On Friday September 4, news broke that former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen is attempting to extricate himself from the legal actions surrounding Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump.
Cohen had set up a shell company called Essential Consultants to facilitate payment of $130,000 to Daniels, adult film star of “Breast Side Story” and hundreds of other works. She was, on the eve of the 2016 presidential election, soliciting bids for selling her story of a night’s sexual liaison with Donald Trump, which took place after a 2006 golf event. The payment was made in exchange for her silence about the dalliance.
As reported by the New York Times, Essential Consultants has now agreed to rescind Daniels’ confidentiality agreement and its own efforts to fight her in private arbitration. The company would also drop its plan to sue Daniels for more than $20 million for violating the agreement by discussing publicly her night of sex with Trump.
Essential Consultants attorney Brent Blakely made the move in a letter to Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti and filed with the federal court in California hearing the case. That case was brought by Daniels against Trump, Cohen, and Essential Consultants.
Daniels’ legal position has been that since Donald Trump did not furnish a signed copy of the agreement to Daniels, that means no agreement was legally created. Essential Consultants, under the terms of its withdrawal, wants Daniels to repay the $130,000 she was paid as part of the nondisclosure agreement. Trump himself claimed that he previously reimbursed Cohen for the outlay.
Daniels’ lawyer and Democrat presidential hopeful Michael Avenatti has been attempting through numerous and varied legal actions to see the president forced to submit to a sworn deposition. He tweeted:
Michael Cohen is back to playing games and trying to protect Donald Trump. He is now pulling a legal stunt to try and “fix it” so that we can’t depose Trump and present evidence to the American people about what happened. He is not a hero nor a patriot. He deserves what he gets.
President Donald Trump is named in the suit currently before Judge S. James Otero in U.S. District Court in California. Neither he nor his counsel have made any reply to the maneuver yet. As the Times reports, “[t]he lawyer defending Mr. Trump in the lawsuit, Charles J. Harder, did not respond to texts or return phone calls seeking comment.”