Is Stormy The Last Straw?

By

Leonard Zwelling

Many people who do not like the current occupant of the Oval Office have been talking about impeachment since President Trump was elected. As of now this has no chance of happening. The House of Representatives would have to issue articles of impeachment and that is not going to happen as long as the GOP controls the House. Thus everyone should just calm down on the impeachment front. Unless…

What got Bill Clinton in trouble was not having sex with a young intern in the Oval Office. The whole country knew Bill was a philanderer when they elected him so nothing could surprise anyone about that. That he lied about it is another story.

Flash forward to Stormy Daniels.

The fact that the current President of the United States may have had a sexual relationship with an adult film star while he was married to Melania is not news at all. (Talk about fake news.) How Mr. Trump views women and how he views the sanctity of marriage is the stuff of many videos, photographs and news items in The New York Post.

BUT—if Mr. Trump has a pre-nuptial agreement with Melania that is nullified by adulterous behavior on his part, the fact of his having had an affair with Ms. Daniels is critical. If it can be proved that he had the affair that she claims they did (and she is way more than credible), then Mrs. Trump could sue Mr. Trump for divorce and get half the keys to the kingdom. (I wonder if she would assume half the debt to the Russians?)

Along comes Michael Cohen, the president’s personal attorney who claims that he paid Ms. Daniels $130,000 of his own money to be quiet about the affair that the president insists he never had. Do you think someone is lying? When has a lawyer ever paid anyone his own money unless it’s another lawyer? Why pay $130,000 if nothing happened? Was she extorting the president? No one has suggested that.

Obviously the Department of Justice who executed a raid on Mr. Cohen’s offices and living area in a hotel (apparently his house is being fixed up) thinks someone is lying. This raid is supposedly unassociated with the Russia investigation of Mr. Mueller, but may have been triggered by information uncovered by the Mueller team. The raid emanated from the DA for the Southern District of New York and had to be approved by a series of people in the Justice Department and in a court. You don’t get to take client documents from an attorney on a whim. This really is smoke and there probably really is fire.

So when all is said and done, the lying might not get Trump, the bellicosity might not, the “collusion,” the obstruction of justice, and the emoluments clause of the Constitution may not get him. The girl just might. If he didn’t have the affair, why did Cohen pay the money? If the affair is as she said it was in 2006, why pay 11 days before the election?

It still may be a long road to try to impeach the president. I still doubt the House will do so at this point in time.

However, if he lies under oath about the affair because he is being deposed in the divorce settlement, watch out. It almost got Slick Willy. It may get The Donald.

The other key is election laws. If the courts (or a jury) interpret the $130,000 as a political contribution towards the election of Donald Trump, perhaps Mr. Cohen will go to jail for an illegal contribution. My guess is that there is a document somewhere that shows that $130,000 was eventually paid by Mr. Trump.

You see it’s a mess and it’s a mess of Mr. Trump’s own making as I am sure his bankruptcies were.

The key to Donald Trump may not be his narcissism or his lack of intelligence or his petulance or his ego. He may be incompetent.

Leonard Zwelling