A federal judge has ruled to put a stop to the efforts of Stormy Daniels, aka Stephany Clifford, to take her lawsuit to the next level.
The judge decided that she would not be able to continue her efforts to get out of her “hush” agreement, partially due to the ongoing criminal investigation of President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
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While not mentioned by name, President Trump is referenced in the suit by a pseudonym.
“The gravity of the criminal investigation and the various competing interests in this action counseled in favor of a temporary stay,” said U.S. District Judge James Otero, issuing his ruling in a federal court in Los Angeles.
Daniels has petitioned the court to reconsider, and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, had hope that their case might go forward because of the fact that President Trump has now acknowledged that there was an agreement, which is something that he believed the judge was unaware of when the ruling was handed down.
However, that argument did nothing to sway Judge Otero.
“Mr. Trump or Mr. Giuliani’s belief in Mr. Cohen’s innocence has absolutely no bearing on Mr. Cohen’s Fifth Amendment privilege,” Judge Otero said. “As the holder of the privilege, it is Mr. Cohen himself who must determine whether there is a reasonable ‘risk of incrimination’ that would justify his silence,” he said.
That decision came after Avenatti spent weeks attempting to convince the judge to allow him to depose the President and obtain the related documents they believed would prove their case.
According to Daniels, the non-disclosure agreement should have been invalidated if only because it was signed by Michael Cohen, and not President Trump.
The case to postpone was ruled on in favor of Cohen, because of the fact that issues he was questioned about during the lawsuit, could incriminate him during the ongoing criminal investigation that caused his home and office to be raided in April.
H/T: Daily Mail