Stormy Daniels Escalates Lawsuit Against Trump to Accuse Michael Cohen of Defamation

The legal battle is ramping up.

Patrick Fallon/ZUMA

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One day after appearing on national television to discuss intimate details of her alleged sexual relationship with President Donald Trump, Stormy Daniels has expanded her ongoing lawsuit against Trump to include a defamation case against the president’s personal lawyer.

The lawsuit was amended Monday to accuse Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, of defamation for suggesting that she is lying about the affair, pointing to a February statement in which Cohen discussed the mounting controversy over the alleged tryst. “Just because something isn’t true,” Cohen said, “doesn’t mean that it can’t cause you harm or damage.” Daniels now claims that the statement wrongly implies that she was “not being truthful in claiming she had an intimate relationship with Mr. Trump.”

The new legal challenge comes hours after Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti appeared on several morning news shows to say that Daniels possessed a trove of evidence that could prove that she had a sexual relationship with Trump. Avenatti also reiterated the argument that Daniels’ case was not just about sex—and that Trump and Cohen’s attempt to bury the affair demonstrated a potential violation of campaign contribution laws. 

When asked about the possibility that Trump may have violated such laws, Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah on Monday said that the White House did nothing wrong. He could not, however, speak on behalf of the campaign or Trump Organization. Meanwhile, Cohen sent Daniels a cease and desist letter on Sunday demanding she retracts her claims.

The case against Cohen is similar to a defamation case against Trump filed by Summer Zervos, who is arguing that the president disparaged her by calling her a liar after she went public with the allegation Trump groped her in 2007. Earlier this month, a federal judge dismissed Trump’s attempt to squash the lawsuit, declaring that no one is above the law.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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