BOSTON (CBS) – The weekend is at hand, and as you contemplate your schedule plan on catching “60 Minutes” on Sunday evening, when the much-anticipated interview with adult film star and alleged Donald Trump paramour Stormy Daniels will air.
The story of Stormy and the future president has predictably become fodder for TV comedians and cable talk shows.
But beyond the salacious details, there are some serious issues at play here, about the way the president and his lawyers operate and, more broadly, about the general practice of using non-disclosure agreements to silence people.
If Daniels’ legal claims are true, it means the president’s personal lawyer used unethical tactics to trick her and protect his client, and the money he used to pay Daniels off may have amounted to an illegal campaign contribution. If this and other Trump payoffs to women speak to a pattern of careless behavior, that would fuel speculation the Russians might have leverage over the president for similar reasons.
And the use of non-disclosure agreements – which are routinely used in the private sector to guard business secrets – to protect allegedly dubious institutional behavior has been an issue recently on Beacon Hill and in the White House, where they have been a surprisingly common occurrence.
Will Stormy Daniels make real news when she sits down with Anderson Cooper on WBZ-TV Sunday night? Maybe, maybe not. But the serious issues her case raises are worth paying attention to.