Donald Trump is pulling out. Through his lawyers, Trump filed papers in a California federal court on Saturday saying that he would no longer attempt to enforce a $130,000 “hush” deal that Daniels signed just days before the 2016 presidential election, Bloomberg News reports. The documents also said that he would drop his $20 million countersuit against Daniels, a suit which claimed that the AVN Hall of Famer owed Trump and his “fixer” Michael Cohen $1 million for every time she spoke publicly about her sexual encounter with Trump, which she says took place in 2006.
Daniels sued Trump and Cohen over the non-disclosure agreement in March, as AVN.com has reported. On Friday, Cohen and his shell company, Essential Consultants, through which the $130,000 was funnelled, filed papers saying they would not enforce the “hush” deal either, and would not continue countersuing Daniels, the Associated Press reported.
But Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said that he and Daniels were not interested in settling the case until Trump and Cohen have given sworn depositions, calling Cohen’s filing “a stunt by Michael Cohen trying to fix it so that Donald Trump is not deposed.”
"Michael Cohen is back to playing games and trying to protect Donald Trump. 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," Avenatti wrote on his Twitter account. “Let me be clear — my client and I will never settle the cases absent full disclosure and accountability. We are committed to the truth. And we are committed to delivering it to the American people.”
Later, Avenatti added a jab at Trump, via Twitter.
“I have been practicing law for nearly 20 yrs. Never before have I seen a defendant so frightened to be deposed as Donald Trump, especially for a guy that talks so tough,” the lawyer wrote. “He is desperate and doing all he can to avoid having to answer my questions. He is all hat and no cattle.”
Trump never actually put his signature on the “hush” agreement, an omission which formed the basis for Daniels and Avenatti to claim that the agreement was not enforceable, as AVN.com reported. Trump’s filing on Saturday also says that he will not contest Daniels’ assertion that the deal to silence her was never valid — raising the question of why Trump and Cohen countersued Daniels at all.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Federal District Court in Los Angeles on September 24.
"These shenanigans by Cohen and Trump are going nowhere," Avenatti said in a CNN interview. "They are desperate."
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