Cohen Drops Bid to Arbitrate Stormy Daniels Hush-Money Spat

This combination photo shows, from left, President Donald Trump, attorney Michael Cohen and adult film actress Stormy Daniels. (AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (CN) – President Donald Trump’s ex-attorney dropped an arbitration bid against adult film star Stormy Daniels, a much different tone from a few months ago when he accused her of violating a hush agreement and said she owed $20 million.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s ex-attorney, said a private arbitration proceeding against Daniels does not need to happen anymore, despite previous claims she had to pay for speaking to the media about an affair she says she had with Trump in 2006.

Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti shared the cover page of the dismissal request filed by Cohen’s attorney, Brent Blakely, with his Twitter followers on Wednesday, calling the matter “bogus.” The arbitration dismissal lists the pseudonyms that was meant to conceal the identity of the parties involved and the shell company Cohen created to facilitate payment to Daniels, Essential Consultants.

Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, sued Trump this year to get out of a hush agreement put together by Cohen ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Under the agreement, which listed Daniels as Peggy Peterson and Trump as David Dennison, Daniels received $130,000.

But Daniels said the contract was invalid because Trump never signed it.

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to federal charges, admitting in a federal court in New York that he made two payments in 2016 with the purpose of interfering with a presidential election – presumably one of those to Daniels.

Last week, Blakely filed a brief in the Daniels lawsuit indicating Essential Consultants would rescind the confidential agreement between Daniels and Trump. The following day Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, filed a similar brief saying “no actual controversy exists between Ms. Clifford and Mr. Trump regarding the confidential supplemental agreement dated Oct. 28, 2016” because the deal never existed, he was never a party to it and never said he was.

In their respective filings, Trump and Essential Consultants agreed to not fight Daniels in arbitration proceedings and said they will not sue her for $20 million for violating the terms of the deal.

“We just received this dismissal filed by Michael Cohen in the arbitration,” Avenatti wrote on Twitter. “This is the same arbitration that I said from day one was bogus. It is also the same arbitration that Sarah Sanders falsely claimed in March Trump had won. She lied and they lied. Repeatedly.”

Emails to Avenatti and Blakely seeking comment were not immediately answered.

 

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