in today's stormy Daniels news
Until Thursday, President Trump had remained uncharacteristically silent about Stormy Daniels, the porn star whose October 2016 nondisclosure agreement to stay silent about an alleged 2006 extramarital affair with Trump has sparked a heated legal and PR battle. And what Trump said Thursday seemed pretty innocuous. "Did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?" a reporter asked him on Air Force One. "No," Trump said, adding that he did not know why his lawyer Michael Cohen paid her or where he got the money.
Still, that brief exchange was enough to make Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, do a victory dance. Avenatti and Daniels are suing Cohen and Trump to invalidate the NDA on the grounds that Trump isn't a party to the agreement. Cohen and Trump are suing Daniels for up to $20 million for breaking the NDA. "The strength of our case just went up exponentially," Avenatti tweeted. "You can't have an agreement when one party claims to know nothing about it. #nodiscipline."
"We think this is basically game over when it comes to our client," Avenatti told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday night. "We have a principal party to the agreement who admits, on camera, that supposedly he didn't know anything about a principal term of the agreement. Well, that means he doesn't know anything about the agreement, which means there is no agreement."
David Super, a professor of contract law at Georgetown, largely agreed with Avenatti's assessment, telling The Washington Post that Trump's comments "largely destroy" his own argument that the nondisclosure agreement is valid. "Nothing in the contract, and nothing in his remarks, suggests that he had given Cohen the right to make binding commitments on his behalf," Super said. "With these comments, we are almost certain to see this litigation play out in a public court case rather than in private arbitration," where Trump and Cohen asked the courts to send the case on Monday.