Trump Drops Legal Threat Against Stormy, Won't Risk Being Questioned

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Lawyer Michael Avenatti argued Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump officials to announce closure of Palestinian Liberation Organization office in DC: report Alibaba's Jack Ma to step down as chairman in 2019 Trump expected to soon declassify Carter Page, Bruce Ohr documents: report MORE can't drop a $130,000 hush money agreement with his client, adult-film star Stormy Daniels, after months of publicly trying to discredit her.

On Saturday, Trump's attorney Charles Harder said in a separate court filing that the president would not seek to enforce the agreement, and would not contest Daniels's "assertion that the Settlement Agreement was never formed, or in the alternative, should be rescinded".

Trump's effort to end the case, along with Cohen's move Friday seeking to void the NDA and asking for the return of a $130,000 hush-money payment, came as Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti continued his push to depose the president and Cohen.

That claim was finally buried last week following Trump's former attorney and convicted felon Michael Cohen agreeing to tear up the contract. Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges last month, including two campaign finance violations. Over the weekend, Trump's legal team tried to resolve at least one of those matters by releasing Daniels from what has already proven to be a wildly unsuccessful non-disclosure agreement.

Cohen's admission that he broke the law by paying Daniels through a shell company he set up just before the election mirrors allegations made in January by the nonpartisan ethics group Common Cause in a complaint to the Justice Department after the Wall Street Journal broke the story of the hush money. Daniels is also suing Trump for defamation for suggesting she was lying about being threatened to keep quiet about the affair.

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Avenatti pushed back after the filing Friday, saying that he doesn't have to accept the offer and that he and Daniels "will never settle the cases absent full disclosure and accountability".

Avenatti, who is exploring a run for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Trump's relinquishing of his rights under the confidentiality deal - and Cohen's similar move - would not put a stop to her lawsuit. Cohen had said that Daniels could owe $20 million for violating the agreement.

Trump's legal maneuver on Saturday marked a significant development in the lengthy legal saga involving Daniels. "You saw the clip from Miss Sanders, stating at the White House lectern. she claims she won the arbitration that we now know was bogus to begin with, because it was based on an agreement, according to Trump now, that never sprung into action, was never valid to begin with".

The company wants Daniels to repay the $130,000 she was paid, Blakely wrote.

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