Trump Lawyers Ask Judge to Dismiss Stormy Daniels Lawsuit
(Bloomberg) -- Presidential Donald Trump says that after Stormy Daniels spilled the beans on their alleged 2006 tryst in a just-published book, it makes no sense for them to keep fighting in court over a $130,000 hush agreement she signed before the 2016 election.
Lawyers for the president asked a Los Angeles federal judge Monday to throw out the lawsuit filed by the adult-movie star, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, that challenges the validity of the non-disclosure agreement she signed with Trump’s longtime fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen.
The lawsuit is moot because Trump has consented that the agreement, as she has claimed, was never formed because he didn’t sign it and he has agreed not to try to enforce it, Trump said in his court filing. The company created by Cohen to facilitate the non-disclosure agreement, which initially said Clifford faced more than $20 million in damages for talking, said in September that it wouldn’t sue to enforce the deal.
Meanwhile, Clifford has conducted herself as if the agreement was already void by discussing the alleged affair on television and in her recent book "Full Disclosure," according to Trump’s filing.
"The purported settlement agreement unambiguously prohibits such activities," Trump’s lawyers said.
Clifford’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, argues the lawsuit has evolved into something bigger than a dispute over the validity of a hush agreement. The attorney, who wants to depose Trump under oath, said it’s in the public’s interest to get more details about the motivation behind the deal and where the money came from. He said the president’s claim about the publication of Clifford’s book is irrelevant.
"We are not concerned about it,” he said.
The actress’s lawyer also said Trump and Cohen would need to make several concessions to get out of the suit, including admitting in a final judgment that the hush deal violated campaign finance laws because it was intended to influence the presidential election. They’d also need to pay Daniels’s legal fees and expenses, Avenatti said.
A hearing on whether to dismiss the lawsuit is set for December.
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