A judge has paused Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit against Michael Cohen for 90 days while a criminal investigation into President Trump’s personnel attorney continues in New York.
District Judge James Otero ruled in favor of Cohen’s claim that his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination could have been jeopardized if legal proceedings were not stayed.
‘The court finds that there is a large potential factual overlap between the civil and criminal proceedings that would heavily implicate Mr Cohen’s Fifth Amendment rights,’ Otero wrote in the order.
Adult-film star Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit against U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, will be put on pause for 90 days
Cohen has admitted paying $130,000 to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to secure her silence about having sex with Trump, which he denies.
Cohen said the payment was legal, and Daniels has sued to end her nondisclosure agreement.
Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti promptly pledged to fight the stay, writing on Twitter he would file an immediate appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California, which could ultimately lead the Supreme Court to have to weigh in.
He wrote: While we certainly respect Judge Otero’s 90 day stay order based on Mr. Cohen’s pleading of the 5th, we do not agree with it. We will likely be filing an immediate appeal to the Ninth Circuit early next week. Justice delayed is justice denied. #basta.’
Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti used the news to mock Donald Trump (pictured on April 27), claiming he would replied ‘bigly’ to news the case had been delayed
He later mocked the President with another post that read: ‘Champagne bottle pops open. Mr. Cohen: ‘See, I came through again re Stormy with a delay this time. Isn’t that incredible boss?!’ Mr. Trump: ‘Bigly!!!!’ Attys: ‘What about the part in the order where the judge talks about the upcoming serious federal indictment?’ #oh #basta.’
Basta is Italian for ‘enough’.
Cohen said earlier this week he would invoke the fifth amendment and refuse to answer questions in the lawsuit after the FBI raided his home, office and hotel room two weeks ago.
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that no individual can be ‘compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.’
Daniels had countered that the lawsuit should proceed, with Cohen invoking the amendment only for specific questions that might lead to self-incrimination.
But Otero wrote that approach could lead to Cohen not answering any questions, rendering a deposition useless.
The stay is warranted ‘to determine that the scope and context of the FBI investigation and potential criminal proceedings will not substantially interfere with this action,’ Otero wrote.