Trump legal team moves to shift Stormy Daniels case to federal court
President Trump’s legal team on Friday filed paperwork to move the lawsuit filed against him by adult-film star Stormy Daniels to federal court.
Bloomberg reported the motion to transfer the lawsuit from California state court to a federal court in Los Angeles was made by Essential Consultants LLC, the company set up by Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, signed a nondisclosure agreement with the entity in 2016. As part of the agreement, she was reportedly paid $130,000 to stay quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.
Trump will support the case’s transfer, according to the Essential Consultants filing cited by Bloomberg.
Daniels’s lawyer Michael Avenatti slammed the court filing in a tweet Friday, calling it “yet another bullying tactic from the president and Mr. Cohen.”
“They are now attempting to remove this case to federal [court] in order to increase their chances that the matter will be decided in private arbitration, thus hiding the truth from the public,” Avenatti wrote.
The filing today is yet another bullying tactic from the president and Mr. Cohen. They are now attempting to remove this case to federal ct in order to increase their chances that the matter will be decided in private arbitration, thus hiding the truth from the public.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 16, 2018
The documents from Trump’s legal team state that Daniels could face up to $20 million in damages if she violates the nondisclosure agreement.
Cohen claims in the documents filed Friday that Daniels violated the agreement 20 times, according to The Washington Post, which reported that Cohen is seeking to force the legal dispute back into private arbitration.
The documents filed Friday also reveal that Trump is being represented in the case by Los Angeles-based attorney Charles Harder.
Harder, who has worked as an attorney for Trump and first lady Melania Trump, previously served as the lead attorney for Hulk Hogan when the former wrestler won a $140 million judgement against the website Gawker over a leaked sex tape, forcing the company into bankruptcy. Hogan and Gawker later reached a $31 million cash settlement.
Daniels is suing Trump to void the nondisclosure agreement in an effort to publicly discuss what she claims to be a relationship she had with Trump in 2006. Daniels has said the nondisclosure agreement is invalid because Trump didn’t sign the document.
Updated: 9:05 p.m.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.