Ex-Trump lawyer offers to drop hush-money agreement with porn star

 

Stormy Daniels speaks during a ceremony in West Hollywood, California, May 23, 2018. (AP/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Stormy Daniels speaks during a ceremony in West Hollywood, California, May 23, 2018. (AP/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The company set up by Donald Trump’s former personal attorney offered Friday to rescind Stormy Daniels’ hush-money agreement and dropped plans for its threatened $20-million lawsuit against the porn actress for allegedly violating the deal.

An attorney for Essential Consultants said the company wants Daniels to repay the $130,000 she was paid as part of the nondisclosure agreement, which was signed days before the 2016 presidential election, according to a letter included in a Friday night court filing.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which Trump denies, and was suing to invalidate the nondisclosure agreement.

The development could kill a plan by Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, to try to compel the president to provide testimony under oath, if the agreement is rescinded and a judge agrees to dismiss the case.

Essential Consultants was set up by Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty in federal court last month to campaign-finance violations and other charges. Cohen told the judge that he and Trump had arranged the payment of hush money to Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election.

US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen exits the US Federal Court in New York, April 16, 2018. (AFP/Eduardo Muoz Alvarez, file)

In addition to the offer to quash the agreement, Essential Consultants also agreed to back off its plan to fight Daniels in private arbitration and will not pursue a lawsuit against her, Brent Blakely, an attorney for the company said in a letter to Daniels’ lawyer. Cohen has said that Daniels could owe $20 million for violating the agreement.

Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told The Associated Press that Friday’s development is “a stunt by Michael Cohen trying to fix it so that Donald Trump is not deposed.”

Avenatti said he did not have to accept the offer and would not settle the case “without the depositions,” which he said would include Trump.

He believes the court should invalidate the agreement because it violated campaign finance laws, he said.

Daniels is also suing Trump and Cohen for defamation.

President Trump doesn’t think porn star Stormy Daniels’ hush-money deal is valid, lawyer says

Pop artist Sham Ibrahim and Stormy Daniels attend her fan meet and greet at Chi Chi LaRue's on May 23, 2018 in West Hollywood, California.
Pop artist Sham Ibrahim and Stormy Daniels attend her fan meet and greet at Chi Chi LaRue’s on May 23, 2018 in West Hollywood, California.  (Tara Ziemba / Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump does not believe porn actress Stormy Daniels’ hush-money deal, which his former personal lawyer said was done to influence the 2016 presidential election, is valid and will not carry out threats to sue her for breaking the agreement by discussing details of their alleged affair, Trump’s attorney said in a court filing Saturday.

Hours earlier an attorney for the company set up to handle the deal offered to rescind Daniels’ nondisclosure agreement. The company, Essential Consultants, also scrapped a threatened $20 million lawsuit against Daniels.

The two developments could kill efforts by Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, to force the president to give sworn testimony about what he and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, might have known about the deal, if a judge agrees to now dismiss the case. The offers remove any legal risk to Daniels stemming from her public discussion of the alleged affair and the alleged efforts to hide it.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had sex once with Trump in 2006 and carried on a platonic relationship with him for about a year. She was paid $130,000 as part of the agreement signed days before the 2016 election and is suing to dissolve the contract. Daniels has argued the agreement should be invalidated because Cohen signed it, but Trump did not.

In Saturday’s court filing, Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, said the president doesn’t dispute Daniels’ assertion that the contract isn’t valid and never considered himself as a party to the agreement. Both Trump and Cohen have asked Daniels to now drop her lawsuit.

Essential Consultants was set up by Cohen, who pleaded guilty in federal court last month to campaign-finance violations and other charges. Though Cohen originally denied having made a hush-money payment to Daniels on behalf of Trump, he told the court that he and Trump arranged payments to both Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election.

In addition to the offer to quash the agreement, Essential Consultants also agreed to back off its plan to fight Daniels in private arbitration and will not pursue a lawsuit against her, Brent Blakely, an attorney for the company, said in a letter to Daniels’ lawyer. Cohen had said that Daniels could owe $20 million for violating the agreement.

The company wants Daniels to repay the $130,000 she was paid, Blakely wrote.

Avenatti told The Associated Press that he did not have to accept the offer and would not settle the case without deposing Trump and Cohen. He said he was still reviewing his options but wasn’t worried about the developments.

Avenatti said he thought Harder’s court filing was “worthless,” had “numerous problems” and “means nothing.”

“We are tired of the constant delays and games being played,” he said. “We want these depositions as soon as possible.”

Regardless of how a court views the offer by Trump and Cohen’s company to drop efforts to enforce the agreement, Avenatti has other possible legal routes to pursue the president. Daniels is also suing Trump and Cohen for defamation.

Driver ‘caught red-handed watching porn behind the wheel’

A driver has been allegedly caught red-handed watching porn as he drove down the road. South Yorkshire Police’s operational support tweeted about the incident this morning, after the vehicle was pulled over in Doncaster for having no insurance. But after they pulled over the individual, it was discovered they might not have been paying full attention to the road. A driver was pulled over by police for having no insurance but they found he was playing porn while driving (Picture: @SYPOperations/ Twitter) Officers claim a phone was positioned on the dashboard with ‘adult material’ playing. Yep, that’s right. Porn. Officers said: ‘Seized today for no insurance in Doncaster, no 3rd party extension. ‘Officer then discovered phone positioned on dash playing “adult material” on video whilst he was driving. Words fail us. Reported.’

Same-sex relationships are still a crime in 69 countries

(CNN)India has struck down a colonial-era law punishing consensual gay sex, but there are still 69 other countries with laws on the books that criminalize same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults.

Some countries, such as Papua New Guinea and the United Arab Emirates, jail people in openly same-sex relationships for decades. And in Iran, Sudan and Yemen, they can end up on death row.
Of the 193 countries recognized by the United Nations, the following criminalize same-sex relations, according to the Geneva-based International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, which advocates on behalf of more than 1,300 member organizations across the world.
India unbans gay sex

THE prudish wording of India’s colonial-era penal code of 1860 has long cast a baleful shadow over gay people. Section 377 banned “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal”. This was taken to bar homosexual intercourse along with bestiality and incest. Even heterosexuals could be prosecuted for enjoying oral or anal sex.

The ban on gay sex was struck down by a Delhi court in 2009. It was then reinstated by the Supreme Court in 2013, which said parliament should deal with the matter. However, on September 6th the court reversed itself. A broader bench ruled, to general applause from Indian liberals, that the law does not, after all, criminalise homosexuality. The decision is final.

Sexy versions of the Bavarian Dirndl dress with low cut blouses and ridiculously short hemlines are increasingly worn by tipsy tourists joining the six million revellers at the famous festival in Munich every September

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