According to Professor Harry Litman “the former United States attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania and deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice,” Stormy Daniels is not liable for $20 million to President Trump attorney Michael Cohen, no matter how often she has violated her nondisclosure agreement, according to an opinion piece Litman has written for CNN.
Litman writes that President Trump and his attorney, Michael Cohen’s “Bronx bluster notwithstanding, the ‘liquidated damages’ clause in Daniels’s hush agreement is a far less potent tool then they want her to believe. Indeed, it is not enforceable.”
Litman currently “teaches constitutional law in the political science department of the University of California, San Diego,” according to CNN.
Litman adds in his piece, “Contract law is pragmatic: It permits actual damages for breach, but not punishment. The breaching party is responsible for making the non-breaching party whole — nothing more.”
Litman continues, “However, and crucially, the set amount must be a reasonable forecast of the anticipated or actual harm from a breach. A party cannot simply name an arbitrary, exorbitant figure as the presumed ‘damages’ from a breach, even if the other party agrees. If the law were otherwise, the breaching party would be locked in even when performance was inefficient or unfair, and the non-breaching party would reap a windfall.’”
Thus, Litman argues, it is absurd to say, as it does in Daniels’ nondisclosure agreement (NDA), that Daniels should pay $1 million each time she might violate the NDA.
Litman continues, “It is far from clear that Trump would suffer significant actual damages from Daniels’ un-muzzling. He already stands accused by dozens of women of being a serial adulterer and sexual offender (allegations he denies), so how much more damaging is one more claim?
“Moreover, when Daniels’ accusation surfaced in January 2018, Cohen poo-pooed it as ‘an old and debunked story’ that had already been published in 2011. So cast, the revelation looks to have caused only modest independent damage.”
To review, Stormy Daniels, an adult film star and director whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had consensual sex with Trump, who was then married, in July 2006. Two weeks before the presidential election in 2016, Cohen paid her $130,000 after she signed an agreement not to disclose the incident. On CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday night, in an interview with Anderson Cooper, she gave details about her claim that she slept with Trump in 2006.
We urge you to read more details about Litman’s argument by clicking here, which will take you to Litman’s CNN opinion piece.