Comey friend warns Stormy Daniels saga could unravel years of Trump hush money payouts
A friend of former FBI director James Comey predicted the Stormy Daniels scandal could open the floodgates for other women to talk about their past dealings with President Donald Trump.
Journalist Benjamin Wittes, editor-in-chief of Lawfare and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the porn actress’ lawsuit against the president over an unsigned non-disclosure agreement could embolden others to come forward.
“The biggest implications, since this is already out there, is not whether Stormy Daniels will be able to talk,” Wittes said.
“The biggest implication is that there are presumably other such agreements,” he continued, “and the question is whether you create an environment in which everybody who has a nondisclosure agreement with the president feels free to come forward and say what that person, he or she, knows — and that would be, I would think, a problem for the president.”
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson said the lawsuit puts Trump into an awkward position.
“Maybe he has a signed copy of the contract, but if he does, then he has to acknowledge that he signed the contract,” Robinson said. “So he’s sort of been twisted between there.”
Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen admits to facilitating a $130,000 payment to Daniels shortly before the 2016 election, for which he reportedly expected to be repaid — and which could potentially violate federal election law.
“It would come down to a question of whether the payment to her was, in fact, a funding of his campaign or whether it was simply a private transaction between two people,” Wittes said. “Of course, you would have to have an enforcement mechanism that was viable for that.”