- The judge presiding over the lawsuit that porn star Stormy Daniels filed against President Donald Trump and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. has put the case on hold.
- Court documents filed on Friday show that Judge James Otero granted Cohen a 90-day stay, citing Cohen’s move earlier this week to plead the Fifth Amendment in the case.
- Cohen’s plea is related to an ongoing criminal investigation in which he is a subject. His attorneys argued that Cohen risked incriminating himself if he testified in the Daniels suit at this time.
- One legal expert said that while the delay is not likely to hurt Daniels’ case, Cohen was forced to choose between two equally unfavorable options.
The lawsuit porn star Stormy Daniels filed against President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen is officially on hold.
A judge overseeing the case granted Cohen’s attorneys a 90-day stay, citing Cohen’s move earlier this week to plead the Fifth Amendment in the case. Cohen’s plea is related to an ongoing criminal investigation out of the Southern District of New York, in which he is a subject.
That criminal case potentially involves Cohen’s business dealings, and his work for Trump. Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit is centered around a $US130,000 agreement between the actress, Trump, and Cohen in exchange for her silence about a sexual encounter she says she had with Trump more than a decade ago.
The cases converge on Cohen’s work for Trump, hence Cohen’s plea to avoid incriminating himself, and the judge’s move to delay the Stormy Daniels case.
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti noted that the 90-day stay was the right move.
“Cohen is facing serious criminal jeopardy that is closely related to the Stormy Daniels lawsuit, and he has a constitutional right to take the Fifth,” Mariotti wrote on Friday. “As the judge notes, Daniels is not prejudiced by a stay because Daniels (and her attorney, Michael Avenatti) have told her story on national television and she has not been deterred from speaking,” he said.
Mariotti continued: “On the flip side, forcing Cohen to take the Fifth would have severe consequences for him. Taking the Fifth could be used against him in the civil lawsuit, while not taking the Fifth would open him up to questioning that would hurt him in the criminal investigation.”
Read the court order in full below:
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