Former President Donald Trump could soon be faced with criminal charges for potentially violating New York State laws after paying $130,000 before the 2016 presidential election to adult actress Stormy Daniels, but his advisers are encouraging Trump to try a new defense: to say the payments were made to prevent problems with his wife, Melania Trump.
Donald Trump could be in trouble
On Monday, Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, began presenting evidence to a grand jury. According to Rolling Stone, Trump’s close advisers have been telling him to pursue the avoiding-trouble-at-home argument rather than framing himself as an unknowing first-time candidate, unfamiliar with election laws.
“The [former] president seems reluctant about taking this approach,” a source told Rolling Stone. “I hope that changes.” Still, as the magazine pointed out, the strategy might be difficult to support, as the former president would need to explain why he paid such a large sum of money simply to stop his wife from hearing about it.
Trump may have complicated his argument even more this week. Although Trump vehemently denied ever sleeping with the porn star for years, on Tuesday morning, he seemed to have changed his tune. The former president wrote on Truth Social:
“With respect to the ‘Stormy’ nonsense, it is VERY OLD & happened a long time ago, long past the very publicly known & accepted deadline of the Statute of Limitations.”
Daniels pounced on the apparent admission, replying with a tweet:
“Thanks for just admitting that I was telling the truth about EVERYTHING. Guess I’ll take my ‘horse face’ back to bed now, Mr. former ‘president’.”
However, Trump seemed to try to clarify his previous tweet by adding later that afternoon: “NEVER HAD AN AFFAIR. This is old news!”
Even his former lawyer Michael Cohen jumped in the mix, calling out his old boss in a tweet on Tuesday, saying the statute of limitations had not expired:
“Dopey Donald gets it wrong AGAIN and AGAIN! First, the SOL has not expired. Additionally, Donald is so angry he can’t even get his spelling correct. The proper word is Counsel…not Council. Either way…love the all CAPS.”