Stormy Daniels considering suing President Trump for defamation

Stormy Daniels is full steam ahead with plans to sue President Trump for defamation, her lawyer said Friday after a tense court hearing in Los Angeles.

"We're filing a separate action against Mr. Trump for his defamatory outrageous, statements earlier this week where he effectively called my client a liar and stated that she was trying to pull a con on the American people," Michael Avenatti said as he addressed media outside the hearing related to a prior lawsuit Daniels filed against Trump and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

The prior lawsuit seeks to invalidate the $130,000 "Hush Agreement" she signed in 2016 to stay silent about her claims she had an intimate relationship with Trump in 2006. It was filed in early March and was later amended to add a defamation claim against Cohen.

"I very much look forward to placing Mr. Trump under oath and asking him about the basis for the outlandish, outrageous baseless statements. And that day will come, it may not come next month or next year, but it is going to come," Avenatti vowed in a fiery statement on the courthouse steps.

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In his Wednesday tweet, Trump scoffed at the sketch Avenatti released this week depicting the man who allegedly threatened Daniels years ago for claiming she slept with Trump.

"A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!" Trump tweeted.

Speaking to the Daily News on Friday, Avenatti blasted the tweet as "ridiculous."

"It's absolutely irresponsible for anybody to do that, let alone the president of the United States," he said. "His undisciplined nature may serve him in some context. It's not going to serve him well with me and my client."

Avenatti spoke after a morning hearing on a joint request by Trump and Cohen for a 90-day stay in Daniels' lawsuit.

The judge knocked Cohen's motion as having "gaping holes" because it failed to include a declaration from Cohen himself stating he planned to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the case following FBI raids on his New York office, residence and hotel April 9.

Cohen's lawyer ultimately agreed to provide such an affidavit as the judge took the matter under submission. A ruling is expected in the next two weeks.

During extended arguments Friday, Cohen's lawyer Brent Blakely argued his client needs the 90-day timeout because it's possible he might face a criminal indictment.

"They seized all of Mr. Cohen's files, cell phones, computers, contracts and a number of records including all of his records in this case," Blakely argued. "They took everything, and they still have it."

Avenatti disputed that claim, telling the court his understanding was that authorities only "imaged" the phone and computer files and then left the devices "behind."

"They took 10 banker boxes, but there's been no showing any of those documents related to (this) case," Avenatti said. "And Mr. Blakely's office was not raided."

Avenatti said his client, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, shouldn't have to take a back seat to a criminal investigation in New York that hasn't yielded any charges yet and might not even have the "substantial overlap" with her case that would be needed to justify a delay.

"For all we know, the (investigation) could relate to taxi medallions, other business interests, ties of Mr. Cohen to individuals in Russia," he said.

"The phrase 'justice delayed is justice denied' has never been more appropriate," Avenatti said.

In his argument, Blakely said his side was only asking for a "very modest" delay of three months to protect Mr. Cohen's constitutional rights.

He said the adverse effect on Daniels appeared to be minimal because she's already spoken publicly about her claims.

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero seemed persuaded by that argument.

"Your client has been on '60 Minutes,' been on 'The View,'" he said. "She doesn't seem to be deterred."

Avenatti said her First Amendment rights remained under siege.

"There's a number of things she has not done out of fear, out of the threat (of the) $1 million liquidated damages clause," he said, referring to the clause in the confidentiality agreement that states her penalties for breaking the hush agreement.

Avenatti also argued that it's not fair to put Daniels's defamation claim against Cohen on the back burner while lawyers on both coasts charge Cohen hefty legal fees in the meantime, possibly leaving him penniless.

"My client cannot be left with a worthless judgment on defamation," he argued.

Avenatti suggested a scenario where the case moves ahead, Cohen is called for a deposition and he simply asserts the Fifth Amendment to any questions that infringe on his constitution right against self-incrimination.

"No one is compelling Mr. Cohen to answer questions…His Fifth Amendment rights can easily be maintained," he said.

"I'm going to look at whether there's a less-drastic means, other than a stay," Judge Otero said as he declined to issue an immediate ruling.

Judge Otero also said he'd consider whether the defamation count against Cohen could move ahead while the underlying request to invalidate the confidentiality agreement is placed on hold.

Daniels originally sued for relief against Trump and Cohen's Essential Consultants LCC on March 6, saying her "Hush Agreement" with the men should be declared "legally null and void" because Trump never signed it.

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Under the agreement, Daniels accepted $130,000 in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump in 2006, which included a sexual encounter that began with her spanking Trump with a magazine bearing his face on the cover.

Trump recently stated publicly that he had no knowledge of the agreement when Cohen paid the hefty fee out of his own pocket with less than two weeks to go before the 2016 presidential election.

News of the deal led the watchdog group Common Cause to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission over allegations the payment amounted to an illegal in-kind campaign contribution.