Soon after a federal district court judge in California on Monday dismissed porn star Stormy Daniels’ defamation suit against President Donald Trump and ordered her to pay his legal fees, it began to dawn on many that she may not be the one actually paying the fees.
According to social media users, the more than 15,000 virulently anti-Trump Americans who donated nearly $600,000 to Daniels’ legal defense fund will likely be responsible for paying the president’s court costs:
However, the Twitter users above were technically wrong. Daniels never opened up a GoFundMe account. Instead, she opened up a crowdfunding campaign on the platform CrowdJustice, as noted by Mashable last March:
Daniels has filed a lawsuit against Trump to get out of a nondisclosure agreement she says she signed in 2016. The agreement precludes her from talking about the alleged affair she had with Trump over a decade ago. But she claims he never signed the contract, hence the lawsuit seeking to declare it null and void so she can, in turn, share her story.
Except lawsuits aren’t cheap. … [S]he needs funds to cover things like “attorneys’ fees; out-of-pocket costs associated with the lawsuit, arbitration, and my right to speak openly; security expenses; and damages that may be awarded against me if I speak out and ultimately lose to Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen.”
The 16,839 left-wingers who donated $586,645 to Daniels’ campaign had presumably thought she would not “ultimately lose to Mr. Trump.” But as Monday’s news made clear, they thought wrong, or at least in regard to the defamation suit. There are other suits that haven’t been resolved yet.
U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero concluded Monday that Daniels had failed to establish a prima facie case for defamation against the president. The debacle began last April, when her scandalous attorney, Michael Avenatti, released a sketch photo of a man who had allegedly “threatened” his client to stay quiet about her alleged affair with Trump.
The president promptly responded at the time with the following brutal tweet:
This spurred Daniels into suing him for defamation and subsequently launching a crowdfunding campaign to fund her various suits. And since she’s now officially lost this suit, guess who gets to pay the fees imposed on her.
“The Court agrees with Mr. Trump’s argument because the tweet in question constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States,” the judge ruled Monday. “The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement.”
The Hollywood Reporter noted that the ruling was “a rubbing of salt in the wound to those who contributed to Daniels’ legal defense fund.”
Some might call it the “circle of life,” but others would just call it the circle of irony:
What remains unclear is exactly how much Daniels owes and how soon she must submit the payment. What’s also unknown is how those who donated to her fund will react once it dawns on them that their money will be used to pay the president’s fees.
The expectation is that the response may be somewhat hysterical, as it often is when liberals lose to the president.