Emails sent by a Columbus Police Department vice officer who was involved in arresting Stormy Daniels (born Stephanie Clifford) earlier this month suggest the adult film star was targeted in advance, according to a new report from CNN. The emails, which CNN obtained through a public records request, show that two days before the July 12th arrest, Officer Shana Keckley sent herself pictures and a video of Daniels, as well as a map to the strip club where Daniels was scheduled to perform. This would contradict an earlier statement made by Columbus PD that Daniels just happened to be caught up in a sting operation connected to a “long-term investigation into allegations of human trafficking, prostitution, & other vice related violations.”
Keckley was present for the raid on Sirens Strip Club, where Daniels had booked a two-night gig, and was one of two undercover officers who, according to Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenetti, “asked [Daniels] to allow them to place their face in between her breasts.” After being “motorboated,” Keckley and her fellow vice officers placed Daniels under arrest on charges of misdemeanor sexual activity. Later that night, Keckley bragged about the arrest in an email to another officer, and attached a copy of the complaint.
“Your welcome!!!!….I work Vice now!!! :D…. Thank me in person later,” Keckley wrote at 3:50 a.m., according to the CNN report.
In another email, Keckley mentioned Daniels by name.
“I got the elements…we arrested Stormy Daniels last night,” she wrote.
Less than 12 hours later, the charges were dropped because the rarely used 2007 law under which Daniels was arrested only applies to people who “regularly” appear nude or seminude at a particular establishment.
Avenatti also told the New York Times that he believed the “undercover vice officers … came to the club for the purpose of trying to get [Daniels] to touch them so that they could then arrest her, which is ludicrous.”
Avenatti has been adamant that his client was targeted because of her allegations that she was paid $130,000 by President Donald Trump’s attorney in the months leading up to the 2016 election, in exchange for keeping quiet about their brief affair in 2006. She has also filed multiple lawsuits against the president, alleging threats and intimidation, and accusing him of libel.
A spokesperson for the Columbus Police Department refused to comment on the emails, telling CNN, “There is an internal investigation by the Columbus Division of Police underway concerning the arrest of Stephanie Clifford. Because of the ongoing investigation we can’t comment further.” They did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Rolling Stone.