Stormy Daniels, a woman who allegedly had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, has been silent about her relationship with the President since the story became bigger news in January.
On Tuesday, she decided to go public.
Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, and Daniels’s attorney, Keith Davidson, negotiated what the lawsuit calls a “hush agreement” in which she would be paid $130,000. After delays and even a wholesale cancellation of the contract by Daniels on Oct. 17, the payment arrived on Oct. 27, 12 days before the election, according to e-mails reviewed by The Washington Post. Cohen said recently that he used his own money to “facilitate” the payment.
The lawsuit suggests that Trump was aware of the agreement and that the money was intended to influence the election outcome, bolstering two complaints filed with the Federal Election Commission that say the payment violated election law because it was not reported as an in-kind campaign donation.
The lawsuit says, “Mr. Trump, with the assistance of his attorney, Mr. Cohen, aggressively sought to silence Ms. Clifford as part of an effort to avoid her telling the truth, thus helping to ensure he won the presidential election.”
It also raises new accusations against Cohen, saying that he forced her earlier this year to sign a statement denying the affair “through intimidation and coercive tactics.” The suit says Cohen has continued to try to “intimidate” Daniels into keeping quiet in recent weeks as reports about the deal and their relationship have leaked out and Daniels has given television interviews.
In the complaint, Clifford asks the court to declare the deal with Trump invalid and unenforceable and says he purposefully did not sign it so he could disavow knowledge of the agreement.
A person familiar with the deal said it required the signature of Cohen or Trump, but not both. The person called Daniels’s decision to sue 16 months after she got paid “buyer’s remorse.”
Cohen did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment. The attorney who negotiated the deal for Daniels, Keith Davidson, declined comment.