Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit against Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been delayed, CNN reports. The stay in court proceedings will last for 90 days and was based on a claim from Cohen that he would not be able to supply evidence to the court without impinging on his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
The adult film actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims that she had an affair with President Donald Trump and was later paid by Trump and his lawyer to shut up about it.
According to CNN, Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has previously contended that Cohen’s request for “Fifth Amendment protections” were unlawful due to an existing federal court filing in California. Cohen is the subject of an ongoing investigation in New York. Earlier this week, in a California court, he stated that all of the records he had pertaining to the “hush agreement” were seized by the FBI, so he could potentially incriminate himself by offering evidence for the Stormy Daniels case.
NBC reports that the bureau was looking for a non-disclosure agreement that Daniels signed mere days before the 2016 presidential election. Stormy is suing so that the non-disclosure agreement can be declared null and void which will allow her to freely discuss details about the alleged affair. She is also suing Michael Cohen for defamation.
Avenatti countered by arguing that the case could proceed without Cohen’s testimony and that other witnesses could be called, like a representative from the bank that processed the payment to Stormy Daniels. He also suggested that Cohen’s wife could be called as a witness as well as Stormy’s former lawyer, Keith Davidson.
As CNN notes, Avenatti did not suggest Donald Trump as a potential witness even though the president is one of the parties to the lawsuit. But he did cite a previous statement by Trump where he claimed that Cohen “did nothing wrong” with regard to the $130,000 payment that was made to Stormy Daniels.
Despite Avenatti’s arguments, the judge in Stormy’s case sided with Trump’s personal lawyer and the stay was granted.
So, what does this mean for Stormy’s case moving forward? NBC reports that the case will have a new hearing on July 27 after the delay has run its course.