A California judge has denied Stormy Daniels’ request to depose President Trump in a case that involves a non-disclosure agreement she signed in 2016 in exchange for $130,000.
Daniels’ media-savvy attorney Michael Avenatti shared the ruling of Judge James Otero, a President George W. Bush appointee, on Twitter, which said the plaintiff’s request for an expedited jury trial was ‘premature’ and ‘must be denied.’
‘This is just a procedural ruling, it really means nothing, but I will tell you this – we’re very, very encouraged by language in the order, not just suggesting, but basically finding that we’re correct in the application of the law and the facts in this matter,’ Avenatti said Thursday on CNN.
Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti appeared on CNN Thursday to explain how a judge’s denial of his motion was actually a good thing
Michael Avenatti (right) told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer (left) that he planned to refile the motion, which could compel President Trump to give a deposition, as soon as the president and his attorney Michael Cohen file their appropriate paperwork
The judge had indicated that Avenatti had jumped the gun, as neither President Trump nor attorneys for Essential Consultants LLC, the Delaware-registered company Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen used to make the hush money payment, had filed motions with the court.
‘Basically what the court has said is we have to wait for the president and Mr. Cohen to file their motion to compel arbitration and as soon as we do that, or as soon as they do that, we can refile this motion,’ Daniels’ lawyer explained.
‘And that’s exactly what we’re going to do,’ Avenatti added.
Otero gave Trump and Essential Consultants 14 days to file responsive pleadings, and Cohen a 21-day deadline.
Avenatti had filed the motion Wednesday, as he tried to get the court to green-light him taking a deposition from Trump and also Cohen.
‘We want the truth,’ Avenatti said Thursday on CBS This Morning. ‘We want to know the truth about what the president knew, when he knew it, and what he did about it.’
Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti filed a motion to depose President Trump and his lawyer Micheal Cohen over a $130,000 payment paid to the porn star weeks before the presidential election. On Thursday a judge denied the order calling it ‘premature’
Michael Avenatti said Wednesday on CBS This Morning that, ‘we want to know the truth about what the president knew, when he knew it, and what he did about it’
Porn star Stormy Daniels’ first interview aired Sunday night on 60 minutes. The adult film actress claimed she had consensual sex with Donald Trump in 2006, while he was married to Melania Trump
President Trump tiptoed toward a response to the Stormy Daniels news by sending out this tweet Monday morning as her attorney was doing the morning show rounds
Cohen has said then-candidate Trump was unaware that his longtime lawyer was making a payment to the porn star in exchange for her signing a non-disclosure agreement to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter that occurred in 2006.
Cohen also said he paid the $130,000 out of his own pocket and that neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction.
Avenatti has argued that the ‘hush agreement’ Daniels signed in October 2016 is invalid because it was not signed by Trump.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders answered earlier this month, ‘Not that I’m aware of,’ when asked, specifically, if Trump knew about the money.
Asked if the White House had a response to the newest legal maneuvering from Daniels’ lawyer, Huckabee Sanders gave a succinct ‘nope.’
‘We have addressed this once again, extensively, and we have nothing new to add,’ the press secretary said.
Huckabee Sanders also wouldn’t answer a question about subpoenas, calling it ‘hypothetical.’
Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti also wants to get a deposition from President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen (pictured)
Avenatti suggested Wednesday morning that neither Cohen, nor Trump, was telling the truth.
‘And we’re confident … that when we get to the bottom of this, we’re going to prove to the American people that they have been told a bucket of lies,’ Daniels’ lawyer charged.
In the motion, Avenatti states that he wants to question Trump and Cohen for ‘no more than two hours.’
He also vowed to fight it if the president tried to testify behind closed doors.
‘I can’t imagine that the public would sit for that but I mean, obviously if the judge ultimately decided that, we would adhere to it,’ the lawyer said Wednesday.
When asked if he would be willing to settle the case, Avenatti said he and Daniels would ‘consider it’ depending on the terms.
