Stormy Daniels’ lawyer seeks to depose President Trump, Michael Cohen

‘ attorney asked a federal judge this morning for permission to depose President Donald J. Trump about his knowledge of an agreement to pay the porn star $130,000 a week and a half before the 2016 election.

In a motion filed in federal court in Los Angeles, Daniels’ attorney, Michael J. Avenatti, requested a deposition “of no greater than two hours” of the President. Avenatti also asked for a court order to depose the President’s personal attorney, Michael D. Cohen, who has said he made the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels with his own funds and without Mr. Trump’s knowledge.

If successful, Avenatti’s motion would require the President to explain, under oath, what he knew about the secrecy agreement and when. The testimony could potentially play a role in determining whether campaign finance laws were broken by the President, Mr. Cohen, or the Trump campaign.

Stormy Daniels “intends to prove that the Hush Agreement did not have a lawful object or purpose,” Avenatti argues in the motion. “Rather, the Agreement and the $130,000 payment made pursuant to the Agreement, was for the ‘purpose of influencing’ the 2016 presidential election by silencing Plaintiff from speaking openly and publicly about Mr. Trump just weeks before the 2016 election.”

Avenatti is also asking U.S. district court judge S. James Otero to allow Stormy Daniels’ legal team to issue “no more than ten targeted requests for production of documents directed to Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen on various topics relating to the Agreement.”

David Schwartz, an attorney who serves as a spokesperson for Michael Cohen, said shortly before the motion was filed: “I’m sure he [Avenatti] does want to depose the president. This case is so illogical, it’s not going to happen. You can’t make that happen by bringing a frivolous action.”

In a statement provided to CBS News Wednesday morning, Schwartz called the motion “a reckless use of the legal system in order to continue to inflate Michael Avenatti’s deflated ego and keep himself relevant. His statements are ludicrous when he asks where Michael Cohen and are? He knows they are following the rules of the court. They are handling the case in a court of competent jurisdiction and as a lawyer, he needs to do the same. This is politically motivated and people see through this charade.”

 

 

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