Judge denies porn star request for quick deposition, trial in Trump lawsuit


(Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday denied a procedural request from adult film star Stormy Daniels that he order early questioning under oath of U.S. President Donald Trump and a speedy trial in a lawsuit she filed against him.

Stormy Daniels, an adult film star and director whose real name is Stephanie Clifford is interviewed by Anderson Cooper of CBS News’ 60 Minutes program in early March 2018, in a still image from video provided March 25, 2018. CBSNews/60 MINUTES/Handout via REUTERS.

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero in Los Angeles ruled that the early the early discovery and speedy trial requests by Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, were “premature” and therefore had to be rejected. The lawsuit was transferred to federal court from California state court at Trump’s request.

Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, had asked the court to order early depositions of both Trump and his lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Otero said Trump and Essential Consultants, a company Cohen set up that paid Daniels $130,000 in October 2016, just before the presidential election, had told the court they intended to ask for an order that the case be sent for arbitration.

In her lawsuit, Daniels said an agreement to keep silent that she signed in return for the $130,000 was invalid because Trump had not signed it. She and her attorney have also said the payment was an illegal campaign contribution.

Otero ruled that because Cohen’s and Trump’s petition requesting arbitration in the case had not yet been filed, it would be premature for him to grant Daniels’ requests for a quick trial and limited discovery in the case.

But after Otero’s ruling, Avenatti tweeted that the court order’s language does “not bode well for the defendants and suggest that there is a strong likelihood that the Court will ultimately agree with our requests for discovery and a trial.”

Cohen and lawyers working for him did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball; additional reporting by Karen Freifeld; editing by Jonathan Oatis



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