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Judge rejects Stormy Daniels’ bid for Trump to give evidence

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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‘Expect the worst’ as Trump doubles down on racist rhetoric to rile up his base: columnist

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In a column for the Daily Beast, commentator and Sirius radio host Dean Obeidallah claims that all signs point to Donald Trump doubling down on racist rhetoric in an effort to rally his base as his internal polling shows him losing the key states that propelled him to the White House.

As Trump officially launches his re-election bid in Orlando on Tuesday night, Obeidallah notes Trump is falling back on what helped him appeal to disgruntled white workers in the Midwest and that he will likely ramp up attacks on undocumented immigrants -- including official actions.

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‘Crimes against humanity’: Trump’s plan to deport ‘millions of illegal aliens’ – and separate parents from kids – draws outrage

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President Donald Trump Monday night, less than 24 hours before he officially kicks off his re-election campaign, leaked details of a secret U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation that has been in the planning stages for months.

"Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in," Trump tweeted at 9:20 PM ET.The Washington Post, three minutes before midnight, published its report based on the President's surprise tweet, revealing details of ICE's plan.

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2020 Election

Here’s why ‘electability’ is a sucker’s bet in the 2020 primaries

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Primary candidates fight hard to be seen as the person best positioned to beat an incumbent, but electability is only clear in hindsight.  It isn’t quantifiable. Voters may work backwards, concluding that the candidate they personally prefer is also the most likely to win.

It’s a perception often grounded in lazy conventional wisdom. CBS reports that in key 2020 battleground states, “the belief that [Joe Biden]] could fare best against President Trump is currently propelling [him] in the early Democratic nomination race.” That belief is common despite the fact that the former Vice President is well known for being overly handsy and putting his foot in his mouth, has previously run two notably bad presidential campaigns and has been dogged by accusations of plagiarism dating back to law school.

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