Five months after Donald Trump sued pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels for a staggering $20 million, as Reuters reported, saying that she repeatedly violated a 2016 non-disclosure agreement over an alleged sexual encounter between the two, Trump now says that the “hush” deal was never valid in the first place.
In a federal court filing on Saturday, Trump’s lawyers wrote that the silence agreement for which Daniels was paid $130,000 “was never formed, or in the alternative, should be rescinded,” according to a CNN report. Trump agreed that he was not a party to the agreement, and his lawyer, Charles Harder, asked Daniels to immediately drop Trump from her lawsuit, filed in March, which seeks to void the deal.
But the new court filing by Trump and his lawyer does not explain why, if Trump was not a party to the deal and he considers it invalid, he and his former “fixer” Michael sued Daniels for $20 million to force her to abide by it.
Trump’s signature does not appear on the “hush” contract, a fact which Daniels and her attorney Michael Avenatti say in their lawsuit renders the deal invalid, according to The Washington Post.
On August 21, Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court to a felony campaign finance law violation over the $130,000 payment to Daniels saying under oath, as the Inquisitr reported, that Trump ordered him to make the payment “for the principal purpose of influencing the election.”
According to one survey, reported by Inquisitr, Trump’s “hush money” gambit worked. A YouGov/Economist poll found that five percent of Americans who voted for Trump, which represents about 3.1 million votes, would not have voted for him had they been aware of his sexual encounter with Daniels. Despite losing the popular vote by 2.1 percent, Trump won the Electoral College thanks to a total of 80,000 votes across three states: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
While the filings by Trump and Cohen, pulling out of the Daniels lawsuit and dropping their $20 million countersuit against her, would appear to put an end to Daniels’ case against Trump and Cohen, Avenatti said that he intends to continue pursuing the case. On his Twitter account, he accused Trump of and Cohen of simply attempting to avoid sitting for sworn depositions in the case.
“I have been practicing law for nearly 20 years. Never before have I seen a defendant so frightened to be deposed as Donald Trump, especially for a guy that talks so tough. He is desperate and doing all he can to avoid having to answer my questions. He is all hat and no cattle,” Avenatti wrote.
Trump may not be able to avoid a sworn deposition in a defamation lawsuit brought by Daniels against him. As the Inquisitr has reported, when Daniels revealed a forensic sketch of a man she says made a physical threat against her while telling her to “leave Trump alone,” Trump took to Twitter to call the man in the sketch “non-existent” and accuse Daniels of perpetrating “a total con job.” Daniels subsequently sued Trump for defaming her, by calling her a liar.
In a similar suit brought by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, who says that Trump sexually assaulted her in 2007, Trump agreed this week to provide written answers to questions by Zervos and her lawyers under oath, according to The Washington Post.
Zervos sued Trump for defamation after he publicly said of her and the multiple other women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct, “every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign,” as Vox.com reported