Cohen entity offers to rescind hush-money pact with Daniels
WASHINGTON — The company set up by Donald Trump’s former personal attorney has offered 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 a sexual encounter 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attorney, Michael Avenatti, to try to compel the president to provide testimony under oath, if the agreement is rescinded and a judge dismisses the case.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 arranged the payment of hush money to Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election.
Avenatti said 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.