One of the unlikeliest names in American politics in 2018 was Stormy Daniels.
On January 12th, news first broke that Donald Trump‘s attorney and fixer Michael Cohen had paid the porn star $130,000 one month before the 2016 election — allegedly so she would keep quiet about a 2006 sexual liaison with the would-be President.
Initially, Trump denied all of the allegations. But when it became apparent that, at minimum, Daniels had received the hush money, Trump claimed he’d had no knowledge of it. On April 5th, he told the press he did not know about the payment or where Cohen had gotten the money. That claim was refuted by the Wall Street Journal on October 2nd, when it reported that Trump himself had directed the cover-up. This jibed with something Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani had said on May 3rd, when he acknowledged that Trump had repaid Cohen in the hopes of keeping the payment from becoming an illegal campaign contribution.
Daniels and her pitbull attorney Michael Avenatti had numerous ups and downs throughout the year. They lost a defamation lawsuit against the President when a judge ruled on October 15th that Trump’s tweets about her did not add up to libel. She then parted ways with Avenatti, claiming he’d filed the suit against her wishes.
Stormy also had some personal issues. Her husband filed for divorce, just days after she was arrested in a Columbus, Ohio strip club on July 11th for allegedly touching a patron.
Cohen also had his own issues. The FBI raided his offices on April 10th in connection with the Daniels case, and he pleaded guilty to fraud charges on August 21st. But he wound up working out a deal with Robert Mueller in the Russia investigation and pleaded guilty to lying to Congress on November 29th.
- Stormy also made a killing off her memoir, Full Disclosure.
- Trump has still never admitted to the affair.
- Everyone involved in this thing was slimy — Trump, the porn star, Avenatti, Cohen, everyone.