‘I mean, at this point, I don’t see how the case gets resolved short of the truth coming out and the whole truth for the American people,’ the lawyer added.
David Schwartz, Cohen’s attorney, called Avenatti’s filing a ‘reckless use of the legal system in order to continue to inflate Michael Avenatti’s deflated ego and keep himself relevant.’
On CBS This Morning, Avenatti punched back.
‘Mr. Schwartz is a hack straight out of central casting,’ the lawyer responded. ‘Next question.’
Daniels’ lawyer also took issue with a response the president’s lawyer, Charles Harder, gave when asked if the president was a party to the non-disclosure agreement.
‘We heard crickets,’ Avenatti said. ‘They don’t know – he said they don’t know yet whether Mr. Trump was a party to this agreement.’
‘How do you not know whether you’re a party to an agreement unless you’re just trying to make it up as you go along?’ the vocal lawyer argued.
If a judge rules in Daniels’ lawyer’s favor it would be the first time since 1998 that a sitting president was deposed.
President Bill Clinton gave testimony for a sexual harassment case filed by Paula Jones.
A hearing before Judge S. James Otero in the federal court’s Central District in Los Angeles, California is set for April 30.
As precedent, the motion notes that former President Bill Clinton was deposed while in office in 1998 during the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit.
That came after the Supreme Court ruled that a sitting president was not immune from civil litigation on something that happened before taking office and was unrelated to the office.
Jones’ case was dismissed by a judge and then appealed. The appeal was still pending when Clinton agreed to pay $850,000 to Jones to settle the case.
He did not admit wrongdoing.
Avenatti is part of a growing list of lawyers looking to question Trump. Attorneys for a former contestant on one of Trump’s “Apprentice” TV shows have said they want to depose the president as part of a defamation suit.
And the president’s legal team continues to negotiate with special counsel Robert Mueller over the scope and terms of an interview with the president
Additionally, new legal maneuvering occurred directly after Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with Daniels aired.
Cohen’s lawyer demanded that the porn star publicly apologize for suggesting his client intimidated her, with Daniels responding by filing a revised federal lawsuit that accused Cohen of defamation.
In the interview – which brought 60 Minutes its highest ratings since the show’s 2008 post-election interview with President-elect Barack Obama and Michelle Obama – Daniels details a 2006 tryst she had with the billionaire and reality TV star.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, said she met the now-president shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to son Barron.
The adult film actress told Anderson Cooper she only slept with Trump once.
She also detailed an altercation that occurred in 2011 when a man approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot, while she was with her infant daughter, and threatened her life.
At the time, she was about to go public with her story.
‘And a guy walked up on me and said to me, “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,”‘ Daniels said. ‘And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, “That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.'”
The president has been unusually quiet since the interview aired.
He hasn’t held a public event this week, only seen by reporters returning from Mar-a-Lago Sunday night, shortly before the 60 Minutes episode featuring Daniels was broadcast.
On Monday Trump tweeted, ‘So much Fake News. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through it all, our country is doing great!’ as Avenatti’s mug was dominating the morning shows.
The White House has pushed back at suggestions that Trump’s behavior is unusual, with Huckabee Sanders arguing Tuesday that the president doesn’t have to ‘punch back’ at every news story.
‘He also has a country to run and he’s doing a great job with that,’ she noted.
When asked about his limited schedule on Wednesday, the press secretary pointed to the fact that the president is traveling to Ohio Thursday to make an infrastructure address.
‘He’s got a major speech tomorrow,’ she said. ‘He’s been incredibly active all week long,’ the press secretary argued.
When Trump left the White House Thursday, he gave his outgoing Communications Director Hope Hicks a public goodbye, and then boarded Marine One without taking questions from the press.
And while new polling from Politico/Morning Consult indicates that a majority of Americans believe Daniels’ story of the sexual encounter, Trump’s poll numbers haven’t shot down.
This week 42 per cent of registered voters approve of the job the president has done, which is largely unchanged from the 44 per cent of respondents who felt that way last week.