First L.A. Hearing Due Today in Stormy Daniels Lawsuit Against Trump

First L.A. Hearing Due Today in Stormy Daniels Lawsuit Against Trump

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Attorneys are expected to gather in a Los Angeles federal courtroom this morning to discuss an attempt by President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer to delay a lawsuit filed by adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who claims she had a sexual encounter with Trump a decade ago.

Lawyers for Trump and his attorney, Michael Cohen, are seeking to have the suit dealing with a non-disclosure agreement postponed for three months because of what could be an overlapping criminal investigation of Cohen in New York. Cohen's home, office and hotel room were recently searched by the FBI. Documents relating to the Daniels case are believed to be among those seized.

``We will appear in the morning and vehemently argue against the attempt by Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump to delay this case,'' Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, wrote on Twitter. ``The American people deserve the truth as quickly as possible.''

Avenatti has argued in court papers that the civil case should move ahead because Trump and Cohen have provided no evidence to bolster their claim that a jury trial would be unfair to them. Avenatti also argues that Trump's attorney has already spoken publicly about the case and that a delay is unfair to his client.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is seeking to have a non-disclosure agreement she signed just before the 2016 presidential election declared invalid. She alleges the agreement, which was intended to silence her about a tryst she says she had with Trump in 2006, is invalid because Trump never signed it.

Cohen says he paid Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket just before the presidential election and that he wasn't reimbursed. Cohen is asking U.S. District Judge S. James Otero to compel closed-door arbitration to resolve the suit. Avenatti is opposing the move, saying the case should be heard in public.

White House press officials have repeatedly said Trump denies having had an affair with Daniels. On Wednesday, Trump took a direct shot at Daniels, accusing her of engineering a ``con job'' by releasing a sketch of somebody she claims threatened her in a parking lot to keep quiet about the alleged sexual encounter.

``A sketch years later about a nonexistent man,'' Trump wrote on his Twitter page. ``A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for fools, but they know it!''

Along with his message, he retweeted a photo posted by a supporter showing Daniels with an ex-boyfriend, who bears a strong resemblance to the sketch Daniels and her attorney released Tuesday.

Daniels claims the man threatened her in Las Vegas in 2011 when reports first began to surface about her alleged affair with Trump. During a Tuesday appearance on ABC's ``The View,'' she and Avenatti also announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the man.

Responding to Trump's Twitter post, Avenatti tweeted that the reward offer was being increased to $131,000. He also referenced the recent FBI raid of Cohen's offices, and suggested that Cohen and Trump are the ones engineering a ``con job.''

Avenatti recently expanded Daniels' lawsuit, adding a defamation allegation against Cohen, who has accused Daniels of lying about the alleged affair and her allegation that she was threatened.

Cohen has filed papers alleging he could seek as much as $20 million from the actress for breaching the non-disclosure pact.

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