LOS ANGELES (CN) – Essential Consultants, the company set up by President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen, offered to tear up the hush agreement contract between adult film star Stormy Daniels and the president on Friday, a settlement agreement that would require her to pay back $130,000.
Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, sued Trump over an alleged 2006 affair so she could get out of a hush agreement that was put together in 2016 by Cohen and the shell company created by Cohen to facilitate the agreement.
Daniels signed the agreement under the pseudonym Peggy Peterson. Trump was listed under the pseudonym David Dennison, according to the initial lawsuit filed in March.
Daniels said the contract was invalid because Trump never signed his name.
Since then, the company and Trump sued Daniels for $20 million for violating the terms of the contract. 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.
On Friday, Cohen's attorney Brent Blakely filed a supplemental statement in the Central District of California with an attached letter detailing that Essential Consultants would rescind the confidential agreement between Daniels and Trump.
Essential Consultants also agreed to not fight Daniels in an arbitration proceeding over the hush agreement and not seek to sue her for $20 million over the alleged violation of the agreement.
According to the federal complaint in the Southern District of New York, Cohen made payments to two women to ensure they “did not publicize damaging allegations before the 2016 presidential election and thereby influence that election.”
He pleaded guilty to eight charges in total: five counts of tax evasion, one count of making a false statement to a financial institution, one count of unlawful corporate contributor and one count of excessive campaign contribution. The unlawful corporate contribution was for $150,000 and a separate excessive campaign contribution of $130,000.
Those figures matched a payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal as hush money over an alleged affair with Trump and the $130,000 sum paid to Daniels.
Cohen’s involvement in the Los Angeles lawsuit against his client, Trump, was delayed several times due to the criminal trial in New York.
Blakely said there would be overlap in the evidence in both trials.
Blakely says in the letter if the settlement is refused, Cohen will file to have the case dismissed because the declaratory relief becomes moot.
Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, has sought to depose Trump about his knowledge of the agreement and about threats made against her in 2011 for speaking up about the affair.
On Friday, Avenatti said on Twitter that Cohen was “playing games and trying to protect Donald Trump.” He called the offer to tear up the contract a “legal stunt.”
He added on Twitter, “The fact he actually believes this is what is most stunning.”
In an email to Courthouse News, Avenatti said, "Trump has offered nothing. The case will continue."
Emails to Cohen’s attorney for comment Friday evening after business hours were not immediately returned.
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