On the list of Trump scandals and sideshows, the accusations of a porn star, a Playboy Playmate and a reality-TV show contestant have had a surprisingly difficult time ranking. But Tuesday showed just how much staying power these stories could have moving forward.

In a matter of a couple of hours about midday, the sagas of Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal and Summer Zervos all lurched forward in ways the White House will hate.

Shortly before noon, the Wall Street Journal reported that Daniels had passed a 2011 polygraph test in which she said she had sexual intercourse with Trump. Then came news that McDougal had, like Daniels, filed a lawsuit to get out of a nondisclosure agreement. And then, in the coup de grace, a New York judge ruled Zervos's defamation suit against Trump could proceed and that a sitting president can be sued in state court for nonofficial acts.

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The latter might be the most troubling development — at least on this particular day. The Washington Post's Mark Berman and Frances Stead Sellers report it could open Trump up to the discovery process, in which he would be forced to answer questions under oath about his conduct with women and related matters. That prospect was troubling enough that it was at the root of Trump's efforts to get the case thrown out; his lawyer argued that Zervos's suit amounted to a thinly veiled attempt to force Trump into just such a discovery process.

The judge was having none of it. “No one is above the law,” New York Supreme Court Judge Jennifer G. Schecter said at the start of her ruling — a direct and rather pointed rebuke of the Trump team's legal arguments. The proceeding is merely the latest in which the notoriously fact-challenged president might be questioned under oath, with the other being special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation.

Daniels's momentum has been building for some time — toward possibly ensnaring Trump and allowing Daniels to tell her tale. But whether she and Trump even had the affair is somewhat beside the point; the real question is whether a crime was committed when Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 in exchange for her silence.

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Cohen and the White House still have not denied that Trump was party to that transaction, and we recently found out the Trump Organization hasn't exactly been insulated from all the Daniels machinations — despite Cohen assuring us it wasn't involved in the initial arrangement. If the Daniels payment was geared toward affecting the election and was covered up, it opens Trump up to legal jeopardy. And Daniels has shown she is more than happy to do what it takes to keep her case in the news.

The McDougal case is the least-developed of all, and thus far it hasn't gotten nearly as close to Trump. But it raises no fewer legal and personal questions. In her case, the nondisclosure agreement was facilitated not by Trump's lawyer, but by a sympathetic publication: the National Enquirer, whose publisher is run by close Trump friend David Pecker. The details of the Playboy Playmate's allegations are similar to both Daniels and Zervos (though, to be clear, Daniels and McDougal have both described their encounters as consensual, while Zervos had accused Trump of sexually assaulting her).

McDougal hasn't been as creative in trying to get around her nondisclosure agreement as has Daniels, but it was announced Tuesday that she is set to do her first cable TV interview Thursday with CNN's Anderson Cooper — three days before Daniels's “60 Minutes” interview is slated to air.

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All three of these cases contain many unanswered questions, but they also clearly have motivated women behind them now. The White House and Trump allies have tried to keep the women quiet using various methods, but none of them seem to be going away anytime soon.

Trump fended off numerous accusations of sexual harassment during the campaign, but that was when there was a finite amount of time for people to make judgments. He no longer has that luxury, and the result is what we saw Tuesday — and what we'll see in the days to come.

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