Stormy Daniels' ex-attorney says hush money was for 'political reasons'

Porn star Stormy Daniels’ former attorney Keith Davidson said a $130,000 payout he orchestrated for her silence about an alleged affair with Donald Trump was for “political reasons” related to the 2016 election.

Davidson, who also represented Karen McDougal, a Playboy model who reportedly received a Trump payout of her own, dropped the bombshell in an ABC News interview on Monday. If true, the statement may add to evidence already provided by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen that the president broke campaign finance laws by failing to report payments related to the election.

Davidson told ABC that it wasn’t until the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump was heard bragging about sexual assault that a settlement for Daniels became more important for Trump’s representatives. Davidson said the tape, which surfaced in October 2016 ― the month before the election ― was “the motivating factor in this case resolving.”

Trump’s then-fixer Cohen missed an earlier payout deadline for a Daniels settlement, Davidson said, effectively nixing their agreement. However, things changed after the “Access Hollywood” recording emerged.

“It defeats the argument that this was done purely for personal reasons,” Davidson said. “It was done for political reasons. The natural conclusion is that after the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape, that something like this could be the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

RELATED: What Stormy Daniels said about her affair with Trump

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What Stormy Daniels has said about her affair with Trump

She says: In Touch never paid her for her story

Daniels says she was never paid the $15,000 she was originally offered by In Touch for the story of her alleged affair with Trump.

She says: Her sexual encounter with Trump was consensual

Daniels had said during the "60 Minutes" interview that she didn't want to have sex with Trump – but when asked by Anderson Cooper if the encounter with Trump was consensual, the adult film star responded affirmatively, saying, "yes, yes."

She says: Trump's lawyer threatened her and her daughter

As she detailed the aftermath of the alleged affair, Stormy Daniels -- whose real name is Stephanie Clifford -- described a moment in a Las Vegas parking lot when a man threatened her:

"And a guy walked up on me and said to me, 'Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.' And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, 'That's a beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom.' And then he was gone."

She says: Trump compared her to Ivanka

"He was like, 'Wow, you — you are special. You remind me of my daughter,'" Daniels told "60 Minutes." "You know — he was like, 'You're smart and beautiful, and a woman to be reckoned with, and I like you. I like you.'"

She says: Trump "brushed aside" his relationship with Melania

When asked by Anderson Cooper about Trump's marriage to Melania Trump, Daniels said Trump "brushed aside" any concern surrounding his marital vows. She said he spoke of his marriage to Daniels, saying:

"Oh yeah, yeah, you know, don’t worry about that. We don’t even—we have separate rooms and stuff."

She says: She spanked Trump with a magazine with Trump on the cover

Stormy Daniels confirmed in her "60 Minutes" interview the earlier report that she had spanked Trump with a magazine featuring himself on the cover.

She says: She was paid $130,000 in hush money

Michael Cohen has confirmed that he paid Stephanie Clifford $130,000 11 days before the 2016 election. A former chairman of the Federal Election Commission has since said this payment may have been illegal.


Trump last week tweeted that checks Cohen said were reimbursement for the hush money “was not a campaign contribution” and that “there were no violations of the campaign finance laws by me.”

That claim directly contradicts Davidson’s account.

Cohen, during his testimony before the House oversight committee last month, presented copies of two 2017 checks, each for $35,000, made out to him and signed by Trump. Cohen said both were reimbursement for Daniels’ payout.

“I am going to jail in part because of my decision to help Mr. Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later,” Cohen testified. 

Trump has repeatedly castigated his former lawyer as a liar on Twitter.

Daniels turned on Davidson in a lawsuit in June, calling him a “puppet” for Trump and Cohen. She also accused him of plotting with Cohen to pressure her to deny the alleged affair on Fox News.

Davidson retaliated against Daniels with a defamation suit that also targeted her current lawyer, Michael Avenatti. Davidson dropped the suit in August, according to a tweet from Avenatti.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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