Stormy Daniels’ lawyer again seeks to depose Trump, Cohen
Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, has once again filed a motion to depose President Donald Trump and his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to ask about a $130,000 payout before the 2016 election.
In the motion, filed in federal court in California on Sunday evening, Avenatti also asked for the production of documents on topics relating the agreement, which Daniels argues is not valid.
Daniels is also again seeking an expedited jury trial to determine the validity of the agreement.
Late last month, a federal judge in California put a temporary stop to Avenatti’s initial motion for an expedited trial and discovery process. Judge S. James Otero of the US District Court for the Central District of California said Avenatti was “premature” in making the motion because Trump and Essential Consultants LLC, the company established by Cohen to pay Daniels the $130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair between her and Trump, had not yet filed a petition to compel arbitration. That petition was filed last week.
In the legal filing Sunday, Avenatti requests a deposition of Trump of no more than two hours, a deposition of Cohen of no more than two hours and 10 requests for production of documents directed at Trump and Cohen.
Avenatti said the questions he wants to ask include whether Trump is “David Dennison” or “DD,” as referenced in the agreement; whether Trump knew about the agreement; whether he “truly did not know about the $130,000 payment”; whether the payment was made with Trump’s money; what was Cohen’s role; and “was Mr. Trump personally in an effort to silence Plaintiff in order to benefit his presidential campaign by preventing voters from hearing Plaintiff speak publicly.”
The motion is the latest in the legal battle between Daniels, an adult film actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and Cohen, Trump, and the limited liability company Cohen created to pay her to keep quiet about the alleged affair with Trump more than a decade ago.
Daniels said she was pressed to sign the document, and her legal team now says the agreement is invalid because it was never signed by Trump. Cohen has argued it should be considered in force.
Late last month, Daniels’ legal team amended her lawsuit to include a defamation claim against Cohen. Through White House officials, Trump continues to deny that he had an affair with Daniels.
On Thursday, Trump said he did not know about the $130,000 payment made to Daniels for her silence, his first public acknowledgment of the scandal surrounding the alleged sexual affair that has plagued him for months.