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Stormy Daniels Owes Trump $600,000 … WHAT??

Stormy Daniels Owes Trump $600,000 … WHAT??

No, the headline is not fake news … or a spoof article from the humor publication, The Onion.  

On the day President Trump was being arraigned on 34 criminal charges in a Manhattan courtroom, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California ruled that the porn actress Stormy Daniels owed The Donald another $121,000 – bringing her reported total legal obligation to Trump to approximately $600,000.

For obvious reasons, that case does not get very much attention from the anti-Trump news media.  The few folks I talked to knew nothing about it.  If you are like those folks, allow me to explain.

Shortly after the hush money paid to Daniels became a public issue back in 2016, she filed a suit against Trump for defamation – based on a tweet in which Trump debunked Daniels’ claim that she had been threatened with physical violence in 2011 to shut up about the affair between them, which she alleges, and he denies.

In her lawsuit, Daniels claimed that an “unknown man” had accosted her in a Las Vegas parking lot.  This was before the hush money payment.  Daniels’s lawyer at the time was Michael Avenatti – who, at the time, was a frequent guest on the news circuit.  In fact, his more than 70 appearances on CNN broke a record.

(For the record: Avenatti later produced a false witness in conjunction with the confirmation hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, announced his intention to run for President of the United States, and is now serving time in prison for embezzling from clients – including Daniels.)

At the time of Daniels’s allegation of a physical threat, Avenatti produced an artist sketch of the alleged intimidator – which was similar in appearance to Daniels’ ex-husband.  The side-by-side images were put online by a blogger and went viral.  Trump responded in a tweet, “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!”

Daniels, upon the advice of Avenatti, filed a defamation suit against Trump.  She lost the suit, and the court awarded Trump $300,000 in compensation for lawyers’ fees.

In response to the more recent California court decision, Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon issued a statement:

“Congratulations to President Trump on this final attorney fee victory in his favor this morning.  Collectively, our firm obtained over $600,000 in attorney fee awards in his favor in the meritless litigation initiated by Stormy Daniels.”

(I Did not find an explanation as to how $300,000 and $121,000 rose to $600,000, but perhaps it was interest or penalties for non-payment – or even more legal fees associated with attempts to collect.)

And now the porn actress is scheduled to be a key witness against Trump alongside ex-convict Michael Cohen, a man who lied to investigators, who lied to Congress, and who lied to the public – in a case that is turning into an exercise in prosecutorial overreach.  Whatever may be the outcomes of the other cases involving Trump, this one looks like a political Circus Maximus.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. frank stetson

    Contrary to some beliefs, I found coverage of this in every major MSM print-media outlet. I remember it flashing by on cable as well, but was but a flash mostly because not much new. He barked, she defamation sued, he won, she pays legal fees. It’s about the same incident, but has nothing to do with NY indictment of TRUMP on 34 felonies.

    Previously, on the Captain Objective show: “I write this commentary as a person who has never been a fan of Trump. I have previously opined that he has damaged the Republican Party in terms of voter popularity. I hope he will not be the Republican standard-bearer in 2024. However, my foundational conservative principles demand that the justice system of the Republic operate as much as possible with fairness and justice on all sides.”

    Fair is fair after all.

    “And now the porn actress is scheduled to be a key witness against Trump alongside ex-convict Michael Cohen, a man who lied to investigators, who lied to Congress, and who lied to the public – in a case that is turning into an exercise in prosecutorial overreach. Whatever may be the outcomes of the other cases involving Trump, this one looks like a political Circus Maximus.”

    For a guy who is, by his own admission, not a TRUMP fan, a guy who often touts his objective nature, this sure seems like a cheerleading exercise and not an objective analysis.

    I do not think there is a witness list, much less one with Stormy Daniels’ name on it and it’s questionable whether she is needed to be called. Her crime is not the crime of the case. She is NOT the focus of the crime, business records are, and not sure if she is needed to prove intent which is needed to bump the charges into felonies, not to prove the actual crimes.

