LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 04: Adult film actress/director Stormy Daniels hosts a Super Bowl party at Sapphire Las Vegas Gentlemen's Club on February 4, 2018...
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Trying to silence porn star, Trump World reportedly eyes new lawsuit

We learned last week that Stormy Daniels, the porn star who received $130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged sexual relationship with Donald Trump, sat down with Anderson Cooper for an interview to air on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

BuzzFeed reported yesterday that the president’s attorneys are considering new litigation to block the segment from airing.

Lawyers associated with President Donald Trump are considering legal action to stop 60 Minutes from airing an interview with Stephanie Clifford, the adult film performer and director who goes by Stormy Daniels, BuzzFeed News has learned.

“We understand from well-placed sources they are preparing to file for a legal injunction to prevent it from airing,” a person informed of the preparations told BuzzFeed News on Saturday evening.

It’s worth emphasizing that Trump World has an unfortunate habit of threatening all kinds of litigation, and those threats often amount to nothing. It was just two months ago, for example, that the president’s lawyers tried to block the publication of Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury.” The effort went nowhere.

And there’s no reason to think litigation against CBS, if it’s filed, would be any better. At issue is something called “prior restraint,” in which a plaintiff asks a court to suppress media – broadcasts, print content, etc. – that the litigant considers harmful. The existence of the First Amendment makes this difficult and creates a high bar to be cleared.

We don’t know what, if anything, Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, told “60 Minutes” about her alleged affair. Chances are, Trump’s lawyers don’t know, either. But if Trump World does bring this to court, it’s probably going to claim that Daniels is subject to a non-disclosure agreement – an agreement that CBS News had no part of – and that her claims will be libelous to the president if aired.

I’m happy to let legal experts speak to this in detail, but I have a hunch the end result will be higher ratings for the interview.

If BuzzFeed’s reporting is correct and the president’s lawyers follow through on the threat, it would also be the second legal action in as many weeks trying to silence the adult-film actress, reinforcing the impression that the controversy is making Trump World nervous.

In related news, Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, now claims he borrowed against his home equity in 2016 in order to finance Daniels’ hush money, which (a) reflects a dedication to his client that borders on comedy; (b) further suggests he was probably reimbursed for the $130,000 payment; and (c) opens the door to possible legal sanctions against Cohen, because lawyers aren’t supposed to do stuff like this.

NBC News reports, meanwhile, that legal experts believe the hush-money payment may have been an election-law violation.

Finally, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Friday that Team Trump has already “addressed” the scandal “extensively,” which, strictly speaking, isn’t exactly true.

Watch this space.

Donald Trump and Scandals

Trying to silence porn star, Trump World reportedly eyes new lawsuit