Donald trump has now intervened in the legal dispute over porn star stephanie clifford for the first time himself.
A new lawyer for the president filed a motion on trump’s behalf in a california court on friday seeking to have the case heard in arbitration behind closed doors. Trump will pursue his rights "as the law allows," "USA today" quoted the lawyer, charles harder.
Clifford, who performs under the name stormy daniels, claims to have had an affair with trump in 2006. Trump’s personal lawyer michael cohen had paid her a hush money of $130,000 in october 2016, shortly before the presidential election – out of his own pocket and without the president’s knowledge, as he says.
Clifford now argues that the agreement is not valid because trump himself did not sign it at the time. It has therefore gone before a state court in los angeles. Like harder, cohen now filed a motion in los angeles on friday to transfer the case to a federal court. U.S. Laws allow for non-public arbitration in certain cases, and federal courts are more inclined to do so than state courts.
Cohen’s motion also states, according to media reports, that clifford has violated the confidentiality agreement at least 20 times. Those 20 violations could entitle him to collect $20 million in damages from clifford – one million for each breach of contract, media quoted from the court document. Clifford’s attorney michael avenatti spoke of renewed attempts to intimidate his client and "keep the truth from the american people".
Trump has so far stayed out of the legal wrangling – presumably also to blunt cohen’s claim that he himself knew nothing about the silence agreement. Trump rejects clifford’s claims of affair. Whether she is really legally bound to silence also plays a rough role because the CBS network on 25. March wants to broadcast a detailed interview with her. Many legal experts, however, believe that the trump lawyers have little chance of preventing this from happening.