Attorney in Stormy Daniels Case Seeks to Depose Trump and His Attorney - NECN
President Donald Trump

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Attorney in Stormy Daniels Case Seeks to Depose Trump and His Attorney

Since the validity of a non-disclosure agreement has been questioned, she has detailed what she said took place, most recently in a "60 Minutes" interview



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    An attorney for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who says she had sex with Donald Trump in 2006, has filed a motion seeking a deposition from the president and his attorney, Michael Cohen, in their ongoing dispute about a non-disclosure agreement.

    The filing, submitted Tuesday by attorney Michael Avenatti, also seeks a jury trial for the case and for her team to request some documents from Trump's team. Daniels is arguing that she isn't bound by a non-disclosure agreement signed shortly before the 2016 presidential election because it wasn't valid, since it wasn't signed by one party: Trump.

    Daniels received $130,000 in the non-disclosure agreement in exchange for not discussing the alleged sexual encounter, which the president has denied took place. But since the validity of the contract has been questioned, she has detailed what she said took place, most recently in a "60 Minutes" interview in which she said she was threatened to stay quiet about the alleged affair in 2011.

    Cohen has contended she is violating the agreement, which is still in effect, and owes millions of dollars for doing so.

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    Avenatti is seeking a two-hour deposition with Trump and another with Cohen, as well as up to 10 requests for documents from Trump and Cohen relating to the agreement. He cited the precedent of President Bill Clinton being deposed in a lawsuit filed by Paula Jones, who accused him of sexually harassing her before he was elected.

    "We are confident that after applying Supreme Court precedent from the Clinton matter, the Court will order the depositions and the trial to proceed. We expect to be placing the president and his fixer under oath in the coming months," Avenatti told NBC News.

    Court filings show an April 30 hearing date. 

    White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump had denied the allegations and directed further questions to outside counsel. Cohen's attorney told NBC that the motion is politically motivated and "a reckless use of the legal system."

    The payment, which Cohen has said came out of his own pocket without funds from the Trump Organization or Trump campaign, has separately raised the prospect of violating federal election law, since it might be seen as a campaign contribution far more valuable than the $5,400 limit an individual can give.

    Lawyers in another case have said they want to depose Trump. Summer Zervos, a contestant on "The Apprentice," is suing Trump for defamation after he dismissed her claim that he initiated unwanted sexual contact with her in 2007 as made up. A judge recently said the case could move forward after Trump's attorneys sought to dismiss it. 

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    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018)