UPDATED with attorneys’ statements, 4:35 PM: The attorneys for Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen — who is President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer — are commenting about what Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ said in her White House press briefing today. Without being asked about it, she revealed from the podium that revelation that Trump “won” his arbitration with the porn actress over a “hush agreement” made after their alleged affair and just before the 2016 election.
Cohen lawyer Lawrence Rosen said an arbitration judge found that Daniels’ “had violated the agreement and enjoined her from, among other things, filing this lawsuit. … We intend to pursue our recourse in the arbitration as agreed to by both parties and continue to categorically refute the claims alleged by [Daniels] and her counsel.”
Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, fired back in a statement: “First of all, it does not appears as if [Trump] was even a party to the arbitrations Ms. [Daniels] is referring to. How can you win something you’re not even a part of? Secondly, claiming that Mr. Trump ‘won’ at arbitration when there has been no hearing, no notice to Ms. [Daniels], no opportunity given to her to respond, and no decision on the merits, is completely bogus.”
Meanwhile, NBC News and New York Times are reporting this evening that an arbitrator granted a restraining order against Daniels on February 27. But Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, questioned whether it was valid as it was filed on behalf of Cohen, not Trump.
PREVIOUSLY, March 6: Presidential historians are looking into this as we speak, but the early consensus is that no sitting U.S. commander in chief ever has been sued by a porn star. Along with just about everything else that’s happened in the past 14 months, that apparently has changed.
Stephanie Clifford, the veteran adult-film actress known as Stormy Daniels, has filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump — aka “David Dennison,” it says — claiming that the “hush agreement” she signed in October 2016 to keep quiet about their alleged afain is invalid because Trump failed to sign it. The suit was filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here).
No reaction from the White House — or Twitter — as yet, unless this Trump tweet is a hint that his next Chief Economic Advisor has a Ph.D. in gettin’ it on:
As noted below, the alleged First Affair began about a year and a half after Trump married Slovenian export Melania Knavs. Their son Barron was born in March 2006.
“Ms. Clifford began an intimate relationship with Mr. Trump in the Summer of 2006 in Lake Tahoe and continued her relationship with Mr. Trump well into the year 2007,” the suit alleges. “This relationship included, among other things, at least one “meeting” with Mr. Trump in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel located within Los Angeles County.”
Enough legalese. Get to the good stuff!
The plaintiff notes that after the infamous Access Hollywood tape surfaced in October 2016 — the one in which our future president says he likes to grab women “by the pussy” — “several women came forward publicly to tdl their personal stories about their sexual encounters with Mr. Trump. Around this time, Ms. Clifford likewise sought to share details concerning her relationship and encounters with Mr. Trump with various media outlets.”
And that she did.
“As a result of Ms. Clifford’s efforts aimed at publicly disclosing her story and her communications with various media outlets,” the lawsuit states, “Ms. Clifford’s plans came to the attention of Mr. Trump and his campaign, including Mr. Michael Cohen … [who] worked as the ‘top attorney’ at the Trump Organization from 2007 until after the election and presently serves as Mr. Trump’s personal attorney. He is also generally referred to as Mr. Trump’s “fixer.” After discovering Ms. Clifford’s plans, Mr. Trump, with the assistance of his attorney Mr. Cohen, aggressively sought to silence Ms. Clifford as part of an effort to avoid her telling the truth, thus helping to ensure he won the Presidential Election ..Mr. Cohen subsequently prepared a draft non-disclosure agreement and presented it to Ms. Clifford and her attorney (the ‘Hush Agreement’).”
Hush agreement, eh?” Read it here.
“By design of Mr. Cohen,” the suit claims, “the Hush Agreement used aliases to refer to Ms. Clifford and Mr. Trump. Specifically, Ms. Clifford was referred to by the alias “Peggy Peterson” or “PP.” Mr. Trump, on the other hand, was referred to by the alias “David Dennison” or “DD.”
“DD” — get it? As Butt-head would say, “Heh-heh heh. Heh-heh.”
It continues: “On or about October 28, 2016, only days before the election, two of the parties signed the Hush Agreement – Ms. Clifford and Mr. Cohen (on behalf of EC). Mr. Trump, however, did not sign the agreement, thus rendering it legally null and void and of no consequence.”
But wait, there’s more.
“Despite having detailed knowledge of the Hush Agreement ‘and its terms, including the proposed payment of monies to Ms. Clifford and the routing of those monies through EC, Mr. Trump purposely did not sign the agreement so he could later, if need be, publicly disavow any knowledge of the Hush Agreement and Ms. Clifford. Despite Mr. Trump’s failure to sign the Hush Agreement, Mr. Cohen proceeded to cause $130,000.00 to be wired to the trust account of Ms. Clifford’s attorney. He did so even though there was no legal agreement and thus no written nondisclosure agreement whereby Ms. Clifford was restricted from disclosing the truth about Mr. Trump.”
Tellingly, the next line reads: “Mr. Trump was elected President of the United States on November 8, 2016.”
Ultimately, Clifford/Daniels’ case hinges on the fact that “DD” never signed the deal, making it null and void.
Attorney Michael J. Avenatti of Avenatti & Associates in Newport Beach, CA, is representing the plaintiff in the suit, which seeks a judgment declaring that “no agreement was formed between the parties.”