A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit from adult-film actress Stormy Daniels that claimed President Trump defamed her when he suggested she had lied about being threatened to keep quiet about their alleged relationship. U.S. District Judge S. James Otero in Los Angeles ruled that Trump’s speech was protected by the First Amendment as the kind of “rhetorical hyperbole” normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States.” He ordered Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, to pay Trump’s legal fees.I think the nondisclosure agreement is pretty moot at this point. The only real question is if and now much she owes Trump for violating it.
Trump attorney Charles Harder cheered Otero’s decision. “No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today’s ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels,” Harder said in an emailed statement.
The ruling is a blow for Daniels and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who has raised a national profile from his legal battles against the president and is contemplating a presidential bid in 2020. Avenatti called the ruling “limited” on Twitter and said it did not affect Daniels’s primary case against Trump and his former attorney Michael Cohen, which seeks to invalidate her 2016 nondisclosure agreement.
Otero, who was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush, had indicated during a late-September hearing that he was skeptical of Daniels’s claim on free-speech grounds. He said Monday that Daniels has presented herself as Trump’s “political adversary” in public and in court filings and that Trump has the right to respond to her claims.And even better, Stormy Daniels and her client Avenatti may have to come up with the lawyers fees. Ace: Creepy Porn Lawyer and His Client Sloppy Daniels Have Their Nuisance Suit Dismissed Trump Entitled to Legal Expenses?
“If this Court were to prevent Mr. Trump from engaging in this type of ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ against a political adversary, it would significantly hamper the office of the President,” Otero wrote. “Any strongly-worded response by a president to another politician or public figure could constitute an action for defamation. This would deprive this country of the ‘discourse’ common to the political process,” he wrote.
Here's the full order, which includes attorneys' fees for Trump if they seek them: https://t.co/Xe1LAo84bg pic.twitter.com/lwPj2V1Cmn— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) October 15, 2018
Another few months on the road for Stormy? Judge Dismisses Stormy Daniels Lawsuit Against Trump, Orders Her to Pay His Legal Fees
Stormy Daniels Didn’t Want to Be Anybody’s Hero “It was funnier when he wasn’t the president.”
And now if you go to one of my shows, it’s large groups of women, oftentimes in homemade matching Stormy shirts. They are loud, and they’re angry. They’re like, “Fuck Trump.” Or they’re crying. I’m like, “Jesus Christ. There’s no crying in tittie bars. What’s happening?” People are grabbing me and giving me money, and then later they’re sharing their personal stories — women are saying, “I was molested or I was raped, and you’ve given me the inspiration to file charges against my boss.” Just heavy, heavy shit every night.When you strike at a king. . . .
What do you think they want from you?
That was the crazy part, because I started this just because I wanted to set the record straight and not be bullied. I really just wanted to save my own ass. Now I’m in charge of saving the world. What the fuck? No pressure, Stormy. It was very hard for me. I would have these days where I would come offstage and just want to cry. One of my bodyguards, Travis, put it best for me. He said, “Say you have two puddles of water — this is bad stuff, this is good stuff. If you’re a sponge, you drop in either puddle, it fills up.” He helped me realize that even if people are being really, really nice to you, it’s still emotionally overwhelming.
Yeah. And in the beginning, when people tried to attach the #MeToo movement to me, I was like, “Abso-fucking-lutely not.”This one should get more attention than it will: FBI Has Evidence That ‘Directly Refutes’ Premise Of Trump-Russia Probe, GOP Rep Says
Because I’m not #MeToo. No one forced me.
The way people talk about it, there is still this “Oh, but she’s still a victim.”
I’m not a victim. It’s really annoying. It takes power away from the people who’ve been assaulted or raped or sexual-harassed by their boss.
Republicans have suggested in interviews that the information related to George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign adviser whose conversation with an Australian diplomat prompted the FBI to open its investigation into the Trump campaign. Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe provided Sunday the clearest picture to date of what the FBI allegedly withheld from the surveillance court. Ratcliffe suggested that the FBI failed to include evidence regarding former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, in an interview with Fox News.Ah, the mysterious Mr. Mifsud. There's still plenty of time for an October surprise Mr. President.
Ratcliffe noted that the FBI opened its investigation on July 31, 2016, after receiving information from the Australian government about a conversation that Papadopoulos had on May 10, 2016, with Alexander Downer, the top Australian diplomat to the U.K.
Downer claimed that Papadopoulos told him that Russians had derogatory information on Hillary Clinton. But Ratcliffe, a top member of the House Judiciary Committee, suggested on Sunday that the FBI and Justice Department had information that contradicted its intelligence on Papadopoulos.
“Hypothetically, if the Department of Justice and the FBI have another piece of evidence that directly refutes that, that directly contradicts that, what you would expect is for the Department of Justice to present both sides of the coin to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to evaluate the weight and sufficiency of that evidence,” Ratcliffe said. “Instead, what happened here was Department of Justice and FBI officials in the Obama administration in October of 2016 only presented to the court the evidence that made the government’s case to get a warrant to spy on a Trump campaign associate,” he added.
The FBI obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against another Trump campaign aide, Carter Page, on Oct. 21, 2016. The application for the warrant relied heavily on the unverified Steele dossier to assert that Page was acting as a foreign agent of Russia. Page has vehemently denied the allegations. The FBI’s FISA applications also referred to Papadopoulos, but the documents are so heavily redacted that it is not clear why he is mentioned.
Other Republican lawmakers have hinted that intelligence exists which exonerates Papadopoulos, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts he had with a Maltese professor named Joseph Mifsud. Ratcliffe said that declassification of a batch of FBI and Justice Department documents “would corroborate” his claims about the Papadopoulos intelligence.
Rowan Scarborough at the WaT: Closing in on Clinton-Justice Russia collusion conspiracy as middleman pleads the Fifth
Congressional Republicans are collecting evidence to show an extensive, election year, anti-Trump conspiracy between Hillary Clinton operatives such as Fusion GPS and Barack Obama appointees at the Justice Department and the FBI.More from Scott Johnson at Powerline: Glenn Simpson would prefer not to (2)
The investigation took a new turn last week. Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson decided to invoke the Fifth Amendment rather than testify under subpoena before a special House Republican task force.
The Republicans see Mr. Simpson as the key middleman between Justice and the Clinton campaign. He orchestrated the Democrat-financed dossier on which the FBI built its early investigation of candidate Donald Trump. Republicans believe the unproven dossier, with its charge of extensive Trump-Russia collusion, is a sham perpetrated by Democrats and the press.
“Glenn Simpson was an absolutely essential figure in launching the entire Russia collusion hoax,” a Republican congressional staffer told The Washington Times.
Mr. Simpson decided to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights during the same week that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein balked at testifying. Republicans want information about his May 2017 meeting with then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. He said in a memo that Mr. Rosenstein talked of secretly recording the president, The New York Times reported.
Mueller is everywhere, except the midterms
Mueller and his inquiry are missing from the campaign advertising airwaves in the final sprint to November. Debates have all but ignored the story, focusing instead on kitchen-table topics like the economy, health care and taxes. Vulnerable Democrats in red states are actually emphasizing the times they’ve reached across the aisle.Wombat-socho has Early Morning With Rule 5 Monday: Coffee FFS and FMJRA 2.0: Viva Las Vegas ready for your digital pleasure at The Other McCain.
That’s on purpose, candidates and operatives from both parties told POLITICO. Most Americans are barely following the Mueller investigation’s intricate legal movements, which have already ensnared a few top former Trump aides, alleged Kremlin-backed hackers and a cast of characters scattered across both sides of the Atlantic.
Most important, voters don’t want to talk about it either. . .