On Stormy Daniels

After her interview on 60 Minutes and successive amendment to her lawsuit on President Donald Trump, Stormy Daniels has been a name the media, and public, cannot get enough of.

Sunday evening Stormy Daniels defied Trump and his lawyers’ hush agreement and spoke out about her alleged affair in 2006 with the President on 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper. Daniels spoke out with the intention of setting the record straight and defending herself and her side of the news that has engulfed the nation.

Daniels originally filed a lawsuit to void a nondisclosure agreement related to her alleged relationship, but is now inciting a second lawsuit accusing Trump’s long-trusted attorney, Michael Cohen, of defamation. According to Daniels, Cohen made Daniels out to be a liar and “someone who should not be trusted.” The media was buzzing when news of the second suit broke Monday evening, yet the second suit is believed to dissolve as it will not pass the “smell test” for regulating defamation – an informal method for determining whether something is authentic and ethical by using common sense.

The issue becomes more political than tabloid “he said, she said” with the potential of campaign corruption. The agreement on Daniels’ silence was drawn eleven days before the presidential election. Cohen paid $130,000 of his own money to Daniels, yet claims it was not a campaign contribution despite the fact that one is only allowed to grant $5,400 to a candidate in an election year.

On the topic of using his personal funds to hush Daniels, Cohen told Vanity Fair Magazine: “What I did defensively for my personal client, and my friend, is what attorneys do for their high-profile clients. I would have done it in 2006. I would have done it in 2011. I truly care about him and the family – more than just as an employee and an attorney.”

Amongst all the questions and incongruences in the scandal the public wonders: is history repeating itself with a parallel to the scandal involving former President Bill Clinton and intern Monica Lewinsky? Yet, there is great disparity in how the situations were viewed publicly. The House of Representatives wanted Clinton impeached on accounts of lying under oath and sexual relations with Lewinsky; however, the Daniels’ scandal has been viewed as more of a speed bump in Trump’s presidency than a stop sign. People say that the scandal is not reflective of his ability to run the office and that what happens behind closed doors is not public business. Maybe the difference in public opinion on the situation today lies in the fact that Trump was not under oath when he denied relations with Daniels, but still there is great disparity in whether this issue is reflective of Trump’s abilities in office or not, yet a similar scandal greatly determined Clinton’s abilities in office. This reiterates the question: is it a question of politics or popularity?

“I actually think it’s career suicide. The left looks at her as a whore and just uses her to try to discredit the president. The right look at her like a treacherous rat. It’s a lose lose. Should have kept her trap shut.”

This quote from adult film actress Jenna Jameson written in retaliation to a tweet about Stormy Daniels’ increasing popularity, frames the lawsuit to be a divided topic amongst political parties. But is this actually a debate involving politics, or a public relations campaign and a Hollywood debate? Republicans knew who Trump was, and of his character, when they elected him to office; comparatively, Democrats knew who Trump was, and of his character, when they abstained from electing him to office, so why is anyone really surprised by the allegations?