A lawyer for President Donald Trump last week reportedly obtained a secret restraining order barring porn star Stormy Daniels from disclosing details of what she has said was an intimate relationship with Trump and on Wednesday again "threatened" her if she talks.
NBC News revealed Wednesday that Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen — who has admitted facilitating a $130,000 payment to Daniels — obtained from a private arbitrator an order prohibiting her from disclosing "confidential information" related to a nondisclosure agreement she signed in exchange for that cash.
In a statement sent to CNBC, Cohen's lawyer Lawrence Rosen said:
The Settlement Agreement contained an arbitration clause that permitted EC, LLC. to seek an injunction in the event of a breach or threatened breach of the agreement. The designated judge from the arbitration tribunal found that Ms. Clifford had violated the agreement and enjoined her from, among other things, filing this lawsuit. We intend to pursue our recourse in the context of the arbitration as agreed to by the parties and continue to categorically refute the claims alleged by Ms. Clifford and her counsel.
EC is a reference to Essential Consultants, a company set up by Cohen that was used to pay Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
NBC's story came a day after Daniels sued Trump in a Los Angeles court in an effort to void that nondisclosure agreement, which she signed in October 2016, right before the presidential election that Trump won.
And it came hours after Daniels' lawyer told NBC's "TODAY" show that Daniels had had sex a decade ago with Trump — and that Trump had to have known about Cohen's arrangement to pay Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet before the election about their tryst.
Michael Avenatti, Daniels' attorney, also said that she is "prepared" to return that money if need be.
Avenatti said that agreement is not legally valid because Trump never signed it.
The lawyer said he believed Trump did not sign that document — which used pseudonyms for the parties involved — "so that he could later claim deniability" about the affair with Daniels.
"It's our position that the entire document is null and void," Avenatti said.
If Avenatti's conclusion is accurate, then the agreement's requirement that disputes between the parties to the deal would be settled by arbitration likewise would not be binding.