donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedThere's an interesting decision in the ongoing saga about Stormy Daniels and the Trump Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). A California court ordered President Donald Trump to pay Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, $ 44,100 to cover her legal fees for her nondisclosure agreement. The crowd is trivial, but the symbolism couldn't be greater. The decision is based on the view that Daniels was not only the ruling party in the dispute, but that President Trump cannot claim that he is not a party of the NDA or, in the broader sense of the controversy, the controversy.

Many years ago I criticized Michael Cohen for his steps on the Daniels matter, and although I claimed from the start that the Russian investigation was unlikely to find any crimes of collusion or conspiracy with the Russian, I believed that this dispute would ultimately cost could prove and even lead to criminal charges. The possible campaign violations are still under discussion, including a recent loss in a New York court.

California Supreme Court Justice Robert Broadbelt ruled that Daniels prevailed on their lawsuit because Trump ultimately agreed not to enforce the NDA. This is an added cost to the poorly designed legal strategy in this and other cases. Trump processes such questions instinctively, which means that the political and legal costs multiply with little chance of success.

In particular, the verdict came with an added bite. The court denied allegations that President Trump was not personally responsible for covering fees because he had not signed the NDA. This re-affirms that it was his NDA that is likely used to bolster the position of investigators, that he was not only the driving force behind the payments, but efforts to cover up the payments.

These payments appear to be pinging across courts. A court had previously ordered Daniels to pay Trump's legal team nearly $ 300,000 when their libel suit against the president was thrown out.

Once again, Trump's approach to litigation has only served to undermine him legally and politically. He has long called himself a counterpuncher, but these are blows that not only missed their mark, but often caused self-inflicted wounds.

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