What follows is a copy of an email I just sent to Stormy Daniel’s lawyer in Newport CA. It also exposes a potential slippery slope, where Trump ends up having the right to silence anyone who speaks out against him. It’s a small step in his imagined plan to never step out of the presidency, because he knows when he loses his presidential protections, the good people of the world will see him out and put him where he belongs … with Bernie Madoff.
To Stormy Daniels and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti
Citizen Donald Trump had a right to speak outrageous falsehoods about Barack Obama’s birthplace. Had Obama not been president, Obama could have sued Trump for those false statements. But Trump had the right to say whatever he wanted about president Obama, whether true or false. Obama lost the protection afforded American citizens when he stepped inside the political ring. (I think it goes back to the burning in effigy laws.)
I believe an argument can be made that a US president has absolutely no right to silence its citizens unless the information is deemed classified for national security reasons.
Let me also advance an example from the business contract world. After all, Stormy’s lawyers are challenging a business agreement. When Trump was a citizen, if one wanted to make a Donald Trump wig there would be laws to protect Trump from such manufacture without compensating him. He would also have a right to stop such production, if he so chose.
But the day Trump threw his hat in the ring, those citizen’s rights disappeared. Indeed, at Halloween many Donald Trump wigs suddenly appear for sale everywhere. And Trump can’t ask for a penny. He has transitioned to a public figure.
The “in order to” clauses that underpin the laws that give citizens rights to say anything they want about their political leaders anticipated the potential of an authoritarian president. This right was designed as a check on the potential abuse of power. It’s why speech is a right. The reason we have freedom of speech is to speak out against authoritarian leaders. Those rights were created for the same reasons our second amendment rights were created – to protect us from tyrannical rulers. And that right to speak about a public figure can’t be bargained away from a lawful US citizen.
We don’t yet know if the contract with Stormy Daniels will ultimately found to be legal – but I am not sure it has to matter. An argument can be made that when a person transitions to the office of the president, any prior promise made to not speak about said president is no longer binding.
President Trump is simply not the same entity as citizen Trump. The rights, protections and powers that apply to citizen Trump do not necessarily apply to president Trump.
In the US, a citizen can say almost anything they want about their politicians or their president, just the way Trump did about Barack Obama! That’s how our founders wanted it here in the USA. And no one can agree to give away one’s constitutional rights.
So even if the powers in control find the “hush” contract valid for citizen Trump, an agreement not to speak should not apply to a sitting president. There is support for this in our constitution, common law and contractual law.
There could be another reason Stormy should be able to say whatever she wants about Trump: one cannot enforce an agreement to conceal a crime. I won’t pretend to know if trying to hide an affair three days before a presidential election was some sort of crime, or was part of some crime or pattern of crimes. But it sure seems to be part of a cover-up, which is a crime.
Kindly consider these lines of logic and feel free to get back to me in solidarity and or get this to people where it can really matter. If it fails some sort of smell test I don’t know about, let me know so I can correct my blog entry with your knowledge of the law.
Finally, it seems to me that if Stormy has something to say and leaks it all out in one publication, a million dollars would be cheap price to pay. It could easily be raised from a few donors or a gofundme campaign.
Stormy. Stay strong for all of us!