The lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels is asking a U.S. federal court to require President Donald Trump to give a sworn deposition about the alleged 2006 one-night affair she claims to have had with the future U.S. leader.
Attorney Michael Avenatti filed the request Wednesday in a California court. He also asked to depose Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who paid the porn star $130,000 shortly before the 2016 election — money Daniels says was meant to keep her quiet about the liaison that allegedly occurred at a celebrity golf tournament in Nevada.
Avenatti said he wants to know if Trump knew about the payment and consented to it.
“We’re looking for sworn answers from the president and Mr. Cohen about what they knew, when they knew it and what they did about it,” Avenatti said. A hearing on his request was set for April 30.
Trump, who expounds prolifically on a range of subjects on Twitter, has not tweeted about Daniels, although his press aides say he denies all her accusations, including that she and her daughter were threatened in 2011 after she gave an interview about her time with Trump.
The White House has declined to answer questions about the money, referring reporters to Cohen. Trump’s attorney says he paid the money out of a personal line of credit after creating a new corporate account to handle the transaction.
Trump critics say the payment to Daniels constituted an illegal campaign donation, because of its proximity to the election and the fact that its size far exceeded allowable political campaign donation limits.
Avenatti’s request to question Trump and Cohen is part of Daniels’ lawsuit to overturn a contract she signed to keep quiet about what she says was a consensual affair with Trump. She claims the contract should be voided because Trump, referred to in the contract under the pseudonym “David Dennison,” did not sign it. Avenatti said he would need no more than two hours to question each of the men.
Despite the demand that she keep quiet about her relationship with Trump, the 39-year-old actress described it extensively last Sunday on the CBS news show 60 Minutes, which garnered its highest ratings in a decade as 22 million people tuned in to watch.
She says that in 2011, after she had given an interview to a tabloid magazine about the alleged affair in 2006, an unidentified stranger approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot and threatened her as she headed to a gym with her then-infant daughter. She said the man told her to “‘leave Trump alone. Forget the story.’ And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’ And then he was gone.”
A second woman, former Playboy model Karen McDougal, has claimed that she had a 10-month affair with Trump that started at the same golf tournament where Daniels says she met Trump — another liaison claim the president has denied.🔷
(This piece was posted with permission from Voice of America - Licensed March 28, 2018.)