Judge Puts Stormy Daniels Lawsuit Against Michael Cohen On Hold
California Judge James Otero accepted Michael Cohen’s request to halt the Stormy Daniels lawsuit against him for 90 days, as he deals with an FBI probe in New York.
Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and “fixer,” told the court that he would exercise his Fifth Amendment rights not to incriminate himself in the Daniels case as he deals with related criminal charges in New York State after an FBI raid of his hotel room and office turned up information relating to the Daniels lawsuit.
“The significance of the FBI raid cannot be understated,” wrote Otero who added further that he believes Cohen could be indicted. “Whether or not an indictment is forthcoming, and the Court thinks it likely based on these facts alone, these unique circumstances counsel in favor of stay.”
Cohen orchestrated the hush money payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, after her alleged affair with the president before he was elected in 2016. In her lawsuit against Cohen, Daniels is challenging the legality of the agreement as well as determining whether or not the president was aware of and consented to an agreement at all.
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“Both of those topics could have an impact on the criminal proceedings and may be legitimately interpreted as potentially incriminating to Mr. Cohen,” Otero explained. “Any deposition taken of Mr. Cohen, assuming he took full advantage of his Fifth Amendment privilege, would thus be utterly useless to the court.”
The attorney for Daniels, Michael Avenatti, said they plan to file an appeal. The pause allowed by Judge Otero will prevent Daniels from moving forward in her plan to depose President Trump and obtain documents and testimony related to the agreement by Cohen.
Avenatti took to Twitter to after the order was issued adding that he plans to file an immediate appeal to the Ninth Circuit court early next week because “justice delayed is justice denied.”
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
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