    Daniels, Cohen, or Trump, if called to testify will all be under the jury’s microscope as to veracity, including past lies they may have told whether under oath or not. Remember, along with Cohen lying (as did just about anyone working for TRUMP), Daniels on her defamation case loss, there is TRUMP himself who pled the fifth over 400 times the last time he was asked about his finances in court. Pleading the fifth most often means criminals can avoid giving damning testimony in their own cases. While you are not lying, you are saying either I lie or I tell you the truth and get convicted. That means that 400 times TRUMP said: if I tell you the truth, I am telling you I think I am guilty. Maybe not a liar, but a refuser of the truth over 400 times in one court case. About finances.

    Beyond Larry’s playing the victim on TRUMP’S behalf, but not a fervent fan, the fact remains that this is a bread and butter white collar crime, of little prison-able consequence, that NY has successfully prosecuted over and over.

    Some nuances in the case due to felony uplift, statute of limitations, but not totally ground-breaking. Most experts conclude it’s a good case but not a slam dunk. Especially after the notoriously legal-cheap TRUMP finally hired a lawyer worth his salt in these affairs. Somebody thinks it’s serious now. The biggest hurdle is the underlying crime needed to prove the felony uplift, an underlying crime not specified in the indictment. However, while the uplift to felony may get interesting, the statute of limitations part may set some Presidential precedent, the business records falsification part is pretty much cut n dry paperwork, all documented by Team TRUMP in hard copy.

    But in no way is this unfair: TRUMP did the deed, he had sex with that woman, his wife was home with baby, he paid the sex worker off with hush money, and he had an entire “catch and kill” practice established with The National Enquirer which paid-off- multiple tarnishes to TRUMP’S Presidential run. All those players all might testify too, if Bragg whips out Pecker, we are all going to giggle.

    Then TRUMP dummied up the books to hide it all and save some money too. His name is one the hush money / legal fee (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) check. His name. All of this is true, nothing is unfair in that, and we will see if the same letter-of-the-law that TRUMP has escaped so often can be escaped one more time.

    But “political Circus Maximus?” We should be so lucky. How about a real snoozer and see you all in over a year for the boring outcome.

    The real question is: if not a real fan, then why so much bandwidth? Is it really objective support for the rule of law OR the adulation of your once and future King? For the former, not much of a story. For the later, it’s the only news worth reporting.

    • Tom

      Very interesting commentary Frank! Well done!

      Ya gotta take pity on a guy who has to go through life with the name of Pecker! Only thing worse would be if that was his first name and his last name was “Head”. People would be saying, “Hey! There goes ole Pecker Head!”. And of course we would all be using it as a pseudonym like, “Hey! What kind of Pecker Head says they are not a fan of Trump and writes covert pro-Trump statements!?” But I digress…..

      On the serious side, I do agree with Larry, I can’t figure out how they get to the $600K number. I get around $475K max.

      I agree with you on looking a bit like a fan. Seems like Larry is at least mildly rooting for Trump in several ways like: 1) Calling Cohen a liar but not mentioning the fact that Cohen lied for Trump. 2) The article seems to be slanted towards a mild form of cheer leading for Trump. 3) Using such words as “political over reach” and “political Circus Maximus” which are both “pro-Trump” and “prosecutorial abuse” terms when a neutral term like “unpredictable new prosecutorial grounds” might have better shown that the writer is truly neutral, and not for Trump. This was the essence of my objection to Larry using the word “never” in his previous post regarding prosecuting Trump. Larry slants things towards Trump and does not realize he is doing it. I would have been perfectly fine if instead of using the word “never” he would have been more accurate and said “occasionally”. Or he could have been more clear by saying “I am not a fan of Trump’s personality, but I am a fan of his thinking.” And I still have not heard an explanation of how one can sort out a personality from the thinking of a man and say he is never a fan for Trump. He tried to state that the policies are conservative party values, but we all know, if Trump had not agreed in thinking with them, new values would have been written that Trump could agree with.

      I am not worried about Stormy, she will make up the loss with one movie. Trump, well, my feeling is the prosecution of a president is new ground but nothing else is new ground. Its an experienced DA, and the law upgrading the misdemeanor to a felony is well established even if rarely used. Those witnesses that Larry discounts like Cohen, and especially the accountants who had to cook the books and issue the checks, and AMI who received Trumps money and implemented the catch and kill campaign, Trump’s financial CFO, will all have plenty to say.

      Barretta (Robert Blake) said it best, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time!” I will probably just nap until the verdict is read.

