Appearing with fellow lawyer Ari Melber on MSNBC Monday afternoon, a former U.S. attorney was skeptical that a payout given to an adult film star by President Donald Trump’s personal attorney wasn’t as innocent as the White House would prefer people believe.
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump’s longtime attorney, Michael Cohen, paid actress Stephanie Clifford, whose stage name was Stormy Daniels, a sum of $130,000 in October 2016. Following that disclosure The Daily Beast said another star entered into an agreement with Trump’s attorney, and that detailed were shielded by a non-disclosure agreement.
According to ex-federal attorney Joyce Vance, the NDA’s and the amount of money dispensed should raise eyebrows — and those NDA’s may not be ironclad.
“These non-disclosure agreements are a pretty standard way of resolving a sexual harassment lawsuit,” Vance began. “But in this case, it doesn’t look like a lawsuit or threat of a lawsuit but an effort to silence these women in at least one case on the eve of an election. These are contracts, they’re state law documents, so they’re governed by the law of the state in which they’re entered into and that raises interesting questions about what would happen if one of the parties breached them and what sort of law governs.”
“I wonder if, just in big picture, you could put it into perspective for our viewers here, the scale of, ‘this is totally false, I’m going to sue anyone who says it,’ which is what Trump was saying at the time while running against Hillary Clinton and paying someone off,” Melber asked.
“Even though the president has said none of these allegations are true, this is a large type of payout” Vance ventured. “Too large, really, for us to accept the idea that there’s not some truth or not some story here that he wants to have shelved.”
“And, in addition to that, there are, as you pointed out, some others who heard contemporaneously or who were present, who aren’t bound by the non-disclosure agreements, so ultimately, the truth will come out one way or the other,” she added.
You can watch the video below via MSNBC: