FILE - In this Monday, April 16, 2018 file photo adult film actress Stormy Daniels speaks outside federal court in New York. The company set up by Donald Trump's former personal attorney has agreed to rescind Daniels' hush-money agreement and drop its planned $20 million lawsuit against the porn actress for violating the agreement. An attorney for the company, Essential Consultants, said in a Friday night, Sept. 7, 2018, court filing that the company wants Daniels to repay the $130,000 she was paid as part of the agreement. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
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Company offers to drop Stormy Daniels' hush-money agreement

15 Comments
By MICHAEL BALSAMO and CATHERINE LUCEY

A company created by Donald Trump's former personal lawyer has offered to rescind Stormy Daniels' hush-money agreement and has scrapped a threatened $20 million lawsuit against the porn actress for allegedly violating the deal.

A lawyer for Essential Consultants said the company wants Daniels, who claims a 2006 tryst with Trump, to repay the $130,000 that was part of the nondisclosure agreement signed days before the 2016 presidential election, according to a letter included in a court filing late Friday.

The offer would remove any legal risk to Daniels stemming from her public discussion of the alleged affair and the alleged efforts to hide it. But if a court were to find that the proposal resolved the underlying controversy in her litigation with ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the development could kill efforts by Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, to try to compel the president to give sworn testimony.

Essential Consultants was set up by Cohen, who pleaded guilty in federal court last month to campaign-finance violations and other charges. Though Cohen originally denied having made a hush money payment to Daniels on behalf of Trump, he told the court that he and Trump arranged payments to both Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election.

In addition to the offer to quash the agreement, Essential Consultants also agreed to back off its plan to fight Daniels in private arbitration and will not pursue a lawsuit against her, Brent Blakely, an attorney for the company, said in a letter to Daniels' lawyer. Cohen had said that Daniels could owe $20 million for violating the agreement.

Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told The Associated Press that Friday's development is "a stunt by Michael Cohen trying to fix it so that Donald Trump is not deposed."

Avenatti said he did not have to accept the offer and would not settle the case "without the depositions," which he said would include Trump. He believes the court should invalidate the agreement because it violated campaign finance laws, he said.

Regardless of how a court views the offer by Cohen's company to drop efforts to enforce the agreement, Avenatti has other possible legal routes to pursue Trump. Daniels is also suing Trump and Cohen for defamation.

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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Suck it up, evangelicals...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Gee, the news is already out, so Trump wants his $130K back?

All of this started because Trump couldn't trust that an adult video star would keep her mouth shut. He wanted to control what she could say. Fool.

He needs to be more afraid of being called as a witless, witness for campaign finance violations. Stormy should be called as a witness, since private gag orders don't work in a criminal court.

Nail him.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

But Trump maintains he didn’t sleep with her.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Essential Consultants is essential conceding they have no case.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It didn't work anyway, that liberals are so obsessively fixated by this, but who cares what Trump did with a failed porn star 12 years ago? This is so funny. Liberals crack me up. Lol

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

It didn't work anyway, that liberals are so obsessively fixated by this, but who cares what Trump did with a failed porn star 12 years ago?

You said she was “hot” and praised Trump for playing around with this “hot” porn star.

Have you done a 180 on that?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Don’t forget he was married at the time. Great role model for good old American white children.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It didn't work anyway, that liberals are so obsessively fixated by this, but who cares what Trump did with a failed porn star 12 years ago?

Quite a lot of people probably, but your bringing it up is just a hamfisted attempt to obfuscate.

The actual issue under discussion is the attempt to hush the matter up, not 12 years ago but in 2016, in the closing stages of an election race.

So the real issues here are: was the agreement enforceable? Was it legal? Who did it involve? Who made the payments? Does it violate campaign laws? Does it violate other laws?

This is so funny.

It is, because after suing Daniels, Cohen's career went down the crapper faster than any lawyer in history. He's discredited as a lawyer, he's under criminal investigation, he's pleaded guilty to crimes, and he's surrendered, not by choice, a vast amount of information to law enforcement.

And now he's even begging to be allowed to drop the NDA that he sued to enforce.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

t didn't work anyway, that liberals are so obsessively fixated by this, but who cares what Trump did with a failed porn star 12 years ago? 

Oh, I imagine Melania cares, as while she was home with their months old child, the Great Orange Adulterer was off having a tryst with a porn star. Kinda have to think Ivanka wouldn't be a big fan of that either. But hey, Trump's tagline is MAGA - Make Adultery Great Again.

And once again we get the irony of a Trump supporter saying that an event in Trump's history 12 years ago is nothing, yet Obama sitting in Pastor Wright's church is heresy forever. It's spelled H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y..

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It didn't work anyway, that liberals are so obsessively fixated by this, but who cares what Trump did with a failed porn star 12 years ago? This is so funny. Liberals crack me up. Lol

You completely misunderstand why this is significant. I get that the "it was 12 years ago" nonsense is a conservative talking point to obfuscate the actual issue, but try to keep up.

As has been pointed out to you repeatedly, the issue is illegal campaign contributions. Whether any democrat has received an illegal campaign contribution has no bearing on Trump doing so because one crime doesn't excuse another, so save your breath on spewing that nonsense in an attempt to deflect.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

12 years ago a billionaire businessman has a one night tryst ( maybe ) with a hot porn star, and the media are only talking about it now because he's now the president and they hate him because he beat Hillary.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

You said she was “hot”

Back in the 90s, yeah.

and praised Trump for playing around with this “hot” porn star.

Not praised but I think back then if he was able to get with hot women, good on him.

Have you done a 180 on that?

No

Oh, I imagine Melania cares, as while she was home with their months old child,

Yes, that is between her and her husband, not the public

And once again we get the irony of a Trump supporter saying that an event in Trump's history 12 years ago is nothing, yet Obama sitting in Pastor Wright's church is heresy forever. It's spelled H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y..

Sitting in a church in listening to the sermons of racist pastor it’s not the same as an adulterer. I’m not saying or discounting or even minimizing what happened, but it’s not the same thing, but as always nice try.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

bass4funkToday  07:35 am JST

Not praised but I think back then if he was able to get with hot women, good on him.

Have you done a 180 on that?

No

360, 540, 720?

And once again we get the irony of a Trump supporter saying that an event in Trump's history 12 years ago is nothing, yet Obama sitting in Pastor Wright's church is heresy forever. It's spelled H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y..

Sitting in a church in listening to the sermons of racist pastor it’s not the same as an adulterer.

Quite right, one is being a good Christian, the other is a person doing something that is still considered a Crime in about 20 states.

I’m not saying or discounting or even minimizing what happened, but it’s not the same thing...,

Agreed, it's not the same thing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

12 years ago a billionaire businessman has a one night tryst ( maybe ) with a hot porn star, and the media are only talking about it now because he's now the president and they hate him because he beat Hillary.

They're talking about it because Daniels went public with it a few months ago after realizing that the agreement, legally speaking, is a dud. A nondisclosure agreement is a powerful instrument only so long as the person whose silence has been bought actually believes it is legally binding.

There are many reasons why that dynamic might change: new legal advice given to the payee, or the payee may independently decide they've had enough and want to tell the truth - because after all, these agreements tend to revolve around things that are true (hence the desire to shut that person up).

Whichever way you cut it, an agreement like this, offered to or forced on Daniels to protect a candidate a few weeks away from a presidential election is news, and it will be reported. And when it was, Trump and Cohen completely mishandled it, and the media and public were treated to one comically unlikely story after another.

As this story reports, Cohen is now willing to drop the NDA: it has become very inconvenient both for him and Trump, with potential legal complications for both of them. That's news too, and needs to be reported in detail and in depth.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

SuperLibSep. 9  08:28 am JST

But Trump maintains he didn’t sleep with her.

And I, for one, would accept that as being true.

But, nobody really cares about what he didn’t do with her, do they?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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