The arrest of porn star and Donald Trump accuser Stormy Daniels at an Ohio strip club early Thursday will be reviewed internally, Columbus police chief Kim Jacobs said Thursday.
In a statement published to the police department’s Twitter account, Jacobs allowed that “a mistake was made, and I accept full responsibility.”
“The facts behind the charges and the behavior witnessed by the Vice officers are a matter of public record, and officers were well within their area of responsibility when taking enforcement action,” Jacobs said. “Nevertheless, a mistake was made, and I accept full responsibility.”
“While the presence of Vice officers at this establishment is reasonable, the motivations behind the officers’ actions will be reviewed internally to ensure that our Core Values and duty to serve our community to the best of our ability continue to be the basis for our actions,” Jacobs added.
Daniels — real name: Stephanie Clifford — and two others were arrested early Thursday at Club Sirens, where Daniels had booked a two-night engagement. Daniels was charged with three counts of illegal sexually oriented activity in a sexually oriented business, for allegedly “illegally touching three different undercover Vice detectives,” according to a press release issued by the department Thursdays.
The charges were subsequently dismissed, and Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, called the arrest “a setup” and “politically motivated.”
“It reeks of desperation,” Avenatti added in a tweet Thursday.
Avenatti later tweeted that prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charges in part because a strict reading of state law indicated that it applied to employees of an establishment and not to guest performers like his client.
Daniels, who has filed a lawsuit against Trump, maintains that she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago, and was paid $130,000 in hush money prior to the 2016 presidential election. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels.
Daniels intended to perform at the club again Thursday night, though Avenatti tweeted Thursday that his client is “looking for another club in the area.”
He also demanded a “full and OPEN investigation” into the officers’ conduct, saying that certain of their social-media accounts, which have since been taken down, “appear to have been very pro-Trump.”
We appreciate Chief Kim Jacobs’s statement relating to the improper arrest. However, we demand a full and OPEN investigation into the conduct of the officers, including an examination of their social media accounts (some of which were mysteriously taken down earlier today)…
– Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) July 12, 2018
“In the event it is discovered that my client was targeted & arrested because of our opposition to Mr. Trump, the resulting lawsuit & action will be swift and devastating. That is not a threat. It is a promise,” Avenatti added.
Statement from Chief Kim Jacobs in reference to this morning’s media release:
Vice personnel are responsible for enforcing laws regulating alcohol sales,
after-hours clubs, massage parlors, human trafficking, nuisance properties
among other serious violations of law… pic.twitter.com/7fJFMuQATk
– Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) July 12, 2018