Columbus Cops: Stormy Daniels Bust ‘Improper,’ But Not Political

After Stormy Daniels was arrested at a Columbus, Ohio, strip club on July 11 of last year, her lawyer Michael Avenatti immediately condemned the bust as “a setup” and “politically motivated.” At the time, Daniels was at the height of her legal and public relations battle against Donald Trump. She had sued Trump in March of 2018 over a “hush money” deal.

But that lawsuit was finally dismissed by a judge last Thursday, and on Friday, the Columbus Police released an internal report clearing the cops who busted Daniels—supposedly for illegally touching patrons at the club—of wrongly targeting her for political reasons.

The report nonetheless characterized the arrest as “improper,” according to ABC News, a conclusion that seemed unavoidable given that the charges against Daniels were dropped within hours, and a prosecutor acknowledged that the “no touching law” did not apply to Daniels because she did not appear “consistently and repeatedly” at the club, as the statute required.

In the days following the arrest, social media accounts belonging to Detective Steve Rosser, the lead officer in the Daniels arrest, revealed that Rosser, who used the pseudonym “Stevo Shaboykins” online, held strong, pro-Trump views.

Later, an police department “whistleblower” leaked internal emails showing that officers involved in the arrest appeared to celebrate the bust, with one bragging “we arrested Stormy this morning, she is in jail,” and that the arrest was “all over CNN.” She told a fellow cop, in one email, “You’re Welcome!!!!!….Thank me in person later.”

But the internal report found no “direct evidence” of a political motive behind the arrest, or that the arrest was planed in advance, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Instead, the internal investigation concluded that the officers attended Daniels’ performance undercover “to look for signs of human trafficking, drug sales or use, underage drinking and prostitution,” according to the Dispatch.

But as the night wore on and the officers found no evidence of those other crimes, they went out of their way to secure an arrest of the AVN Hall of Famer by “placing themselves, unnecessarily, at risk and potential for physical contact with Ms. [Daniels],” the internal report said.

The Columbus Police have since taken both Rosser and Whitney Lancaster, another officer involved in the arrest, off of active duty in connection with an ongoing FBI corruption investigation. But officials said the suspension of the two officers was not related to the Daniels case.

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