A federal judge in Los Angeles rejected a motion by adult film actress Stormy Daniels Thursday to depose President Donald Trump over an alleged affair with the performer.
Her attorney Michael Avenatti said he plans to re-file the request once attorneys for Trump and his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, file their formal response to Daniels’ lawsuit trying to nullify a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) she signed last year.
Avenatti, whose motion requested two-hour depositions of Trump and Cohen, argued that both are expected to file papers forcing the case into private arbitration “to hide the facts from public view.”
“We expect this any day,” Avenatti tweeted in response to the ruling by US District Judge S. James Otero.
Otero noted that although Trump and Cohen had stated their intention to compel arbitration, they had not yet filed a petition.
“If such a petition were filed, a number of the questions raised in (Daniels’) motion may be answered in the petition, thus limiting the need for discovery on these issues,” the judge said.
“If such a petition is never filed, plaintiff’s motion is moot. Accordingly, plaintiff’s motion is premature and must be denied.”
Daniels — real name Stephanie Clifford — gave a blockbuster interview to CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday, describing a brief affair she alleges she had with Trump more than a decade ago.
White House press officials have repeatedly said Trump denies having unprotected sex with Daniels in 2006 although the president himself has remained uncharacteristically silent, holding no public appearances for a fifth straight day Wednesday.
Daniels, who received $130,000 from Cohen for the NDA shortly before the 2016 presidential election, sued on March 6, alleging Trump never signed the “hush agreement,” rendering it null and void.
She amended the lawsuit Monday, adding a defamation allegation against Cohen, who has accused Daniels of lying about the alleged affair and her accusation that someone physically threatened her after she went public.
Cohen has filed papers alleging he could seek as much as $20 million from the actress for breaching the NDA.
Avenatti argued in the court papers that questioning Trump is critical for resolving the issue of whether he was aware of the NDA Daniels signed.
Marine Corps unit busted planning to hold a party at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort: report
President Donald Trump is facing yet another corruption scandal after a Marine Corps unit was caught planning to hold a party at the commander-in-chief's Mar-a-Lago resort.
"At a time when taxpayer and foreign-government spending at Trump Organization properties is fueling political battles, a U.S. Marine Corps reserve unit stationed in South Florida hopes to hold an annual ball at a venue that could profit the commander-in-chief," the Miami Herald reported Thursday.
Internet blown away by Giuliani’s ‘pants-sh*tting panic’ freak out on CNN’s Cuomo
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received harsh reviews of his Thursday evening appearance on CNN with anchor Chris Cuomo.
Many people worried about Giuliani's mental health after watching the interview.
Here is some of what people were saying about Trump's defense attorney.
Maddow is visibly shocked Trump is claiming in court the president can’t even be investigated
The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC was flabbergasted by the latest court moves by President Donald Trump as he continues to hide his tax returns from investigators.
The host noted the ongoing legal battle Trump is waging to keep his accounting firm, Mazars, from handing over eight years of his tax returns to New York state investigators.
The host was shocked by the headline on the front-page of The Washington Post website.
[caption id="attachment_1544917" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Headline in The New York Times: "Trump Lawyers Argue He Cannot Be Criminally Investigated" screengrab.[/caption]