In a Wednesday panel discussion on CNN, attorney and legal analyst Page Pate walked through the reason President Donald Trump might be in trouble when it comes to the Stormy Daniels case.
"It is certainly an aggressive move to go ahead and file a motion with a federal judge to see if they will order the president and Michael Cohen to submit to a deposition," he explained. "But I do think he has a good legal argument for it. This particular agreement does contain an arbitration clause."
He went on to explain that in 99 percent of the arbitration clauses in contracts, judges uphold he contract. This case, however, is different.
"I think this arbitration clause and this entire nondisclosure agreement was so poorly drafted that now Stormy Daniels' legal team does have a solid legal argument that there was never any deal in place," Pate continued. "That is an issue that a federal judge has to pass on before the case is sent to arbitration. So, yes, now that there's an issue for the federal judge, it is realistic and understandable to request some limited discovery, including depositions of the people who supposedly were parties to this agreement."
Juana Summers, a senior political writer for CNN, explained that the polls on this don't exactly matter when it comes to addressing the morality of Trump.
"I think if more of this comes out, if the president does indeed have to go and be deposed, that it could speak to his credibility, his character," she explained. "I think the bigger question here is what whether or not there is actually a legal question here. If Stormy Daniels was paid money by Michael Cohen for reasons related to the presidential campaign, then that goes into campaign finance territory, and that could have significant ramifications for this White House."
Host Brianna Keilar wondered if Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti is losing credibility by going on news shows and antagonizing Trump on Twitter. But Pate said that in the court it isn't likely anyone will care. When it comes to the end of the case, Pate said that Trump might want to bring Avenatti on as his own personal attorney.
"Because he is following the exact type of tactics we've seen Trump's legal teams use in the past when Trump was a private citizen," he said. "So, the more he presses, the more aggressive he is in this litigation, the more likely it is he's going to get Trump in a deposition, and then that's where it becomes critically important. Any question that the president answers under oath falsely in a deposition could be grounds for criminal prosecution of perjury. Completely aside from any campaign finance violations or any Russia collusion. Lying under oath in a deposition is a crime."
Watch the full conversation below: