Porn star lawyer seeks Trump evidence on payment

Porn star lawyer seeks Trump evidence on payment

A lawyer for an adult film star claiming to have had a sexual encounter with President Donald Trump has filed a motion seeking evidence from the president and his lawyer.

In documents filed in the US District Court in California, Michael Avenatti is asking for evidence from Mr Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen about a $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Avenatti wants to question each for "no more than two hours" In the filing. He says the court hearing is needed to establish if Mr Trump knew about the payment and if he consented to it.

"We're looking for sworn answers from the president and Mr Cohen about what they knew, when they knew it and what they did about it," Mr Avenatti told The Associated Press.

While he noted that "in every case you always have to be open to settlement", Mr Avenatti said that "at this point we don't see how this case would possibly be settled".

Mr Cohen has said he paid the $130,000 out of his own pocket, while asserting Mr Trump never had sex with the porn actress.

In a statement to CBS, Mr Cohen's lawyer David Schwartz called the filing a "reckless use of the legal system in order to continue to inflate Michael Avenatti's deflated ego and keep himself relevant".

A hearing before Judge S James Otero in the federal court's Central District in Los Angeles is set for April 30.

As precedent, the motion references the fact that former president Bill Clinton was deposed while in office in 1998 during the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit.

That came after the Supreme Court ruled that a sitting president was not immune from civil litigation on something that happened before taking office and was unrelated to the office.

Ms Jones' case was dismissed by a judge, then appealed. The appeal was still pending when Mr Clinton agreed to pay 850,000 dollars to Ms Jones to settle the case. He did not admit wrongdoing.

- PA

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