President Donald Trump asked a federal judge to order private arbitration in the Stormy Daniels case, according to the Associated Press.
Daniels claims that she had an affair with Trump years ago, and she’s seeking the right to speak about it despite signing a non-disclosure agreement. Daniels believes the agreement is not legally valid because Trump never signed it.
Trump and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, filed papers in federal court in Los Angeles on Monday. In the filing, Cohen reportedly says Daniels never raised issues with the settlement agreement or questioned its legal validity before she filed a lawsuit last month.
Trump and Cohen are asking the judge to rule that Stormy Daniels’ case must be heard by an arbitrator and not a jury.
The AP reports: Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has been seeking to invalidate the agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election. She has offered to return the $130,000 she was paid as she tries to “set the record straight.”
She’s said she had sex with Trump once in 2006 and their relationship continued for about a year. Trump married his current wife, Melania Trump, in 2005, and their son, Barron, was born in 2006.
The AP also reports: Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, said they would oppose the motion to have the case heard in private arbitration, “hidden from the American public.”
“This is a democracy and this matter should be decided in an open court of law owned by the people. #sunlight,” he tweeted.
The White House says Trump denies having an affair with Daniels.
Trump’s attorneys say Daniels may owe $20 million for violating the non-disclosure deal.