March 29 (UPI) — A federal judge in California denied adult film actor Stormy Daniels’ request to depose President Trump in a jury trial related to their alleged sexual encounter.
Judge S. James Otero said the court motion filed by Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti calling for a jury trial within 90 days of a judge’s order and the opportunity to depose President Trump and Michael Cohen was “untimely and “premature,” as lawyers for Trump and Essential Consultants haven’t filed an anticipated motion to compel arbitration.
“While EC and Mr. Trump have stated their intention to file a petition to compel arbitration, they have not yet done so,” Otero said. “If such a petition were filed, a number of the questions raised in plaintiff’s motion may be answered in the petition, thus limiting the need.”
Otero also noted Daniels appeared to make a procedural mistake by not filing a certificate with the court showing that she and Avenatti properly served defendants with their latest legal complaint.
Avenatti said passages of Otero’s ruling “do not bode well for defendants” as certain sections “suggest that there is a strong likelihood that the court will ultimately agree with our requests for discovery and a trial.”
Michael Cohen’s attorney David Schwartz considered the ruling a victory for the defense.
“It didn’t take the judge more than 24 hours to deny plaintiff’s motion to depose Michael Cohen and President Donald Trump,” Shwartz said. “The Motion is denied without prejudice because it was premature. Only Avenatti would be happy about the decision. He said on CNN that the judge agreed with him on the law, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Daniels alleges she and Trump had a sexual encounter in 2006 when she was 27 and Trump was 60 and Cohen offered her $130,000 days before the 2016 presidential election to not tell the story.
She accepted the money but argued the contract wasn’t valid as Trump was party to the agreement but never signed it.
Daniels also filed an amendment to her ongoing lawsuit against Trump, stating Cohen’s denial of her claims she had an affair with Trump is a defamatory statement.