COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Stormy Daniels’ 2018 arrest at a Columbus strip club was improper but not planned in advance or politically motivated, according to an internal police department review released Friday.
The investigation examined allegations that police officers supporting Republican President Donald Trump conspired to retaliate the porn actress for her claims that she had sex with Trump before he became president.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was arrested in July on suspicion of inappropriately touching an undercover agent. Prosecutors dropped the charges hours later, saying the law cited in Daniels’ arrest only applied to those who regularly performed at the club.
According to the head of the city’s deputy team, the officers who went to the Sirens strip club that night had targeted the club and not Daniels as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged illegal activities. Those alleged activities including human trafficking, alcohol consumption by minors and drug dealing, the report said.
But that night’s investigation moved to a narrower investigation into alleged illegal contact of clients by dancers, according to the report.
The officers chose to obtain evidence for such contact “putting themselves, unnecessarily, at risk and potential for physical contact with Ms. Clifford,” the report concluded.
Later, Daniels did not “make a complaint or comment about any officer who made a political remark or statement about President Trump to her,” Lieutenant Ronald Kemmerling, deputy lieutenant of the section told investigators.
Messages were left on Friday for lawyers representing Daniels.
The report came the day after a federal judge was dismissed his lawsuit against Trump who tried to wrest a subdued deal on their alleged relationship.
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero in Los Angeles said the lawsuit was irrelevant after Trump and his former personal attorney agreed not to penalize Daniels for breaching a nondisclosure agreement he signed in exchange for a payment of $ 130,000.
The 10-year law used to arrest Daniels states that dancers in “sexually oriented” activities are prohibited from touching clients and vice versa.
Last year, city attorney Zach Klein called the law “patently unfair” because its applicability depends on how regularly the employee performs and shouldn’t be enforced. He also said that employees who touch the police are not in violation because public officials on duty are not legally considered patrons.
Unsurprisingly, the arrests were deemed inappropriate, given the city’s attorney’s position, Keith Ferrell, president of the union representing Columbus officers, said Friday.
He reiterated that the officers were not politically motivated.
“I don’t think this is any different from many of the other operations they have conducted in the past,” said Ferrell, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge 9.
Earlier this year, Daniels is suing several Columbus police officers for $ 2 million for his arrest.
Daniels’ federal defamation lawsuit claims that the agents conspired to take revenge on her for her allegations regarding Trump.
The officers “believed that Ms. Clifford was harming President Trump and have since undertaken a conspiracy to arrest her during her performance in Columbus in retaliation for public statements she had made regarding President Trump,” according to the lawsuit.
Two dancers arrested with Daniels that night showed up a similar cause.