Trump attorney moves to have Stormy Daniels defamation case dismissed

President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE's attorney Michael Cohen on Tuesday filed a motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit by adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who claims the president defamed her by denying an alleged 2006 affair.

The court filing, obtained by CNN, says Daniels's defamation claim is nothing more than an attempt to keep the dispute in court and the media rather than move to private arbitration proceedings.


The case is "completely without merit and appears to be a desperate attempt by Plaintiff to keep at least a portion of this case out of arbitration," Cohen wrote in the filing.

Daniels's attorney, Michael Avenatti, has argued that his client's reputation has been harmed by Trump's denial of the affair, which he said was "meant to convey that Ms. Clifford is a liar." Daniels's real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Cohen's filing comes a day after FBI agents conducted a raid of his office to obtain documents related to Daniels and other matters, including some communications with Trump, as part of a referral from the office of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE.

The raid did not appear to be directly related to Mueller's investigation.

Investigators on Monday seized documents related to Cohen's $130,000 payment to Daniels, a payment he admits to making days before the 2016 election as part of a nondisclosure agreement.

Cohen denies that the payment, which Trump said last week he did not know about, constitutes an unreported campaign donation to the Trump campaign.

Trump remarked Monday that the FBI's raid on his lawyer's office was a "disgrace" to the country.

“It’s a real disgrace,” Trump told reporters at the White House. "It’s an attack on what we all stand for.”

Trump also lashed out Tuesday with two morning tweets.

The president in two tweets posted just after 7 a.m. declared that "attorney-client privilege is dead!" and called the ongoing investigation headed by Mueller a "total witch hunt."