What’s Left: On President Trump and Stormy Daniels

Eli Cousin, Maroon-News Staff

It is hard to believe that this week, The Colgate Maroon-News, America’s oldest college weekly newspaper, will run an article about a porn star. And yet, this is the state of American politics. 

Stormy Daniels, a woman who months ago was only known within a “niche community” (if you will), has now entered both the public spotlight and the print of college newspapers. The reason: she has alleged an affair with the President of the United States. 

Naturally, the story has sparked public interest largely because of the professions of the two involved individuals: one is an adult film actress, while the other is the leader of the free world. It is also intriguing because of the timeline that Ms. Daniels has laid out regarding when the affair occurred, which many have noted falls during the same time that First Lady Melania Trump gave birth to her son, Barron. And of course, there is always the media gossip and those who take an interest to Ms. Daniel’s colorful claim that she “spanked” Mr. Trump and had unprotected intercourse.

Should Americans care about the President’s infidelity, or more broadly speaking, his sex life? To that, I am not quite sure. American politics is no stranger to this question, and I would be remiss if I did not somehow reference Monica Lewinsky in this piece. However, it would be naive to suggest that the Stormy Daniels story is one that is merely about unfaithfulness and degeneracy. Rather, this is a story about potential corruption at the highest level and extremely alarming physical threats that were made to blackmail and silence Ms. Daniels.

The primary reason all Americans should be concerned about the Stormy Daniels affair is because it may very well be a corruption scandal involving our nation’s highest office. 

In 2016, Mr. Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen reportedly paid Ms. Daniels $130,000 in a non-disclosure agreement that was intended to keep Ms. Daniels from talking openly about the affair. The question is, however, where exactly that money come from. If the cash has any connection to Mr. Trump, the payment would be a direct violation of campaign finance laws. NBC News wrote that the Daniels story is a “follow the money story,” while the Washington Post declared that, “federal election law was very likely violated.”

One could certainly argue that the President of the United States arranging a $130,000 payment to silence a porn star is already deeply troubling. However, when the money involved is attached to campaign funds, this payment isn’t just morally objectionable: it is downright illegal.

A second concerning detail of the affair involves information that Ms. Daniels recently disclosed during her interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes. In the interview, Ms. Daniels made an extraordinarily startling claim that she received threats to the wellbeing of both her and her daughter. Talking with Anderson Cooper, Daniels stated that a man confronted her in a parking lot, telling her to “Leave Trump alone [and] forget the story.” Daniels continued, asserting that the man said, “That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.” 

This quote should raise eyebrows across the country, for obvious reasons. The implication here is that Mr. Trump, the man currently residing in the White House, arranged not only financial payments, but also physical threats, to silence Ms. Daniels. No longer is this a story of sexual deviancy and lewd antics that have come to define “The Donald.” Instead, this is a story of the President of the United States threatening the wellbeing of Ms. Daniels to keep incriminating information from being disclosed. There are many words I would use to describe this behavior, but the first one that comes to mind? Criminal.

It is important to recognize that this is not just another “sex scandal” that is plastered on supermarket magazines and pushed by TMZ. Those on the right may shrug off Ms. Daniels accusations by deeming them “personal drama” or “political fanfare.” However, it is increasingly clear that Ms. Daniels and Mr. Trump did more than just fool around. 

This has all the signs of corruption and criminal behavior stemming directly from the President himself. Even the mere possibility of such unlawful behavior should be enough to sound the sirens for any true patriot.

Contact Eli Cousin at [email protected].