Daniels' Attorney Seeks to Move Case Against Trump Forward

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The attorney for Stormy Daniels today filed papers in Los Angeles federal court requesting that a judge lift the 90-day stay on the adult-film actress' lawsuit against President Trump and his lawyer, and allow the case to go forward.

Michael Avenatti's request comes a month after U.S. District Judge S. James Otero agreed to put the lawsuit on hold at the request of Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who claimed he would assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if questioned because of an ongoing criminal investigation against him in New York.

In the new filing, Avenatti argued that recent statements made by Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, contradict Cohen's case for seeking the temporary hold in the Daniels lawsuit in the first place.

The statements ``call into question whether Mr. Cohen's Fifth Amendment rights relating to the matters at issue in this case are as compelling as previously argued,'' Avenatti wrote.

Cohen had told the court in a declaration that he could not testify in the lawsuit without breaching his Fifth Amendment right as a result of the ongoing criminal investigation of Cohen's businesses in New York and a $130,000 ``hush'' payment to Daniels.

A hearing on Avenatti's request is set for June 21 in downtown Los Angeles.

Daniels -- whose real name is Stephanie Clifford -- is suing Trump and Cohen, as well as the shell company Essential Consultants, seeking to nullify a 2016 non-disclosure agreement that attempted to prevent her from speaking out about her alleged affair with Trump. Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence.

Also in Thursday's filing, Avenatti argued that Daniels' lawsuit against Trump should still continue, even if it remains delayed for Cohen. If the judge grants the request and the case against Trump moves forward, Avenatti is expected to try and force Trump to answer questions under oath.

Daniels is hoping to invalidate the non-disclosure agreement she signed before the 2016 presidential election because, she argues, Trump never signed it.

Through White House officials, Trump has denied the affair, although Cohen has admitted paying Daniels $130,000 as part of the agreement. He initially said he used his own money to pay Daniels and was not reimbursed by Trump. However, Trump -- who initially publicly denied knowledge of the payment -- subsequently conceded that Cohen was reimbursed.

The lawsuit also accuses Cohen of defamation over comments he made about Daniels' truthfulness. Daniels also filed a separate defamation suit against Trump in New York, alleging that the president libeled her by saying she lied about a man she said threatened her to force her to keep quiet about her alleged relationship with Trump.

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