A lawyer representing Stormy Daniels has made a request in federal court to get a deposition from US President Donald Trump. The legal battle is being fought over a non-disclosure agreement wherein Ms Daniels said she was paid to stay quiet about her sexual encounter with the then reality TV star Trump.
Ms Daniel’s attorney Michael Avenatti, also asked if he could get a deposition from Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer and the man that Daniels is suing over charges of defamation. In the motion, Avenatti said that he wouldn’t need more than 2 hours to question both Trump and Cohen.
Avenatti said that they were “looking for sworn answers” regarding what Trump and Cohen knew and what they did at the time. While he admitted that in every legal battle you need to be “open to settlement” he disclaimed that he did not see how the case could be settled in any way.
Ms Daniels, also known by her given name Stephanie Clifford, had sued trump originally on the 6th of March claiming that he never signed his name to the non-disclosure agreement from 2016. The agreement was strategic in that it kept Daniels quiet during Trump’s presidential run where a story about his infidelity might have ruined his chances of winning.
Cohen has since said that the $130,000 came from his personal finances and asserted that Trump never actually slept with Ms Daniels. Following a recent interview on TV program 60 minutes, Avenatti amended the lawsuit with defamation claims because Cohen suggested Daniels was a liar.
In the TV interview, Daniels said she and her child had been threatened by an unknown man she believes was linked to Donald Trump.
In a statement, Cohen’s own lawyer David Schwartz said that the lawsuit was a “reckless use of the legal system” and that Avenatti was only representing Daniels to inflate his “deflated ego”.
The lawsuit rests on precedent set by the 1998 lawsuit against Bill Clinton wherein the then president was deposed. The precedent sets out that a president is not immune from civil lawsuits when it references an act that took place before taking office.
The case was settled when Clinton paid $850,000 although he never admitted any wrongdoing.
President Trump has continually denied ever sleeping with Daniels. While Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct by other women, the case with Daniels was completely consensual as she believed that she would advance a TV career through Trump.