What Happened Between Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump?

George J. Ziogas

Daniels and TrumpPhoto byruperto miller/Flickr

The relationship between Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump made headlines across the world in early 2018, when the Wall Street Journal published a report claiming that Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen had paid Daniels $130,000 in October 2016 to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump.

Stephanie Clifford, better known by her stage name Stormy Daniels, is a former adult film actress and director who claimed to have had an affair with Trump in 2006. Daniels claimed that she had been paid to keep quiet about the affair by Trump’s team during the 2016 presidential election.

Trump and his team denied the allegations, with Trump himself tweeting that he had never had a relationship with Daniels. However, in March 2018, Daniels filed a lawsuit against Trump and Cohen, seeking to have a nondisclosure agreement she had signed invalidated. The lawsuit alleged that the agreement was invalid because Trump had never signed it himself.

Daniels claimed that the nondisclosure agreement was signed just before the 2016 presidential election, and that Cohen had paid her $130,000 in exchange for her silence. The lawsuit sought to have the agreement invalidated so that Daniels could speak freely about her alleged affair with Trump.

In April 2018, Cohen confirmed that he had paid Daniels the $130,000, and that he had done so at the direction of Trump himself. Cohen later pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including campaign finance violations related to the payment to Daniels, and was sentenced to three years in prison.

The scandal surrounding Daniels and Trump continued to dominate headlines for months, with Daniels making numerous media appearances to discuss her alleged affair with the president. In October 2018, a federal judge dismissed Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump, which had been filed after Trump tweeted that Daniels was lying about their relationship.

Despite the dismissal of the defamation lawsuit, the controversy surrounding Daniels and Trump continued to simmer. In December 2018, prosecutors in New York filed a sentencing memorandum in Cohen’s case, stating that Cohen had committed campaign finance violations at the direction of Trump. The memorandum also alleged that Trump had been involved in discussions about paying off other women who claimed to have had affairs with him.

In August 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud and campaign finance violations, including the payment to Daniels. He implicated Trump in the campaign finance violations, stating that he had acted at Trump’s direction.

The controversy surrounding Daniels and Trump has had far-reaching consequences, with both Trump and Cohen facing legal repercussions as a result of their actions. While the full extent of the relationship between Daniels and Trump may never be known, the scandal has served as a stark reminder of the high stakes and potential legal consequences that can come with extramarital affairs and attempts to cover them up.

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