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In the history of presidential scandals, it is often the hidden things that end up proving decisive. Think, for example, of Monica Lewinsky’s stained blue dress or of Richard M. Nixon’s secret Oval Office tapes.
But in President Trump’s recent scandal involving Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film star known as Stormy Daniels, something that was never there to begin with could play an unexpected role.
The article goes on to state the following:
The missing item is the signature that Mr. Trump failed to place on Ms. Clifford’s non-disclosure deal two years ago. And if her lawyer has his way, there is a chance that the inch-long blank space could force Mr. Trump to testify about what he knew of the arrangement.
As the world found out in more detail last week, the man who structured the hush-money payment, Mr. Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, pleaded guilty to several charges in federal court.
Under the arrangement, Ms. Clifford was paid $130,000 just before the 2016 elections to not speak publicly about an affair that she said she had with Mr. Trump. In admitting to the scheme, Mr. Cohen not only implicated himself, but also possibly his former boss, in a violation of federal campaign-finance law.
It remains unclear, however, whether Mr. Trump, as president, can be held accountable for that offense.
That’s where the missing signature comes in.
Earlier this year, Ms. Clifford’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, filed a civil lawsuit against Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen, claiming that the non-disclosure contract was “null and void” because Mr. Trump left empty the line where he was meant to write his name.
Could Trump’s missing signature force him to be deposed?https://t.co/BPkYmUR88u
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 28, 2018
CLICK HERE to read more of this exclusive report from the NY Times, which concludes with the following:
Dolores Troiani, a lawyer who helped Andrea Constand overcome a non-disclosure agreement to testify against Bill Cosby, leading to his sexual-assault conviction earlier this year, suggested that the smartest move for Mr. Trump and his team would be to nullify Ms. Clifford’s contract on their own.
The president could only be deposed, Ms. Troiani said, if he continues seeking to enforce the deal.
“If there is no contract, then no one is breach of it — and it’s done,” she said. “My advice? Just let it go.”
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