Update: The notary and their attorney have responded to the allegations. Check out their side of the story.
New Notary Rule #1: Don’t get yourself stuck in a feud between a porn star and a president. That is what happened to a notary in Texas, who is now under investigation by the Texas Secretary of State’s office.
As always, we will give the notary the benefit of the doubt, assume they made a terrible mistake, and will not post their name here. This story is more about the lesson learned than anything else. – – And the whole story around it is both sad and hilarious.
Stormy Daniels, you may have heard the name lately, allegedly had an affair with President Trump. In 2016, during the run up to the presidential election, Stormy signed a Non Disclosure Agreement with one of the President’s attorneys, Michael Cohen. The price is a relatively tame $130,000, considering that Stormy had a book deal on the horizon, and she could have probably sold her story for more than what she agreed to.
What is Causing the Storm(y)?
So, what is all the fuss about, for the notary?
In Texas, notaries are bound to sign and date agreements, but to also provide a certificate verifying those that sign the documents. This certificate is where the problem is emanating.
“Attaching your seal to a document without a notarial certificate constitutes good cause for the secretary of state to take action against your notary commission,” a Texas official said in a letter to Jackson, sent last week. – – The Hill
To further murky the waters, all parties to the NDA used pseudonyms, or fake names. Of note, we have found out that President Trump is likely to use the name David Dennison. This is quite noteworthy for notaries, as Trump allegedly has another NDA with a different porn star, Jessica Drake, where the same issues that are unfolding in Texas, could do the same thing to another notary. We do not know where the alleged second NDA was notarized at this time.
What is the Bottom Line?
This is just another reminder that we all need to make sure we dot our i’s and cross our t’s. Not only has this notary been dragged into a national news story, they have also been dragged into national politics, a double whammy for the vast majority of us.
If you add the potential charges from the Texas State Attorney’s office, and the possible loss of commission, it is a lethal trifecta for the notary.
The vast majority of the rules and laws surrounding our profession are there to protect those who are executing documents, but also us as the notary. They give us an “out” if we ever run into a hinky signing, or are requested to do a signing we do not feel comfortable with. They allow us to be firm in enforcing the guidelines of our trade, regardless of who the client is.
Because the more noteworthy the client you are doing a favor for, the bigger the newspaper and television coverage that will haunt you.
And we all like our sleep at night.