Two US vice squad police officers were fired for wrongfully arresting porn star Stormy Daniels, who has claimed an affair with President Donald Trump, city officials in Columbus, Ohio confirmed on Friday.
Officers Whitney Lancaster and Steven Rosser were ordered dismissed by Columbus Director of Public Safety Ned Pettus on Thursday, according to documents provided by Pettus’ office.
Two other officers were suspended for the 2018 strip club arrest of Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club on sexual misdemeanor charges.
Daniels had charged in a lawsuit that she was arrested for political reasons related to her claim before the 2016 election that Trump had sought to buy her silence over an affair a decade earlier, to avoid it affecting his prospects in the presidential contest.
The charges said that, while topless at the club, she pushed the faces of customers into her breasts.
The charges against her were quickly dropped following her detention. But she sued the city for false arrest and false imprisonment and the case was settled in September 2019 for $450,000.
Pettus said in the dismissal orders that the two officers took actions against Daniels that “deviated significantly from actions taken at every other strip club investigated by you.”
He pointed out that normally they would file charges against an offender after a club visit and issue a summons for the person’s appearance in court, rather than arresting them on the spot and taking them in to custody as they did with Daniels.
“Not a single other suspect was deprived of their rights by being arrested ‘On View’… except Ms Clifford, demonstrating gross neglect of duty and incompetence,” Pettus wrote.
Prosecutors in New York are investigating payments made to Daniels by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney who is in prison for violating campaign finance laws.
‘Pure retaliation’: Former House national security official slams Trump for firing inspector general
On Friday evening, President Donald Trump stunned observers by announcing he would be dismissing Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who first relayed the whistleblower complaint about Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine.
Daniel Goldman, a national security advisor for the House Intelligence Committee, slammed the decision on Saturday, calling it "pure retaliation" and noting that his only offense was following the law when the president did not.
I saw Michael Atkinson up close. He followed the law with the utmost integrity. He did nothing to lose Trump’s confidence other than lawfully and properly expose Trump’s misconduct and the ensuing efforts to cover it up. This is pure retaliation, retribution and reprisal. https://t.co/GStcTOJn4J
Center-left Keir Starmer replaces Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader
Britain's main opposition Labour Party named Keir Starmer, a former director of public prosecutions who opposed the country's exit from the European Union, as its leader on Saturday.
Starmer, who has tried to carry the socialist supporters of outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn while also keeping more centrist Labour members on board, beat Rebecca Long-Bailey, an ally of Corbyn, and Lisa Nandy in the contest.
He won with 56.2% of the vote by party members and supporters.
Video app Zoom rockets to fame, with some hiccups, amid pandemic
What does British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have in common with virtual happy hour celebrants and thousands of students around the world?
All use the Zoom videoconferencing application to get together while staying apart during the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
But amid its newfound fame, the Silicon Valley-based company has come under stepped-up scrutiny over how it handles privacy and security -- including allowing uninvited guests to barge in on sessions.
Created by engineer Eric Yuan in 2011 and listed on the Nasdaq a year ago, Zoom has seen its market value skyrocket to some $35 billion.