Why Trump and the porn star is newsworthy

But here’s the thing: The Stormy Daniels affair is the first corroborative bit of evidence suggesting that Trump does this kind of thing. How much corroboration, exactly, is open to interpretation.

A section of the U.S. criminal code, Rule 404, Section B, offers guidance to judges about whether to consider a defendant’s previous misconduct. Known colloquially by prosecutors and defense lawyers as “prior bad acts,” the standard for when to allow it into evidence is whether the “probative value” of the earlier behavior outweighs its “prejudicial effect.” In everyday English, what this means is that the actions must be pretty similar to the current case in order to be admissible.

This case is not in litigation and rules of evidence in the court of public opinion are lax, but let’s give Trump the benefit of the doubt and apply the logic of federal law. We can start with this: A Trump lawyer would point out that porn stars are not prostitutes.