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Judge rejects trial demand in Stormy Daniels case

UPDATED: Thu., March 29, 2018, 11:48 a.m.

In this image from video, Michael Avenatti, attorney and spokesperson for adult film star Stormy Daniels, listens to a reporters' question during an interview at The Associated Press, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in New York. (Joe Frederick / Associated Press)
In this image from video, Michael Avenatti, attorney and spokesperson for adult film star Stormy Daniels, listens to a reporters' question during an interview at The Associated Press, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in New York. (Joe Frederick / Associated Press)

NEW YORK – A porn star who said she had an affair with President Donald Trump and is suing so she can discuss the alleged relationship can’t have a jury trial or question the president under oath because the request is premature, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled Thursday.

Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, had been seeking to invalidate the non-disclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election and offered to return the $130,000 she was paid to “set the record straight.”

Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, on Wednesday asked for a jury trial and sought sworn testimony from Trump and his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, about the payment that was made to Daniels as part of the nondisclosure agreement.

Trump’s attorneys filed documents in federal court in Los Angeles earlier this month seeking to compel private arbitration in the case and argued that Daniels could owe about $20 million for violating the agreement.

Daniels argues the agreement is legally invalid because it was only signed by Daniels and Cohen, but was not signed by Trump.

She’s said she had sex with Trump once in 2006 and their relationship and continued for about a year. Trump married his current wife, Melania Trump, in 2005, and their son, Barron, was born in 2006.

The White House has said Trump denies having an affair.

Cohen’s attorney, David Schwartz, told CBS that the filing seeking to compel Trump and Cohen’s testimony was a “reckless use of the legal system.”

Avenatti is planning to refile his motion as soon as Trump’s attorneys formally demand an arbitration proceeding in the case, he said Thursday.

The ruling, handed down on Thursday, said the case “is not the most important matter on the court’s docket.”


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