Stormy Daniels’ lawyer says President Trump’s threat to seek $20 million in damages from his client is simple “bullying” and an attempt to “hide the truth from the American people.”
The president’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, filed papers in federal court Friday claiming the right to seek $20 million from Daniels, according to The Washington Post. He accused her of violating her non-disclosure agreement with Trump 20 times.
“This is simply more of the same bullying tactics from the president and Mr. Cohen. They are now attempting to remove this case in order to increase their chances that the matter will ultimately be decided in private arbitration, behind closed doors, outside of public view and scrutiny,” Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, told TheWrap.
“To put it simply — they want to hide the truth from the American people. We will oppose this effort at every turn,” he continued.
“The fact that a sitting president is pursuing over $20 million in bogus ‘damages’ against a private citizen, who is only trying to tell the public what really happened, is truly remarkable. Likely unprecedented in our history. We are not going away and we will not be intimidated by these threats,” Avenatti said.
Cohen said that under the NDA, if Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — violates the agreement, she must pay Trump $1 million for each breach.
Earlier Friday, Avenatti told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that the porn actress was “physically threatened to stay silent about what she knew about Donald Trump,” but did not provide other details. He said at least some of the wrongs Trump has committed against his client took place after Trump became president.
The Trump Organization and The White House did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment Friday. But when asked about any threats, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a news briefing earlier in the day that she had “no knowledge of that situation.”
Avenatti told Tapper that Daniels’ upcoming interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” — which, according to the Washington Post, will air on March 24 – will provide more substantive details.
In her lawsuit, filed last week, Daniels said that Trump and Cohen “aggressively sought to silence” her when she planned to make her alleged affair with Trump public in late 2016. It goes on to say that the “Hush Agreement” Cohen had her sign days before is null and void because Trump did not sign it.
Both Cohen and the White House have repeatedly denied the affair.