Fake news alert! Or is it? Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump, is giving an interview to CBS 60 Minutes tomorrow night. What will she say?
A bizarre story is circulating that someone tried to run her off the road as she left an event two weeks ago. So can we expect lurid tabloid headlines: ‘Trump tried to have me killed,’ says Stormy? ‘Mystery surrounds’ this Stormy story, as the tabloids would say.
The source of it appears to be people close to the pornographer, Larry Flynt, the notorious Trumphobe who has put up $10m for information leading to the President’s impeachment. Flynt has told friends that Stormy’s lawyer rang him to ask for some of this cash because ‘Stormy fears for her life’. Flynt is said to have refused the request.
The lawyer, Michael Avenatti, denied to Cockburn that the car incident happened, or that he had approached Flynt. ‘Bullshit,’ he said. The local police don’t seem to have any report either. Avenatti is, though, on record as accusing Trump’s legal team of engaging in ‘thuggish behaviour, threats, [and] intimidation’. Trump’s legal team, you may remember, is suing Stormy for $20m for breaking an agreement not to talk about the ‘affair’ – which Trump denies. Avenatti was said to have contacted Flynt through an activist group called Protect Democracy. They, too, deny all knowledge of this strange story.
But Protect Democracy have filed an amicus brief in the case of another of the ‘Trump women’ – Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice who says that Trump groped her. Trump denies that allegation, too. There is also Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model, who has been transfixing America with details of an alleged 10-month affair with Trump. She has her own lawsuit and, again, the president denies the claims. All of these lawsuits pose the threat of a possible perjury trap for Trump if he is deposed. This is what happened to President Clinton, who lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky when he was deposed in the civil case brought by Paula Jones – and ended up getting impeached but not convicted. There is also the possibility that the money paid to these women for their silence – either by Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, or by third parties — could constitute campaign finance violations. Cockburn wonders if, never mind the truth of any allegation, the ‘Trump women’ – not Russia, or Mueller – might be Trump’s downfall in the end.