Trump’s Legal Problems With Women Just Got Much Worse

It’s a distraction from Russia, but probably not the kind that the president’s lawyers are welcoming.

While President Donald Trump makes moves to bolster his legal team amid reports that the special counsel investigation is moving closer to his finances and family members, his lawyers are likely to find themselves at least somewhat distracted by a wholly different subject, but one that could prove equally threatening: Trump’s alleged conduct with women.

And on Tuesday, three separate news reports made clear that these legal troubles are only going to get much worse.

The first involves former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who detailed her alleged affair with Trump more than a decade ago in an eight-page, handwritten document provided to the New Yorker last month. McDougal and Trump reportedly met in 2006, and, allegedly, McDougal was with Trump at a golf tournament that year—the same one at which Trump reportedly met the adult film star Stormy Daniels. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that McDougal is now suing for her right to speak about the alleged affair. The lawsuit names American Media Inc., the parent company of the Trump-friendly tabloid the National Enquirer, to release her from a 2016 legal arrangement that prevented her from discussing the tryst. (AMI reportedly used a “catch and kill” strategy to bury the alleged affair for $150,000.)

McDougal’s lawsuit follows a similar legal fight from Daniels, whose highly anticipated interview on 60 Minutes about her supposed affair with the president will air this weekend. Although Daniels’ had previously signed a $130,000 non-disclosure agreement, her lawyers are arguing that the legal document is invalid because Trump never officially signed it.

Adding to the news about McDougal, the Wall Street Journal and NBC News both reported Tuesday that in 2011, Daniels passed a lie detector test in which she discussed her alleged affair with Trump. Of course, polygraph tests have been found to be flawed. But the image of Daniels undergoing the test, along with the sworn legal declaration of the incident, are raising new questions:

Finally, the third report involves Summer Zervos, who in January 2017 filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump for having “maliciously” disparaged her by publicly denying her account that he had groped her in 2007. On Tuesday, a New York judge dismissed Trump’s attempt to squash the lawsuit. In her ruling, Justice Jennifer Schecter wrote that “no one is above the law,” even a sitting president. She said that the president’s legal team now has ten days to respond to the decision.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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