Trump Is Giving Up on Trying to Silence Stormy Daniels

His legal team agreed in court not to try to enforce a nondisclosure agreement.

60 Minutes

Donald Trump hasn’t been able to silence Stormy Daniels, and now he’s given up on trying. 

On Saturday, Trump’s legal team said he would not seek to enforce a 2016 nondisclosure agreement between Daniels and Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen that would have prevented Daniels from disclosing intimate details about an alleged affair she had with the president. Trump’s lawyers announced their decision in a court filing that was reported by CNN.

The agreement was made between Daniels and Cohen on behalf of his shell company called Essential Consultants during the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. The agreement paid Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence about the alleged affair. Daniels later argued that it was invalid because Trump himself never signed it. On Saturday, Trump’s legal team agreed not to contest that assertion and sought to dismiss a lawsuit from Daniels against Trump over the agreement.

According to Daniels, the affair happened in 2006, the year after Trump married his current wife, Melania Trump. She’s gone public with the sordid details of the affair, arguing that they would have been made public sooner if not for the agreement with Cohen.

Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, is represented by attorney Michael Avenatti, who took to Twitter shortly after the news broke to suggest a motivation for Trump’s latest legal maneuver: He’s terrified of being deposed and having to testify under oath.

https://twitter.com/MichaelAvenatti/status/1038528712885456897

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony charges, including one campaign finance violation related to his dealings with Daniels. 

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.