According to an explosive new story from The Hill, women’s rights attorney Lisa Bloom wasn’t just representing four women who came forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexual harassment in 2016, she was also fighting hard to make sure the women got paid – and paid handsomely – for throwing a wrench into the presidential election. In a review of documents and interviews with people involved with Bloom, The Hill found that the attorney was running all over town trying to sell her clients’ stories to television shows, essentially acting as their entertainment agent while publicly presenting these as legitimate claims of sexual impropriety on the part of the Republican nominee.
In one instance, the outlet reports, Bloom made arrangements for “a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s mortgage” and attempted to “secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000.”
$750,000?! If the woman who decided not to come forward turned down that kind of payday, how much did it take to buy off the women who DID come forward with their accusations? Exactly how much confidence are we supposed to have in claims that have been sullied with this kind of money. You could ride down any street in America and find plenty of women willing to make up fanciful stories about Donald Trump if it meant walking away with a cool three quarters of a million dollars.
Bloom freely admitted to The Hill that they had their story straight, though she said there was nothing unusual or unprofessional about the agreements she signed:
Bloom said her goal in securing money was not to pressure the women to come forward, but rather to help them relocate or arrange security if they felt unsafe during the waning days of a vitriolic election. She declined to identify any of the donors.
And while she noted she represented sexual harassment victims for free or at reduced rates, she also acknowledged a standard part of her contracts required women to pay her commissions as high as 33 percent if she sold their stories to media outlets.
“Our standard pro bono agreement for legal services provides that if a media entity offers to compensate a client for sharing his or her story we receive a percentage of those fees. This rarely happens. But, on occasion, a case generates media interest and sometimes (not always) a client may receive an appearance fee,” she said.
You’ve got to be kidding. As far as we’re concerned, the minute a person accepts any money for their story above and beyond what it might take to cover their own legal fees, we no longer have any reason to take their story seriously. Especially when they are being driven to the TV station by a publicity-hungry attorney who saw in Trump a chance to make a major splash for herself in the middle of a hugely-sensationalized presidential election.
If Democrats were hoping that President Trump would be next in the #MeToo barrel, these revelations are going to put some sharp thorns in their carefully-laid plans.