Based on his unwillingness to even so much as speak her name, let alone attack her on Twitter, it’s been widely quipped that the only person Donald Trump fears more than Robert Mueller is Stormy Daniels. But while it’s one thing for Daniels to make Trump look bad by exposing their affair and his subsequent attempts at covering it up, it’s another thing to take down a president for criminal reasons. Yet, based on the events of the past twenty-four hours, it’s now clear that Trump really is being taken down by Daniels.
When the FBI raided the office and residence of Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen on Monday, several major media outlets reported that the judge signed off on the search warrant due to the $130,000 that Cohen paid Daniels just before the election to keep her quiet about the affair. So even though Robert Mueller did reportedly give his approval for the raid by referring it to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, this raid wasn’t about Trump-Russia. However, the raid blows the Trump-Russia door wide open.
For one thing, if this raid produced sufficient evidence against Michael Cohen, it opens the door for a plea deal. Trump and Cohen are very close, and Cohen would have a hard time selling Trump out. But people’s stances tend to change if they’re looking at spending the rest of their life in prison; most people thought Michael Flynn would never cut a deal against Trump either. But this goes further.
If the FBI raid merely found evidence that Michael Cohen knew of Donald Trump’s crimes, that would not be admissible evidence against Trump, due to attorney-client privilege. The only admissible evidence would be if Trump and Cohen were conspiring together to commit crimes, for instance conspiring to pay off Stormy Daniels in violation of election laws. But if the raid also leads to evidence of Trump and Cohen conspiring in the Trump-Russia scandal, that evidence could be admissible against Trump. So thanks to Daniels, Mueller just got to take a shortcut on Trump-Russia.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report