    • Theodore

      And you know all this how? were you there with them recording and taking notes? You don’t believe innocent until proven guilty. You believe in the banana republic that this country has devolved into under your little tin-plated god, lying joey biden. (I know I didn’t capitalize some letters, but he’s not worth it, kind of like you).

      • Tom

        Actually Teddybear, much of what I said is already court decisions such as Cohen, Trump’s CFO who is in jail, and AMI whom has depositioned already. OK Teddybear? So I really do not have to take notes, the notes have already been taken. The other evidence is also a matter of record already. Nothing I said is speculation or hearsay.

  2. LMS

    Let them lie on stand and Stormy can then go to prison and Michael gets extra time added to his prison time. Also Bragg and judge need to also be charged once Trump resolves this fiasco and waste of more taxpayer money.

    The democrats have no problem blowing taxpayer money and apparently the idiots that continue to keep these vile people in office apparently don’t mind either or they would do something about it when they vote. I guess Manhattan really does have morons instead of elites with common sense.

  3. Darren

    I have said it in the past and will say it again.
    The only people I have ever seen put their OWN money
    were their mouth is, is Donald Trump & Elon Musk!

    Everyone else uses OUR money.

    • frank stetson

      If Trump funded his 2016 campaign then I guess Darren never donated a buck, bought a MAGA hat, or supported a rally. Darren sounds like a special sort of Trumpian: silent but deadly :>) Like his King, TRUMP, Darren sounds really cheap.

      Darren, you keep believing this guy; that’s quaint but stupid. Please, take another look at some of this stuff. It’s not hard to find: OpenSecrets has a lot of the funding information. And since TRUMP stunk up the place with his bogus funding rhetoric, there are many stories on the actual history of his campaign funding and spending. Perhaps you may change your viewpoint. You may say we are demented, we have TDS, we wanted to impeach the guy before inauguration. In my case, absolutely correct, but with reason. I am from NJ and have witnessed this guy’s act for a few decades as he stuck us with his huge failure at Atlantic City saying: “I made money” as he stiffed the State, his workers, and his contractors on our taxes, their wages and their bills.

      I remember grimacing as folks were saying: “yeah, he’s feisty, but will turn Presidential as the campaign matures.” I gagged a small piece of vomit about then. Still have the bad taste today.

      Or look at it this way. TRUMP is asking to move the trial out of his home town because his home town is biased against him. New York City, the place he claims he is so popular that he can shoot someone in broad daylight on 5th Avenue and get away with it.
      A place that had his family name on a number of buildings all over town. OK, so now the world tears down the name TRUMP from more buildings than TRUMP adds, but still — New York was home. Think about it; the people from his home town, the place he grew up, the place he, and his Father, did most of their fine works, his home town makes him want to run for the hills to stay out of jail because they hate him so much. I can feel the love.

      Trump keeps telling you he would be the sole supporter of his 2016 campaign — that’s a lie. He has never said it for any other campaign, guess he changed his mind. Or maybe he never did it anyway so why bother the charade. His followers think he’s still doing it, too stupid to find the truth, and he needs the money for other things. So, why bother.

      In 2016, TRUMP only financed 20% of his campaign; $66M to be exact, which is far short of his self-touted, always-been-a-lie $100M that Darren probably believes. And that’s just 20% that he actually financed with his own money; the other 80% of his campaign was funded by outside, non-TRUMP sources. One of the largest segments of non-TRUMP campaign funding was large donation contributors, you know the ones with the big bucks looking for a quid-pro-quo that TRUMP told you he would avoid. Small beer-budget donors only put up 25% of the total funding, basically matching Trump’s own pockets which is where the leftover money also winds up.

      Ask yourself this: why did the Trump children or his blood relatives not donate to his campaign? I can’t find proof that they did, certainly not in noticeable amounts. Hard to imagine Trump kids as beer-budget donators.

      Big donors included: Tech guy Peter Theil who started his kick-back campaign by running Trump’s transition so he could pick the President’s men. Also, hedge fund guy Robert Mercer and his daughter, kinky, but they didn’t get good returns and dropped TRUMP in favor of DeSanctimonious for 2024. Ben Carson also pitched in bog time and got a cabinet seat in return but then he got covid, listen to Lindell, and got really, really, sick. It’s OK, it was only the HUD cabinet seat, after all, Carson is Black.

