At this point, Americans are becoming used to getting more news from Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, than is even available in the mainstream media most days. I guess that’s probably why so many networks are always so eager to host Avenatti on their shows, on the chance that he’ll reveal some big new angle or fact that could be devastating to Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, and anyone in the future who may have thought they could get away with the crimes that Avenatti has now cornered Team Trump on.
And while it may sometimes seem that most of Avenatti’s interviews, hints, and tweets concern Cohen lately since Cohen is such a juicy target — albeit a sloppy, lazy one who barely covered his tracks — don’t be mistaken: Stormy and Avenatti haven’t taken their eyes off the prize, which is Donald J. Trump himself.
That’s underscored in a pretty big way with Avenatti’s tweet today — again, seemingly cryptic, but easy to parse if you’ve been following along — regarding how “relevant” some pretty high-profile case law from about 20 years ago is turning out to be:
It is always interesting how history repeats itself. This is about to become highly relevant…https://t.co/Ds8NlliN61
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 26, 2018
If you don’t have time to read the linked document there, let me sum it up for you.
That’s the establishment of case law from the suit that Paula Jones filed against President Bill Clinton more than two decades ago. Her suit against Clinton was filed in 1994, but seemed to drag on interminably — that time in this nation was the advent of even the concept of “sexual harassment” for many Americans — and it provided a pretty unique precedent that the federal court was eventually required to decide.
Could Paula Jones press forward with her case while Bill Clinton was president, or did immunity protect him at least until he was done serving his presidential terms?
Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the court’s opinion, and — SPOILER ALERT — it did not go Bill Clinton’s way.
So why is it relevant now? The parallels in Stormy Daniels’ case against Trump and Jones’ case against Clinton are staggering. Although the sexual contact between Trump and Daniels was consensual and Ms. Jones did not actually allege that she had sex with Clinton, the act of defamation in the aftermath looks almost identical.
More importantly, what Stevens laid out in the court’s opinion cited previous findings: That there was never any “case in which any public official ever has been granted any immunity from suit for his unofficial acts.”
That means we can look forward to either a Stormy Daniels trial during Trump’s presidency, or less likely, a settlement that requires Trump to at least make a public statement confirming what happened between the former reality show star and his porn star paramour.
Featured image via New Century Times Gallery