Trump And His Longtime Lawyer request The Court Hearing Stormy Daniels' Lawsuit To effect It On Hold

President Donald Trump and his longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, asked a federal court in California on Friday evening to effect Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit against them on hold while the criminal investigation of Cohen proceeds in strange York.

“Because the facts underlying this action and the criminal investigation related to Mr. [Michael] Cohen overlap, Mr. Cohen’s Fifth Amendment rights may be adversely impacted whether this case proceeds,” lawyers for Cohen and President Donald Trump argued in court Friday evening regarding Cohen’s right against self-incrimination. They are asking for the litigation to be stayed.

Daniels, the adult film star whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, is seeking to preserve a 2016 settlement agreement that her lawyer calls a “hush agreement” tossed out, in fragment, because Trump didn’t sign it. Daniels received $130,000 under the agreement, facilitated by Cohen through a company, fundamental Consultants, LLC, that he set up for the payment.

Cohen and the company, represented by Brent Blakely, and Trump, represented by Charles Harder, maintain asked the court to send the case to arbitration — as required by the agreement. Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, argues that the court must first choose whether there even is an agreement and has asked for limited discovery, including depositions of Trump and Cohen and production of certain documents, in order to prove there is not.

However, on April 9, federal agents executed search warrants against Cohen as fragment of an ongoing criminal investigation — main to the request to effect the civil case brought by Daniels on hold.

In Friday night’s filing, Blakely and Harder argue that “where there are overlapping issues in criminal and civil cases, a stay ‘is
appropriate to preserve [an individual’s] Fifth Amendment Rights'” — quoting from a federal court ruling from strange York.

“whether this action is not stayed, Defendants will be unable to fully respond to and defend themselves against the claims asserted by [Daniels] (including in connection with the currently pending motions), resulting in substantial prejudice.” They also argue that Daniels, too, would be prejudiced, because, they write, she “likely would be unable to obtain the documents and deposition testimony that she is seeking from Mr. Cohen” — presumably because he would invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege.

The parties had informed the court earlier on Thursday that the request would be coming and agreed to a scheduled briefing, which the court granted. Daniels opposes the request; her response to Friday evening’s request is due by 6 p.m. PT Monday. Cohen’s reply is due by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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