Note that "We couldn't prove there was a political motive for the arrest" does not mean there was no such motive, especially given how difficult it often is to make police face consequences for anything in America.Police in the US city of Columbus have said five officers from the department’s now-disbanded vice unit are facing disciplinary action over a raid on a strip club last year that involved the arrest of Stormy Daniels.
The department said on Wednesday the officers could face punishments ranging from reprimands to dismissals. The officers include a commander, lieutenant, sergeant and two of the arresting officers.
An internal police investigation into the arrest of Daniels – real name, Stephanie Clifford – concluded that it had not been in keeping with police division policy, though it found no “direct evidence” of political motivation by the officers involved.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, three vice squad officers officers, and one who was not part of the vice unit, went into the Sirens strip club, in Columbus, Ohio, posing as two couples in July 2018.
Clifford, an adult film actor, and two other Sirens employees, were arrested on 11 July and charged on suspicion of inappropriately touching an undercover officer. The charges on three misdemeanor counts of illegally touching a patron were dropped hours later after the City attorney Zach Klein said he would not prosecute the cases because of ambiguities in state law.
According to the investigative summary, Columbus police had visited Sirens undercover – they claimed to look for signs of human trafficking, drug sales or use, underage drinking and prostitution. Clifford had gained widespread public attention after suing Donald Trump, for defamation in 2018 (a case dismissed by a federal court). She had allegedly been paid to keep quiet about a sexual encounter they had had before he became president. She had also sued over the $130,000 hush money agreement relating to the alleged encounter with Trump, which was signed days before the 2016 election.
Following Clifford’s arrest after the Sirens club raid, one of the arresting officers, Shana Keckley, was not departmentally charged. She had sent internal emails that had increased scrutiny of the likelihood of the arrests having been politically motivated due to Clifford’s claims concerning Trump.
After her arrest, Clifford had filed a civil lawsuit against the four officers seeking more than $1m in compensatory damages and more than $1m in punitive damages.
Clifford claimed she had been targeted because the police were “avowed supporters” of Trump and believed she was “damaging him, and that they thereafter entered into a conspiracy to arrest her during her performance in Columbus in retaliation for the public statements she had made” about Trump.
In June, Clifford’s complaint was amended to add the city of Columbus as a defendant, claiming the city had violated her constitutional rights. A similar lawsuit against the city filed by the other two Sirens employees, Miranda Panda and Brittany Walters, was settled in January for $150,000.
The internal police investigation into Clifford’s arrest found, according to its summary, that as the night progressed the officers worked to obtain charges “by placing themselves, unnecessarily, at risk and potential for physical contact with Ms Clifford”.
The investigation’s other focus was the allegation that police officers who supported Trump had conspired to retaliate against Clifford over her claims of having had sex with Trump before he became US president. Clifford was paid $150,000 by the jailed Trump attorney Michael Cohen in the run-up to the 2016 election.
Trump maintains he knew nothing of the payments, but newly released documents show conversations between Cohen, Trump, the National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard, the publication’s owner, David Pecker, and Hope Hicks, who was, at the time, the Trump campaign spokeswoman.
An FBI agent wrote in an April 2018 affidavit obtained by the Wall Street Journal: “Based on the timing of these calls, and the content of the text messages and emails, I believe that at least some of these communications concerned the need to prevent Clifford from going public.”
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... els-arrest
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA