Neither President Trump nor his former attorney Michael Cohen plans to enforce the 2016 nondisclosure agreement signed by adult-film star Stormy Daniels, according to federal court documents that raised questions about the future of her main case against the president.
Lawyers for Trump stated Saturday that he “does not, and will not, contest [Daniels’s] assertion” that the settlement agreement is invalid, according to a document filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The lawyers promised that Trump “will not bring any action, proceeding or claim” against Daniels to enforce the terms of the contract.
Trump’s effort to end the case, along with Cohen’s move on Friday seeking to void the NDA and asking for the return of a $130,000 hush-money payment, came as Daniels’s attorney Michael Avenatti continued his push to depose the president and Cohen.
Asked about the latest filing, Avenatti called it “completely bogus and the epitome of floppy lawyering.” He predicted the effort by Trump attorney Charles Harder would “go nowhere” and said he would be “responding accordingly.”
“Nothing has changed,” Avenatti said of the chance he will be able to depose Trump and Cohen in the case. “We’re marching forward.”
Harder did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The litigation stems from Daniels’s effort to void the NDA that binds her from speaking about her allegations of an affair with Trump in 2006, which he denies. Daniels is also suing Trump for defamation after he described as a “con job” her claim that she was threatened not to speak about their relationship.
The two sides are due in a Los Angeles federal court on Sept. 24 for a scheduling conference in the NDA case. Daniels’s suit is under a stay because of a federal investigation into Cohen’s businesses, which led to him pleading guilty to eight charges last month and to say he acted at Trump’s direction when he arranged hush-money payments to two women before the 2016 election.
Separately, Trump agreed Friday to provide written answers under oath in the defamation lawsuit brought by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, who claims Trump sexually assaulted her in 2007. Trump denies wrongdoing in the case.