Trump-Under-Oath Pitch Is Renewed by Lawyer for Stormy Daniels
(Bloomberg) -- Adult film star Stormy Daniels is taking another shot at questioning President Donald Trump and his lawyer under oath in her lawsuit to get out of a “hush agreement" over her alleged affair with the real estate mogul.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, wants to query Trump and his longtime attorney Michael Cohen for no more than two hours each and make "targeted" requests for documents to prepare for a possible trial and challenge Trump’s bid to force the matter into a nonpublic arbitration.
Clifford’s attorney Michael Avenatti made the request in a Sunday filing in Los Angeles. U.S. District Judge James Otero denied Clifford’s first motion on March 29 to depose the men, saying it was too early for such a request because Trump hadn’t yet filed a motion to compel arbitration of the dispute. The Trump affiliates filed such a request a few days later.
"Now that a motion to compel arbitration has been filed (as plaintiff predicted), and plaintiff’s return date on the motion has arrived, plaintiff’s motion is ripe for decision," Avenatti said in the filing.
Avenatti’s 27-page motion also cites Trump’s first public comments on the matter. On April 5 Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he didn’t know about the $130,000 payment Cohen had made to Clifford and directed further questions to Cohen. His attorney has said Trump wasn’t aware of the settlement agreement or the cash payment.
“What I did defensively for my personal client, and my friend, is what attorneys do for their high-profile clients," Cohen said in a March 19 Vanity Fair article cited in Avenatti’s filing.
Avenatti said several questions remain unanswered, including whether Trump is indeed the party in the settlement agreement referred to as David Dennison and "whether the payment was made with Mr. Trump’s own money, money from his presidential campaign, money from the Trump Organization, another source linked to Mr. Trump, or from Mr. Cohen," according to the filing.
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