A California judge has ordered a 90-day delay in the lawsuit by adult-film star Stormy Daniels against President Trump and his personal attorney Michael Cohen.
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero issued the three-month stay on Friday, granting Cohen’s previous request which was made in the wake of the April 9 FBI raid on his home, office and hotel room, Fox News reported.
Cohen had said he would plead the Fifth in the lawsuit since planning a defense would be difficult after agents had seized “various electronic devices and documents in my possession, which contain information relating to the $130,000 payment to Plaintiff Stephanie Clifford at the center of this case, and my communications with counsel, Brent Blakely, relating to this action.”
The president’s longtime attorney believed if proceedings were not delayed, his his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination could be jeopardized.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, has sought to invalidate the $130,000 non-disclosure agreement that prohibits her from discussing an alleged affair she had with President Trump back in 2006. The porn star claims that since the agreement was not signed by Trump, it is not valid and therefore she is free to speak publicly about the alleged one-night encounter, even offering to repay the money.
The pause allows the probe to continue while not forcing Cohen to be called to testify, thereby freeing him of the potential of self-incrimination.
Trump has denied the claims by the pron star and has said he did not know that Cohen had paid the $130,000 in hush money. The president admitted Thursday that Cohen “would represent me on some things. He represents me like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, he represented me.”
Michael Avenatti, Clifford’s attorney, indicated that he and his client “certainly respect” the judge’s decision but they “do not agree with it.”
While we certainly respect Judge Otero’s 90 day stay order based on Mr. Cohen’s pleading of the 5th, we do not agree with it. We will likely be filing an immediate appeal to the Ninth Circuit early next week. Justice delayed is justice denied. #basta
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 27, 2018
“We will likely be filing an immediate appeal to the Ninth circuit early next week,” he tweeted on Friday. “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
A hearing date has been set for July 27, according to the court documents.