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Thread by @PaulSchmehl: "I had hoped that I would never have to discuss Stormy Daniels, but it seems I’m going to have to. The problem with news stories is that they […]"

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I had hoped that I would never have to discuss Stormy Daniels, but it seems I’m going to have to. The problem with news stories is that they introduce all sorts of unrelated facts by asking “experts” to engage in rampant speculation about the meaning of the facts.
Such is the case with the Stormy Daniels mess. This is how the media makes something out to be what it is not and sways opinions without informing the public. So, let’s look at what Michael Cohen has said and what Mayor Giuliani said last night.
What I have done is looked for stories that actually quote the involved parties, because you can’t trust anything the media writes about the issue. So, let’s look at Michael Cohen first, from the New Yorker. newyorker.com/news/our-colum…
Excuse me. The New Yorker article is Giuliani’s statements. I’ll get to them in a minute. The Cohen article is from CNN. (See, even in a bucket of shit you can find a pony.) cnn.com/2018/03/05/pol…
The CNN article includes a link to Cohen’s on-the-record statement. cnn.com/2018/02/13/pol…
"In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford," Michael Cohen said in a statement. "Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford,
and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly." Note that this is a quote, so this is what Cohen said, not what journalists claim he said. Now, let’s examine his statement. 1) He paid Daniels with his personal funds
2) Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction 3) He was not reimbursed either directly or indirectly
Those are the facts as Cohen stated them. Now let’s look at what Mayor Giuliani said.
“When I heard Cohen’s retainer of thirty-five thousand, when he was doing no work for the President, I said, ‘That’s how he’s repaying it, with a little profit and a little margin for paying taxes, for Michael.’ ” Giuliani also said that, “as far as I know,”
Trump didn’t know about the specifics of the payment. “But he did know the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this, like I take care of things like this with my clients,” Giuliani said.
Note that not all of that is in quotes, but given the context, I think we can trust that it’s accurate. So, Giuliani says, 1) Cohen was reimbursed by way of his retainer 2) Trump didn’t know the details 3) This is common for wealthy people.
It’s important that you understand what a retainer is for. Trump paid Cohen $35,000 a month to be available when needed and to handle legal issues for him. Sometimes, Cohen got $35,000 for doing nothing. Other times he got $35,000 for doing much more than the $35,000.
The point is, the retainer pays for all legal services rendered, whether than ends up being a lot or nothing. Now, if something special came up (like a big lawsuit), Cohen might ask Trump for more money, but, assuming they had a written contract, Trump wouldn’t have to.
And I don’t think Trump is dumb enough to not have a written contract for legal services. That contract would probably go into some detail about what services Cohen would be expected to provide. And unlike a single case arrangement, Cohen wouldn’t bill for hours or for anything
else, like court fees, documents, etc. Those are normally included in the retainer. It’s basically an agreement where Trump says, I’ll pay you $35,000 month. You take care of any legal issues that arise and don’t bother me unless it’s really important.
So, when Giuliani says Trump reimbursed Cohen and Cohen says he wasn’t reimbursed, both statements are true. Cohen was never reimbursed for the transaction he made with Daniels, but he was being paid monthly to take care of such things, just as every wealthy person does.
Now, the news stories speculate that Giuliani made a big whoops and that further, maybe he’s rusty because he hasn’t practiced criminal law in a while. I find that laughable. Given Giuliani’s background, I suspect he knew exactly what he was doing. BUT
I would not be surprised to find stories in the next few days about how pissed Trump is with Giuliani for “spilling the beans”. It would certainly fit the pattern of previous stories. I seriously doubt that Giuliani would have said what he said without Trump knowing ahed of
time. There’s also another story you need to be aware of. Cohen has stated that Trump "vehemently denies" he ever had sex with Daniels. He also said, “Just because something isn't true doesn't mean that it can't cause you harm or damage. I will always protect Mr. Trump."
Furthermore, Trump is suing Daniels for breach of the NDA she signed. bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
Frankly, I think Daniels made a cynical decision that she could make a lot more money by bringing this up now that Trump is POTUS, because the external pressures on him are much greater
I think she figured that Trump would pay more to make this go away. She also figured the publicity would help her career. She appears to have miscalculated on the former, but she has definitely cashed in on the latter. Regarding the lawsuit, however, she has a major problem.
She signed a written statement that she never had sex with Trump. washingtonpost.com/news/post-nati… That will work against her in any lawsuit, and remember, in civil suits, the burden of proof is the preponderance of the evidence (basically 51%). The written statement is proof she lied.
So, whether she had sex with Trump or not, her own statement impugns any claim she makes now and makes her defamation suit much harder to win.
My personal opinion is that she decided to take a ride on the publicity train and it blew up. And now she is being ill-served by her attorney.
I hope this clarifies the issues, and I pray I never have to discuss her again.
This is Stormy Daniels’ denial, which she implied wasn’t her signature.
However, Stormy Daniels’ own attorney claimed her written statement denying the affair was “authentic”. bostonglobe.com/news/politics/…
So which is it? This is why I’m convinced she is simply milking this for all it’s worth. And why I think she loses any lawsuit regarding this mess.
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