Trump is an appalling abomination but he’s still entitled to the same rights as everyone else. The proposed Stormy Daniels prosecution has not so far eventuated suggesting the prosecutors are possibly having second thoughts, perhaps motivated by the world-wide criticism they’ve copped from commentators. But here’s what baffles me.
The origin of this matter is Trump having it off with the Daniels tart on a single occasion, nigh on two decades ago. She can’t have been up to much because on her own admission she subsequently spent another night with him but he chose to watch television and didn’t touch her.
Since then on two occasions she’s threatened to go public unless paid off, which she duly was.
Surely to God that’s a clear-cut case of criminal blackmail, so why hasn’t she been prosecuted?
I don’t know the American situation but we in New Zealand have inherited the English legal right to bring private criminal prosecutions when the police have failed to act. This has led to some spectacular private citizen successes. America is a shockingly litigious country so perhaps that right doesn’t exist for fear of clogging the courts, failing which a trump supporter would have acted by now. Also, it’s possible, although one would think unlikely, that blackmail is not a crime there.
I say that as on three occasions I was the target of blackmail attempts in America nearly half a century back, first after I bought a Wall Street office tower. It was well known that the adjacent office building was owned by President Marcos but the registered ownership, unlike ours, was legally unknown as it constituted a vapour trail of offshore tax havens. As a result we received a letter from a sleazy New York lawyer acting for a woman who had slipped over on the floor of Marcos’s building.
Unable to file against the registered owners he had a crack at us instead, as owner of the adjacent building, saying he’d be suing for a substantial sum but the matter would go away if I paid $10,000.
In New Zealand he’d have been both struck off by the Law Society and criminally prosecuted for blackmail, attempted fraud and what have you, but I was told, this sort of thing was common-place in America, people paying up as the cheapest option. My reaction was different. I told him to make my day and file and that was the end of that.
I had two other similar try-ons, one re that building from, I was told by our fear-ridden New York lawyers, the Mafia’s lawyer, and on another occasion re a Honolulu office-building. In both cases I took the mickey and they vanished.
In so many respects America is a great country. But conversely in too many ways its reputation is marred, its litigiousness certainly being one stand out reason why.