Trump's Lawyer Expected to Seek Stay in Stormy Daniels Lawsuit

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated at 12:15 p.m. PDT Friday, April 13, to include details about the criminal investigation of Michael Cohen.

LOS ANGELES—Michael Cohen—the personal attorney for Donald Trump and his “fix-it” man—is expected to ask for a stay in the Stormy Daniels lawsuit against him and Trump.

According to a report from Reuters, Cohen notified the U.S. District Court here in Los Angeles he will file the request “on the grounds that an ongoing criminal investigation overlaps with the facts of this case.”

The criminal investigation Cohen referred to was made public this week when FBI agents on Monday conducted a no-knock search warrant of his office, home and hotel room by the FBI. In the days since the raid, it’s been revealed agents were looking for documents and information involving Cohen’s admitted payment of $130,000 to Daniels in 2016, just before the general election, to keep quiet about an alleged affair between her and Trump in 2006. Cohen has denied the payment was intended to influence the election, which could be a violation of campaign finance laws.

Prosecutors publicly acknowledged for the first time April 13 that they had seized records from Cohen, and court documents show Cohen has been under criminal investigation for several months.

The acknowledgement came as Cohen applied to have the chance to determine if the documents seized are privileged or relevant to the investigation before they are turned over to prosecutors. A new attorney for Trump, Joanna Hendon, filed paperwork Friday asking for additional time to address the matter, and a hearing has been scheduled for Monday in Manhattan federal court.

Federal agents also sought records earlier this week from the Trump Organization about the payoff, as well as information related to the now infamous Hollywood Access tape. 

On Tuesday afternoon, NBC News reported Daniels is now officially cooperating with federal officials in their investigation of the hush money payoff.

In his notice to the court, Cohen noted he could invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if the stay is not granted.

Michael Avenatti, lawyer for Stormy Daniels, told Reuters that Cohen’s attorney told him that Cohen will plead the Fifth if his application for a stay is denied. Cohen’s attorney Brent Blakely, however, said no decision has been made on whether his client will assert his Fifth Amendment right.

The judge in the case has given Cohen until Friday evening to formally request the stay, Reuters reported. If the request is filed, Daniels and her attorneys will have until Monday to file opposition, and Cohen will have until Tuesday evening to respond.