Trump says ‘witch hunt’ must end as reports say Mueller preparing to file report
Stormy Daniels argues Trump, Cohen can't drop hush-money deal after months of trying to discredit her
Lawyer Michael Avenatti argued Monday that President Trump can't drop a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement with his client, adult-film star Stormy Daniels, after months of publicly trying to discredit her.
Avenatti rejected attempts by Trump and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to walk away from an October 2016 contract to keep Daniels from talking about her alleged 2006 affair with Trump, Bloomberg reported Monday.
Their decision to abruptly drop the case comes after Trump and Cohen have denied Daniels's allegations and called her a liar.
Daniels was initially threatened with having to pay more than $20 million in damages if she talked about the alleged relationship, Bloomberg noted.
"These threats were all premised on a giant lie," Avenatti said in the filing. "If they are now to be believed, Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen never had a good faith basis to assert that they would be able to enforce the settlement agreement."
Avenatti asked the judge not to dismiss the case and said he would meet with Trump and Cohen's legal teams to discuss the matter, Bloomberg reported.
Cohen moved to vacate the agreement on Friday and requested that Daniels return the $130,000 she received in the deal.
Trump attorney Charles Harder said in a Saturday court filing that Trump would not follow through with his threats to sue her.
Harder said in the filing that Trump doesn't consider himself a party to the agreement and doesn't think the contract is valid.
Avenatti argued on Friday that the sudden decision to vacate the agreement is an attempt to prevent Trump from having to sit through a deposition.
"Michael Cohen is back to playing games and trying to protect Donald Trump," Avenatti tweeted. "He is now pulling a legal stunt to try and 'fix it' so that we can't depose Trump and present evidence to the American people about what happened. He is not a hero nor a patriot. He deserves what he gets."