Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti is confident in his motion to depose President Trump, saying it relies on Supreme Court precedent: "We want to know the truth about what the president knew, when he knew it, and what he did about it." https://t.co/3ZTwZ6UFVu pic.twitter.com/9uI5vjhZA9— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 28, 2018
Attorney Michael Avenatti has filed a motion in federal court seeking to depose President Donald Trump and his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to answer questions about a $130,000 "hush money" payout to porn actress Stormy Daniels back in 2016.
Avenatti is filing the motion on behalf of Daniels, who alleges she had an affair with Trump over 10 years ago and was subsequently paid off by Cohen to keep quiet about it just days before the 2016 presidential election.
Now with this federal court motion, Avenatti seeks to have Trump and Cohen answer questions about the payout: whether Trump knew about the hush agreement, where the payment came from, the extent of Trump and Cohen's involvement, and whether Trump was connected to any of the efforts to keep Daniels quiet.
In a statement, Avenatti expressed confidence that his team would be able to make Trump and Cohen speak.
"We expect to be placing the President and his fixer under oath in the coming months," he said.
Cohen has previously admitted to paying the $130,000 hush money, but denies any connection to threats of physical harm against Daniels. Meanwhile, the White House continues to deny that the alleged affair between Daniels and Trump happened at all.
In response to Avenatti's motion to depose, Cohen's attorney, David Schwartz, said in a statement that the court request was "a reckless use of the legal system" aimed "to inflate Avenatti's deflated ego and keep himself relevant."
While Avenatti's ego does appear to loom large in the media spectacle surrounding the Daniels story, there are potentially legal concerns arising for Trump and his team. A former FEC chairman recently told CBS' "60 Minutes" that the $130,000 payout could be interpreted as an illegal campaign contribution, potentially subjecting Trump and Cohen to legal repercussions.
In a White House that has stumbled into more scandals than perhaps any other in recent history, it could be easy to dismiss this one as another drop in the bucket. But with legal actions heating up quickly, this scandal still has the possibility to become one of Trump's biggest obstacles.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters, Eduardo Munoz