Stormy Daniels case should be resolved privately, say Trump lawyers


"This is a democracy, and this matter must be decided in an open court of property of the people," Avenatti said.


Michael D. Cohen, President Trump's personal attorney, said he paid Ms. Clifford $ 130,000 to keep quiet about her claims of an affair.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Mr. Trump and his attorneys have been vigorously trying to avoid further public statements from Ms. Clifford, particularly since she said in February that she believed Mr. Cohen had violated the agreement and that, as a result, he was no longer obligated to do so. Mr. Cohen secretly obtained a restraining order at the end of that month to prevent her from speaking.

And last month, Mr. Trump's legal team filed a motion to move the case from a state court to a federal court, motivated by a desire to keep the case in arbitration: the Federal Arbitration Act favors arbitration in certain types of disputes, and federal courts in general have applied that law more strictly than state courts.

Also on Monday, America Media Inc. responded to a lawsuit by former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also claims to have had an affair with Mr. Trump. Ms. McDougal claimed in her lawsuit that the company, which publishes The National Enquirer, tricked her when she made a deal of $ 150,000 to crush her story, buy exclusive rights during the campaign but never publish anything.

American Media asked the Superior Court of Los Angeles to dismiss Ms. McDougal's lawsuit based on an "anti SLAPP" statute, which many states have enacted to stop frivolous lawsuits designed to "cool the valid exercise of the constitutional right of freedom of expression and petition. " In effect, the company's attorneys argue that Ms. McDougal is challenging her "constitutional and contractual right to exercise editorial judgment not to publish."

The company said in a statement on Monday that it hoped that Ms. McDougal would remain as "a valuable contributor" and that it was still seeking "a friendly settlement" with it.

A lawyer for Ms. McDougal, Peter K. Stris, wrote on Twitter "The tab he did everything possible to silence her and others, and now they try to silence her again with the absurd affirmation that his own freedom of expression was violated. "

Ms. McDougal's lawsuit alleges that American Media hired her to influence the 2016 election. The Common Cause surveillance group has filed complaints with the Department of Justice and the Federal Electoral Commission alleging that the payment of $ 150,000 – which also bought the rights of columns, blog posts and cover sessions with Ms. McDougal- was an illegal contribution in kind to Mr. Trump's Campaign.

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