In recent days, a porn actress named Stephanie Clifford, better known by the stage name “Stormy Daniels,” has focused attention on an axiom of American politics.
It is not contested that during the 2016 presidential campaign Clifford received $130,000 from … someone … in return for her silence on the subject of a sexual relationship between herself and now-President Donald Trump. Ms Clifford has sued seeking a declaration by the court that this agreement is null and void.
The story has ‘legs’ in part because a lawyer for Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, claims that he personally paid the hush money, that he did so out of his own funds, and that he didn’t tell Trump about it at all. That claim sounds to many like an (implausible) effort to cover-up the cover-up.
The Thing to Know:
A platitude in politics is that “it isn’t the offense that kills you, it’s the cover up.” The payment of hush money has become a bigger political stumbling block for the Trump administration than the philandering.