In an earlier post I tried to unpack the issues surrounding Michael Cohen’s assertion of his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
This morning’s news is that Judge Agrees to Delay Stormy Daniels’ Lawsuit Against Michael Cohen. I’m not surprised. Nor am I surprised that Stormy’s lawyer immediately tweeted his plan to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. And, however, it comes out, I won’t be surprised—partly because I have sort of lost the capacity to be surprised.
Here’s the thing. If Cohen’s criminal problems can be resolved in three months, then there is probably little harm and little injustice in making Stormy wait for her day in court. And, I think, the world can probably wait to learn exactly which form of intercourse she and Trump experienced during their one-night stand. I certainly know I can wait.
But Cohen’s criminal problems probably will not be resolved in three months. And Stormy should not have to wait indefinitely to get her day in court.
Let’s say you had an El Greco on your living room wall and I stole it. You bring a civil lawsuit demanding the return of your painting. I say, “Well, it would be unfair to make me defend the case because it would come out that I committed a crime.”
Does that mean that I just get to keep the El Greco?
I don’t think so.
Two New Republic writers suck their thumbs for many paragraphs asking, Is “Porn Star” the Best Way to Describe Stormy Daniels?
Read them if such is your wont. But the correct answer is: no, “porn star” is not the most apt term. The aptest term is “entrepreneurial sex worker.” Like a person who begins her career driving trucks, and ends up owning and managing a small fleet of trucks.
Defamatory Imputation of Chastity
And now for your daily bonus.
Defamation, as you may know, is oral or written speech that damages another person’s reputation. The claim may be true or false: if it damages the reputation, it’s defamatory. (That said, truth is always a defense.)
During the nineteenth century the law evolved a category of the most serious forms of defamation, termed “defamation per se.” There were four of them:
- saying that someone is a criminal
- saying that someone exhibits qualities or behavior inconsistent with whatever line of business they are in
- saying that someone has a loathsome disease, or, last but not least,
- imputation of unchastity to a woman.
In an interesting legal twist, Miss Daniels has sued Trump’s lawyer for defamation, based on his assertion that she did not have sex with Trump.
I suppose that the imputation of chastity to a sex worker falls into the category of claiming that she exhibits behavior or qualities inconsistent with her chosen profession.
Stormy Daniels is a sex worker. She sucks penises for a living. If you have a penis, and if you have some money, and if you want your penis sucked, she will do it for you.
But the price has recently gone up. Supply and demand, don’t you know. She still has only a limited supply of penis sucking services to offer. But demand has increased, because some people want their penis sucked by the same person who sucked Donald Trump’s penis.
I would like the record to reflect that I do not approve of sex work as an occupational choice, I have never bought the services of a sex worker, and I will never do so.
All that said, life experience has taught that there are multiple ways of being a whore, and consensual sex work is among the most honest forms of whoring. With that thought in mind, I commend to you Miss Daniels’ crowd sourcing web site, which had garnered $88,985 as of the time of my visit.
Miss Daniels writes,
My name is Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels).
I am attempting to speak honestly and openly to the American people about my relationship with now President Donald Trump, as well as the intimidation and tactics that he, together with his attorney Michael Cohen, have used to silence me.
In order to tell my story, I have had to file a public lawsuit in Los Angeles, California in an effort to void a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that Mr. Trump never signed and yet is trying to use to intimidate me.
Rather than agree that the NDA is invalid, thus allowing me to talk, Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen have instead attempted to hide the facts from the public using a bogus arbitration proceeding and have threatened me with millions of dollars in damages ($1M each time I speak out) if I tell the truth about what happened.
I recently made an offer to return the $130,000 I was previously paid if it was agreed that I could simply tell the truth publicly. Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen did not even bother to respond.
I need funds to pay for: attorneys’ fees; out-of-pocket costs associated with the lawsuit, arbitration, and my right to speak openly; security expenses; and damages that may be awarded against me if I speak out and ultimately lose to Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen.
I am more fortunate than many, many people in this country. And for that I am grateful. But unfortunately, I do not have the vast resources to fight Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen alone. Thank you for supporting me.
Please be generous.
Well, it certainly has been a no good, rotten, very bad week, has it not? For all of us. For Donald J. Trump. For David Brooks, the Perennially Reasonable Conservative, who wrote a column denouncing the Mad King narrative about Trump—only to have Trump go out of his way to act like a mad king all week.
In case you have any shred of optimism left, Aardvark recommends this new piece in the Atlantic: There’s No Way Out: Trump’s presidency may be a dysfunctional disaster, but there’s no apparent way to end it.
If, somehow, you missed the many tragicomic disasters that occurred in the past few days—perhaps you were on an extended visit to one of the Shithole Countries, and the internet wasn’t working properly—the Atlantic article details the highlights of the week. The author then goes on to dismiss the practicality of both impeachment and the 25th Amendment. Hence the conclusion: there’s no way out except for the 2020 election.
The Atlantic piece may be right. Who the hell knows?
But I have two suggestions—one offered tongue in cheek, the other with some degree of seriousness. I’m not sure which is which. Perhaps you will be able to tell.
First of all, our stable genius is in fact so unstable, and his disorder is progressing at such a rate, that there will, Aardvark predicts, come a time during 2018 when both Fox News and a majority of even his most rabid supporters will have to give up the pretense that we are dealing with a sane man. At that point, all things are possible.
Hail to the Chief, President Pence.
The second possibility is suggested by the new story that Trump has paid off an adult film star to suppress her account of their bedroom frivolities.
Now, I object to middle aged prosecutors roaming rural malls to prey on teenagers. But it’s quite something else for a septuagenarian to make whoopee with a middle aged, cash oriented stripper. (More information to be found at http://www.stormydaniels.com/; I stopped at the home page, but if you wish to enter you will no doubt learn what services Ms. Daniels provides, and how much she charges for them. The depiction below may help you decide whether further investigation is in order.)
Who wants to join me in a Go Fund Me campaign to raise contributions for a continuing supply of middle aged porn stars to keep Doofus well and fully occupied?
Just go into the Lincoln Bedroom and have at it.
Patriotic middle aged strippers of America, your country needs you. The money is good. And, maybe, at a time of your life when the bloom is beginning to fade from the rose, and continued success in your chosen career is in doubt, the publicity arising from your enthusiastic service to the Commander in Chief would not be amiss.