Anything there? After Robert Mueller’s investigations did not lead to a formal impeachment trial against US President Donald J. Trump and several lawsuits by Stormy Daniel against Trump were unsuccessful, it has become a bit quiet about the world’s most famous porn actress. But now there are new developments.
You almost would have wanted to say: What does Stormy Daniels do nowadays? The actress who dominated the world’s headlines last year because the current president of the United States had paid the actress hush money through his corrupt lawyer Michael Cohen.
In essence, it was about an alleged affair between Trump and Daniels at a time when he was newly married. The matter seemed to come to light at a bad time during the end of the 2016 election campaign. And so Trump wanted to solve the problem by signing a confidentiality agreement with Daniels. Later he denied the affair, but there seems to be no doubt about the hush money payment itself, which violated US campaign laws.
Mueller cannot, New York can
The special investigator Robert S. Mueller III. reached mixed conclusions in his investigation, but could not decide on a recommendation for an impeachment procedure. This seems to be due in particular to the fact that, in the opinion of the current State Attorney, an acting president cannot be convicted by a federal court. Whether and to what extent Trump will be prosecuted after his term as a president was not conclusively assessed in Mueller’s report.
That would be the end of the case for the time being, one might think. The state of New York, however, begs to differ. At the state level, the exception does not apply to the president. Nor does the US President’s extensive right of pardon apply to trials before the courts in the individual federal states. Since the hush money payment and the violation of campaign laws by the then-candidate Trump took place in New York, the New York public prosecutor’s office sees itself in the position to investigate in the Stormy Daniels affair.
New York prosecutor resumes investigation
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. has decided to begin an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the $130,000 hush payment to Daniels. To this end, Vance ordered the company of the US President, the Trump Organization run by his sons, to hand over documents related to the payment to the actress.
The tricky part of the whole process is that the New Yorkers will presumably succeed in proving that Trump himself instructed his currently imprisoned former lawyer Michael Cohen to pay the hush money. This would have made the current president liable to prosecution.
Will it be a problem for Trump?
In this case, Trump would have to answer to a New York court. And unlike a federal court, a state court could force him to appear in court and eventually convict him. That would be a political disaster and could not only jeopardize Trump’s re-election efforts in 2020 but might also end his presidency in the run-up to it.
The lawyer of the Trump Organization, Michael L. Mukasey, appears accordingly thin-skinned. According to him, the investigations of the New York public prosecutor’s office are a »political hit job« and »presidential harassment«.
Whatever the course of events, one thing remains to be said: Stormy Daniels is back.