has entered the fray involving Trump and Stormy Daniels, the porn queen who alleges having a fling with Trump back in 2006. Trump denies it. Yet his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels $130,000 to buy her silence about the alleged tumble — that Trump said didn’t occur.

Mueller is likely looking into it to determine if there’s possibly a campaign finance law violation.

He might summon Trump to answer questions from the grand jury.

Giuliani says the president doesn’t have to testify.

So, is the president above the law?

Evangelicals continue their stunning hypocrisy

The Rev. Franklin Graham speaks for a lot of evangelical Christians. Thus, I’ll presume for a moment that those who follow him buy into the nonsense he espouses about Donald J. Trump Sr.

Oh, the hypocrisy of this preacher. It’s stunning to the max.

Graham recently told The Associated Press that Trump’s extramarital affairs are no one’s business. He said voters knew what they were getting when they elected him president in 2016. Back off, Graham implores us, because Trump’s marital infidelity is old news and has nothing to do with the here and now.

Why, he messed around with Stormy Daniels a dozen years before he became president, said Graham. He hasn’t messed around since then. OK, then. That makes it all right. It’s all good, right Rev. Graham?

How does that square with what Graham said about Barack H. Obama, Trump’s immediate predecessor as president?

Let’s see. He questioned President Obama’s faith because he was born to a Muslim father, a man the president barely knew. The president is a practicing Christian and has over the years declared his love of and devotion to Jesus Christ multiple times.

Oh, and then there’s this: Barack and Michelle Obama have been involved in a loving and faithful marriage for more than two decades, which is decidedly more in keeping with Biblical principles than the life that Donald Trump has led throughout much of his adult life.

So, the Rev. Graham gives Donald Trump a pass on his hideous moral indiscretions, but doesn’t extend the same Christian grace to, say, former President Bill Clinton. Graham wrote this in 1998 of President Clinton: If he will lie to or mislead his wife and daughter, those with whom he is most intimate, what will prevent him from doing the same thing to the American public?

So help me, this so-called “man of God” possesses an amazing reservoir of hypocrisy.

How does she do her job?

“We give the very best information that we have at the time.”

So said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in response to a question about her boss, Donald Trump, and his “blatant disregard for the truth.”

The issue of the day deals with Trump’s repayment of hush money to porn queen Stormy Daniels. Trump has denied making the payment to his lawyer, Michael Cohen, who forked over the money to Daniels in the first place; Sanders has parroted the president’s denial.

Now all of that has been tossed aside.

I’ll stipulate once again that I have been no fan of Sanders’s conduct as White House press flack. However, truth be told (no pun intended), she is being asked to do the impossible. She cannot speak the truth because she is not given the truth up front from the president or those who comprise his inner circle.

According to Politico: Not just in Thursday’s briefing, but overall, “the best information we have at the time” has become something of a go-to line for Sanders — her version of apparently throwing up her arms in the face of a president who has proved not only impulsive and prone to changing his mind, but who has exhibited an unprecedented propensity for falsehoods. As his official spokesperson, Sanders’ performance in Tuesday’s briefing left some reporters further questioning not just the president’s credibility, but also that of his press secretary and the entire White House.

I won’t go nearly so far as to express sympathy for Sanders. She surely had to know what she was buying into when she replaces Sean Spicer as White House press secretary. It well might be that Spicer warned her up front: Be careful, Sarah; the boss can’t tell the truth … about anything!

I hate believing that Sanders is a willing participant in the president’s penchant for prevarication. Her willingness to remain at her post, though, seems to give critics such as yours truly little choice to believe the worst in the White House press secretary.

How do we keep the lies straight?

My head is continuing to spin on a swivel as I watch and listen to the explanations, excuses and walking back of statements regarding Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, Rudy Guiliani and Stormy Daniels.

Here is what is most confusing to me: Does a lawyer who works for his or her client do anything “on the client’s behalf” without telling the client?

I refer to that hush money payment that the lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to Stormy Daniels, the porn star who alleges having a one-night tryst with Donald Trump (Cohen’s client). Trump says he didn’t have sex with Daniels … but Cohen made the payment anyway.

Enter the former New York mayor, Giuliani, who now serves on the president’s legal team.

Trump has denied any knowledge of Cohen’s payment to Daniels to keep her quiet about the (alleged) tumble she took with Trump. Then the ex-mayor says Trump knew about it after all. Giuliani adds that Cohen made the payment without telling Trump precisely why he made it.

Huh? Do I have that essentially correct?

A lawyer worth a damn — and it’s not clear to me that Cohen fits that description — doesn’t shell out a six-figure payment to someone on the client’s behalf without telling him in the moment, if not beforehand. Isn’t that what good lawyers do?

I’m not a lawyer. That’s patently obvious. Another lawyer, though, is certainly paying careful attention to all of this. He’s a good one, too. That would be special counsel Robert Mueller, who has hired a legal team that is poring over all of the bobbing, weaving, dodging and ducking.

Stay alert, Mr. Special Counsel.

What? Rudy exposes another Trump lie?

The hits just keep on comin’, man.

Get a load of this latest offering from the man formerly known as America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, who’s now taken on a new gig as Donald Trump’s lawyer tasked with negotiating a “quick” end to Robert Mueller’s investigation into “the Russia thing.”

Giuliani told Fox News’s Sean Hannity this week that Trump repaid another lawyer, Michael Cohen, who had forked over $130,000 to the porn star who allegedly had that one-night sexual tryst a dozen years ago with the man who would become president of the United States.

But … wait! Trump had said he didn’t know anything about the hush money Cohen paid to Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about the fling she allegedly took with Trump in 2006 … which, of course, Trump has denied ever occurred.

So, where we do we stand?

Trump’s denial about Cohen’s payment to Stormy Daniels has been flushed away, apparently. Trump’s denial of the tryst is still on shaky ground, given that Cohen paid Daniels a substantial amount to shut her up about an event Trump said didn’t happen.

Does anyone think any of this is going to persuade Robert Mueller to end his probe quickly? Is this veteran lawyer and former FBI director going to call it quits on this probe just because Rudy Giuliani is on board with the rest of the Trump legal team?

I, um, think not.