Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Michael Cohen testifies that, after Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal were paid hush money, more women were set to come forward with tales about a candidate who can't keep his mouth shut or his fly zipped

Donald Trump and Karen McDougal (Twitter)

Michael Cohen, longtime lawyer and fixer for Donald Trump, has testified in the New York hush-money trial that the former president warned him the story could go on for quite a while and pose a major threat to his political hopes, according to a report at The New Republic (TNR).. In other words, Cohen testified, the two best-known women to bring such allegations forward -- former Playboy model Karen McDougal and former porn actress Stormy Daniels -- likely would be the first of many to share stories of sexual encounters with Trump.

Cohen's testimony suggests Trump and his legal team have been dealing with such problems for a long time, perhaps dating to the days before he became president. Under the headline "Michael Cohen Says Trump Warned Him About This Creepy, Horrific Detail; Trump worried “a lot of women” would want to share negative stories about him," TNR's Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling provides insight:

Around the start of his 2016 campaign for president, Donald Trump warned his closest advisers that there would be a tidal wave of negative stories coming out about him—especially from women, his former fixer Michael Cohen said Monday.

While on the stand in Trump’s hush-money trial, Cohen recalled a revealing conversation he had with Trump just before he announced his campaign, in which the former reality TV star warned him that they could see a spike in sexual-assault allegations.

“You know that when this comes out, meaning the announcement, just be prepared, there’s going to be a lot of women coming forward,” Cohen said Trump told him at the time.

Based on the TNR account, it sounds as if Trump shared this information in a matter-of-fact way, with no sense of shame or regret -- or, as the TNR headline states, no understanding of how "creepy" his behavior was. It seems most folks in the Trump orbit took the news with a "That's just The Boss being The Boss" attitude.

In essence, Trump was describing himself as a serial sexual predator -- a subject the public has come to learn much about since he first became president. And it raises this question: If Trump wins the 2024 race with incumbent Joe Biden, how much of his time and energy will be consumed by dealing with the fallout of his sexual escapades over the years? Will he have time to run the country? Should the public trust a man whose third wife could not trust him, even while she was home with a newborn son?  As Houghtaling reports, Trump was right about one thing: Women did come forward:

At least 26 women have accused Trump of touching them inappropriately, with some accounts dating back decades. Several have come forward into the public eye to advance their allegations against the three-time GOP presidential nominee, often risking the ire and relentless harassment of Trump’s cult-like following.

Yet just a couple have found relative success in holding him accountable. Writer E. Jean Carroll was the first woman whose case against Trump made it to a courtroom. She won big against Trump last May when a jury unanimously found him liable for sexually abusing and defaming her, awarding her $5 million in damages, and again in January when another jury decided he owed her $83.3 million for defaming her a separate time.

But her justice still hangs in the air. Trump has posted a $92-million bond to appeal the ruling, while Carroll has become a villain in Trumpworld, suffering relentless online vitriol slung by his frenetic base.

Trump has issued individual and blanket denials to the abuse allegations, often claiming that the women were paid to lie about the stories. Meanwhile, Trump was reportedly paying women, including porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal,  to stay silent about their sexual encounters.

Daniels is the only other woman to testify against Trump in a court. She gave bombshell testimony last week about her relationship with the former president and the payment she received to keep quiet about it. In fact, some of Trump’s other accusers have been contacting each other in light of Daniels’ testimony, discussing how much they related to her story.

That sounds like any future Trump presidency could be overwhelmed with stories of sexual encounters from his shady past.  For now, Houghtaling writes . . . .

Trump is accused of using Cohen to sweep an affair with Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Republican presidential nominee faces 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

No comments: