Avenatti asks court to let Stormy Daniels's case proceed against Trump

Avenatti asks court to let Stormy Daniels's case proceed against Trump

The attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels says he plans to file a motion Thursday asking a judge to let his client's case proceed against President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE.

Michael Avenatti will ask a Los Angeles federal judge shortly to reconsider his decision to delay the lawsuit Daniels brought against Trump, his former attorney Michael Cohen and the limited liability company they created to allegedly keep her quiet about the affair she claims to have had with the president.

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The judge previously delayed the case due to Cohen's separate legal troubles. 

Avenatti is arguing in the motion that statements Trump and his attorney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have made about the settlement agreement and the $130,000 Daniels was paid demonstrate they are fully equipped to defend themselves in court without Cohen.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing to void a nondisclosure agreement she signed preventing her from publicly discussing her alleged affair with Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

She argues Cohen and Trump designed the “hush agreement” to circumvent federal campaign finance law under the Federal Election Campaign Act.

But in an April order, Judge James Otero put the case on hold for 90 days.

Cohen has invoked his Fifth Amendment right in the case to avoid incriminating himself in a separate investigation that federal prosecutors in Manhattan have brought against him.

Otero agreed in April that Cohen is a key witness in the Daniels case and, because he pleaded the Fifth, he and Trump won’t be able to fully respond to and defend themselves against her claims. 

But Avenatti cited recent interviews in which Trump and Giuliani said the New York investigation has nothing to do with the facts in the Daniels case.

“These new revelations — emanating directly from Defendant Trump ­­— cast doubt on whether Mr. Cohen’s Fifth Amendment rights are truly implicated by continuing with this proceeding,” Avenatti argues in the filing.

"Among other things, Mr. Trump — along with his authorized agent Mr. Giuliani — for the first time have confirmed Mr. Trump’s personal involvement in the facts that gave rise to this lawsuit, including in the payment and the reasons the agreement were entered into."

Avenatti said Daniels has agreed to only pursue a deposition from Trump, who is not reportedly under a criminal investigation for any of his dealings relating to the facts of the case.

In a tweet Thursday morning, Avenatti said a hearing on his request has been set for June 21 at 1:30 p.m.