Due to the investigation by federal prosecutors in New York into Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and "fixer" Michael Cohen, the lawsuit by AVN Hall of Famer Stormy Daniels against Trump and Cohen, in which she seeks to be released from the “hush” agreement she signed over a sexual encounter with Trump, has been on hold since April, only about a month after she filed the suit.
But now the lawsuit is back on and Los Angeles-based federal Judge S. James Otero has set a date for the next hearing in the case, according to a court document posted on Twitter by Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti. That date will be September 24—the same day that Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, goes on trial in Washington D.C., on a list of money laundering, fraud, and witness tampering charges.
Cohen on August 21 pleaded guilty to eight counts of tax fraud and campaign finance violations, and Manafort was convicted on eight counts of tax and bank fraud in the first of his two trials the same day.
When Cohen pleaded guilty, Avenatti petitioned Otero to lift the stay on the Daniels’ suit, which Otero had imposed due to the New York investigation of Cohen.
“Now that Mr. Cohen has admitted to his crimes under oath before the district judge in the Southern District of New York, there is no substantive justification for putting this case on hold,” Avenatti said. “A myriad of litigation activities may occur in this case that would not disturb what remains of Mr. Cohen’s Fifth Amendment rights.”
The new book Fear: Trump in the White House by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Bob Woodward contains a litany of damaging revelations about Trump—including one in particular that could have a direct bearing on the Daniels case.
"Trump gave some private advice to a friend who had acknowledged some bad behavior toward women,” Woodward writes. “Real power is fear. It's all about strength. Never show weakness. You've always got to be strong. Don't be bullied. ... 'You've got to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women.'"
Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing in the Daniels case, continued with his explanation of how handle “these women,” according to an Axios report on the Woodward book.
"If you admit to anything and any culpability, then you're dead. That was a big mistake you made. You didn't come out guns blazing and just challenge them,” Trump said, according to Woodward. “You showed weakness. You've got to be strong. You've got to be aggressive. You've got to push back hard. You've got to deny anything that's said about you. Never admit.'"
Photo By Adam Bielawski / Wikimedia Commons