2018-08-09 15:00:321 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Stormy Daniels, aka Stephanie Clifford (Image source: Screenshot)
With the first trial relating to the Russia and obstruction of justice investigation underway in Alexandria, Virginia, Trump is still facing some civil suits, with the most notable being the Stormy Daniels libel suit. This case has now been moved to a Los Angeles courtroom from New York, with the expectation that it can be moved along more quickly.
The adult film star, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had a sexual relationship with Trump a number of years ago. He promised her a turn on his show "The Apprentice," and in return she slept with him one time. When the TV spot never came to be, the two went their separate ways.
The affair came up again when Trump was campaigning for president. Daniels claims she was threatened to keep quiet about the affair and that she was offered hush money. She signed a non-disclosure agreement and accepted $130,000, but Trump never signed on the dotted line.
Before she had signed the NDA, Daniels sold her story to In Touch who never published it. Last January the Wall Street Journal published a report that she'd been paid to keep quiet and had signed an NDA. Following that, In Touch finally published her story.
Trump's attorney at the time, Michael Cohen, pressured Daniels to sign something denying a relationship with Trump. Once she did that, the details of the NDA were made public. Cohen explained he paid her himself from the funds of a home equity line of credit, which led to him being the subject of an FBI raid. He is now facing possible bank and tax fraud charges as well as campaign finance violations.
Clifford, along with her new attorney, Michael Avenatti, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan against Trump and Cohen. She is requesting to be let out of the NDA since Trump never signed it. Additionally, she is alleging that Trump used Twitter to undermine her claim that a man threatened her to keep quiet about her relationship with him.
She claimed that a man threatened her young daughter and told her to "Leave Trump alone" and "forget the story" and had a sketch drawn up of the man. Trump wrote on Twitter, "A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know!)"
Avenatti said on Wednesday that moving the lawsuit to L.A. will see it go to court more quickly. "We concluded that it will allow the defamation case against Mr. Trump to move along more expeditiously if it is venued in Los Angeles. It is all about getting maximum accountability as quickly as possible," he said.
Trump's attorneys approved the venue change to Los Angeles, as did U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman. No trial dates have been given at this point.
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