Stormy Daniels Renews Bid to Depose Trump

FILE – In this Feb. 11, 2007, file photo, Stormy Daniels arrives for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. President Donald Trump’s personal attorney says he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a porn actress who allegedly had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006. Michael Cohen tells The New York Times he was not reimbursed by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign for the payment to Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

LOS ANGELES (CN) – The attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels once again asked a federal judge for permission to depose President Donald Trump and his “top attorney” Michael Cohen over details of a nondisclosure agreement related to her alleged affair with the president.

Attorney Michael Avenatti refiled a motion in Los Angeles federal court late Sunday to depose Trump and Cohen for “no more than two hours” each. He also asked U.S District Judge James Otero to order a jury trial “as soon as possible” and for 10 “targeted” documents related to the settlement agreement Daniels signed days before the 2016 election.

Avenatti filed a similar motion over a week ago, which Otero denied and called “premature.”

Daniels, given name Stephanie Clifford, wants Otero to find the nondisclosure agreement between herself, Essential Consultants – a limited liability corporation Cohen set up for the purpose of paying her – and Trump “void, invalid, or unenforceable” because Trump never signed it.

Daniels says she had sex with Trump in 2006. She says after Cohen learned of her plans to share her account of the affair publicly he prepared the nondisclosure agreement and paid her $130,000.

On April 5, Trump made his first public comments about the case by telling reporters aboard Air Force One he had no knowledge of the payment. Cohen has said he used his own money to finance the payment.

Avenatti has asked the U.S Treasury Department to share its suspicious activity report of an account tied to Cohen’s payment to Daniels.

The White House and Trump have denied the affair took place.

Last week, Trump asked a federal judge to send the case to arbitration. Avenatti took to Twitter to vent his disapproval of arbitration.

“We will continue to fight to keep this case in a public courtroom where sunlight can act as a disinfectant and the search for the truth can flourish.” Avenatti tweeted.

Avenatti also filed three declarations in support of the opposition to the arbitration demand, including one from Daniels who said she wouldn’t have agreed to terms of the agreement if she knew Trump wasn’t a party to it.

“I would have never signed either document nor would I have accepted the $130,000 payment,” Daniels said.

In a recent interview aired on “60 Minutes,” Daniels said a man warned her to keep quiet about the affair in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011. The man also made comments about her infant daughter, who was with her at the time.

Daniels said she plans to publicly share a composite sketch of the man Tuesday.

Avenatti said Monday he is prepared to offer a “sizeable monetary reward” for information that helps identify the man.

Last week, Trump and Essential Consultants asked Otero for more time to answer Daniels’ claims that Cohen defamed her in public statements about the case. The deadline is April 9.

Avenatti opposed the extension request, saying Otero intended for the deadlines he set to be met.

“This is not a simple case of moving deadlines,” he wrote.

Cohen and Avenatti did not return requests for comment by press time.

Avenatti asked for hearing on his renewed motion to depose be scheduled for May 7.

 

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