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The political arrest of Stormy Daniels in Columbus Ohio

Gerry Bello

Stormy Daniels, the adult film star embroiled in intertwining lawsuits with Donald Trump and his former lawyer turned prison bitch Michael Cohen, was arrested at Sirens in Columbus today in the early morning hours. Daniels is accused illegally touching patrons at the club, at least four of whom were undercover police officers. Her bail was $6054 and her often outspoken lawyer, Michael Avenatti is claiming that the arrest was a “setup” and “politically motivated.” Avenatti continued “She has performed this show at over 100 clubs across the country.”

Avenatti, noted for fighting cases in public and hyperbolic pronouncements, may in fact be right. Sirens, according to radio advertisements this author hears when driving basically anywhere, books adult film stars at least twice a month if not more. It seems unlikely that four or more undercover Columbus police officers are in Sirens while on duty for multiple hours to “investigate” headline shows on a schedule that is bi-weekly or greater. That would involve tens of thousands of dollar in labor hours being spent yearly, before admission, tips and drinks are factored in.

Sirens is not the only Columbus strip club that books adult film actresses as headline entertainment. This leads to one or two conclusions. The first conclusion is that Columbus Police are sending a group of undercover officers to every strip club for every adult film actress appearance. The second conclusion is that Stormy Daniels deserves special attention. If Stormy Daniels deserves special attention it is because she is different from other adult film actresses. The only thing that makes her different than other actresses is that she is suing President Trump.

There is a direct operational connection between the Columbus Police vice squad and the investigation of political crimes. As reported in a series of articles by Bob Fitrakis in the Columbus Alive in 1999 (back when it was still independent), the Columbus Division of Police operated a political intelligence squad. These so-called “red squads” date back to the 1950s and were formed at the direction of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. Columbus operated one until 9/11 when it was merged into the local Joint Terrorism Task Force. It still exists as part of that.

Fitrakis's reporting revealed that under Columbus Police Commander Curtis Marcum, the “red squad” and the vice squad had overlapping duties and shared personnel. In 1999 there were 17 detectives assigned to the red squad and more than half also worked vice. The explicit combination of the two gave the police massive potential for blackmail in political investigations. The political intelligence squad spent most of it's resources on left wing groups with particular focus on Anti-Racist Action and CopWatch. Their secondary targets were labor unions and motorcycle clubs. There was no focus on white supremacists.

The same officers that were seen taking pictures at demonstrations also turned up on a weekly basis to check the records of a local phone sex business to check records. The phone sex business was worker run and worker owned. This author witnessed them there while working as a programer on the call tracking database and accounting solutions. The police inspected who talked to which phone operator, for how long, and there was a space on each record for notes. This author did not have access to the actual data, just the raw test data.

These same police that inspect and check on every sex related business also investigate “political crimes.” The number of police assigned to political work was 17 in 1999. The number assigned since 9/11 is not public, but it is safe to assume that there was an increase.

Michael Avenatti does not know Columbus when he says that this was a political setup, but he is absolutely right. What he actually does not know is how right he is. There is a direct line of command from the President, to the Department of Homeland Security, to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, to Columbus Red Squad, to the Vice Squad.

Online and off line, law enforcement uses the patronage of sex workers for blackmail. The technique is as old as espionage and older than police work. What is different about Columbus is the direct long-standing operational connections.