      Since the 2016 election where TRUMP lied to all-too-gullible supporters like Darren and Joe about his self-supporting campaign, TRUMP has raised hundreds of millions of donation dollars which he spends on anything from legal fees to his private jumbo jet to his best ploy yet — his own pockets. How? TRUMP is unique in that his hospitality business can cater to campaigns. TRUMP takes donor dollars, buys things from TRUMPCO like rooms, food, and such, charges himself exorbitant prices, and then puts the profit in his own pocket. You should see the Secret Service bills. One can see the scenario where a donor dollar is spent by TRUMP at TRUMPCO, ends up in TRUMP’S pocket where he spends it on Trump Foundation and takes a charity tax credit. The ultimate laundry and money recycling process! Brilliant. Matter of fact, no way was that entire OJ parade in NYC all taxpayer supplied Secret Service; there was close to 20 SUVs. You can bet your bottom donor dollar that YOU paid for some of that entourage.

      TRUMP has made no claim as to providing any funding for his 2020 and 2024 elections. ZERO TRUMP funding. In 2020, that was over $500,000,000 of donor dollars and matching tax dollars from US. He will do even more for 2024. Darren is living large one of the first lies of the 2016 election. It’s 2023, there’s been two more campaigns and he has not figured it out yet, but enjoys trumpeting TRUMP’S lie as his own today. Darren is living in the past; he needs to come back to the future. “Hey, McFly, anybody in there?” Trump did not fund any of 2020 and will not fund 2024 either.

      Don’t be fooled Darren. When they offer to sell you a bridge for a behind-the-barn, back-door deal, it’s really not a bridge you know.

      BUSTED — fairy tale, never was, never will be, just a story, a whopper if you will.

      • Harold blankenship

        Let trump be the truth and Frank a liar

        • `frank stetson

          Fair enough but you can actually look it up yourself and decide for yourself rather than listen to me or TRUMP. Pretty sure the facts are on my side. Because they are facts. Like I said, OPEN SECRETS has most of it documented, as well as their methodologies for gathering the data.

  4. RJG

    Exactly what how much is this political fiasco costing he citizens of New York? What is it costing me as a US taxpayer? Couldn’t those monies be better used to address the abundant crime in the sewer known as New York? Or isn’t that what Bragg was elected to accomplish. Oh, that’s right. that isn’t what his ruler, George Soros< told him to do.

    • frank stetson

      RJG: yes, crime rates have risen in the past two years in NYC and yet they are still lower, far lower, than two decades ago when Republicans stalked the halls of both Gracie Mansion and the Governor’s Mansion.

      That’s what a lack of SOROS will get you: the Law and Oder party that can’t get er done.

      I am not sure any Federal dollars support the NYC judicial system and certainly you are not paying NYC or NY taxes.

      But let’s wait for the verdict: innocent and you got a point. guilty and maybe we can ask TRUMP to pay them back. NBL.

      FYI: SOROS donates to a group that donated to all sorts of prosecutors that they deemed helpful to our legal system. SOROS never directly gave Bragg a penny. The group never directly gave Bragg a penny. They did run mailers for a lot of prosecutors. SOROS has never met Bragg, SOROS has never talked to Bragg, SOROS did not pick Bragg. So, as a side issue, another story, if you want to go after SOROS for funding liberal causes, GO FOR IT. In preparation, let me line you up the list for your party. Let’s see: David Duke, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, Uihlein, Griffin, Mellon, Yass, Schwartzman, Ellison, Ryan, Theil, Hendricks and so on and so on. That’s just the first half a billion dollars……..from big buck conservative donors. Much more than SOROS cash to prosecutors.

      • Milescollins

        Stormy went to her gynecologist. He was examining her and she “what a hole what a hole what a hole “”. She said that she heard him the first time. He said it was the echo. Ain’t that funny?? Hell yes!!!

  5. AC

    So, before the above replies points were articulated at length, what is your true point(s) behind opining thusly? Is the fuss raised commiserate to the worth of this in the big picture perspective?
    Commentaries you produce assumedly have purpose and weight worthy of your investment and ours.
    What purpose does this offering on PBP serve, beside the usual tung in cheek comedic relief? Seriously, from a cost-benefit analysis, what’s your point at present?

    • Miles collins

      You know what they say about people who can’t take a joke