It’s time for today’s eagerly anticipated edition of “As the Stormy Daniels Story Turns.” When we last left our unlikely heroine, she was fighting a legal battle with Trump attorney Michael Cohen over the non-disclosure agreement that paid her $130,000, allegedly from Cohen’s personal funds, to keep quiet about her now publicly notorious affair with Donald Trump.
Now, Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is getting some unexpected assistance from BuzzFeed.
The online news site is also being sued by Michael Cohen, who filed a libel suit against the company in January for its publication of the infamous Steele dossier, which included unconfirmed details of another sex scandal involving the president and a peculiar perversion (let’s abbreviate that as “PP”) at a Russian hotel, as well as alleging that Cohen met with Russian officials in Prague in August of 2016 in an attempt to cover up details of collusion with Russia.
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Buzzfeed has contacted Daniels’ attorney and asked that Daniels preserve all records relating to her relationship with Trump, as well as her dealings with Cohen and the payment he has acknowledged arranging in 2016, according to an article in Politico.
Such a move is often the first step in preparing a witness for a subpoena and a deposition, something that no non-disclosure agreement can prevent from taking place once all the legal motions are filed and approved.
Daniels’ deposition, as well as any supporting documents and audio/video materials that she may possess, can help substantially bolster BuzzFeed‘s defense in the suit that Cohen has brought against them which claims that the publication of the Steele dossier on BuzzFeed.com harmed his reputation, for which he is seeking compensation for damages.
The attorney representing Cohen in the libel suit has responded to news of BuzzFeed‘s clever strategy by stating that they will fight against including matters not directly related to the Steele dossier in the legal battle.
“Certainly at the appropriate time there’ll be a fight in court as to limitations in discovery in this case,” Schwartz told POLITICO. “We want a very narrow view of discovery for many different reasons. … I think those recipients [of the letters] are going to be irrelevant to the case at hand.”
Buzzfeed‘s attorneys naturally disagree.
“Mr. Cohen’s personal reputation, and his actions on Donald Trump’s behalf, are directly relevant to this case,” spokesman Matt Mittenthal said. “We look forward to defending our First Amendment rights in court.”
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing Stormy Daniels, confirmed receipt of the Buzzfeed letter but said that they have not yet taken a position on it. If Buzzfeed is successful in getting Daniels to testify in a sworn deposition, unless the judge in the case seals the files, attorneys for either side of the case can release the transcript publicly.
Don’t expect to see a deposition taking place anytime soon, however, since legal maneuvering can mean it could take months before it is held. In the meantime, Daniels’ own suit to be released from the non-disclosure agreement may be completed in her favor and the full details of the president’s sordid business may be available for all the world to see.