Michael Cohen Got Restraining Order to Keep Stormy Daniels Quiet

Apparently, it didn't work
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2018 12:06 AM CST
Updated Mar 8, 2018 5:55 AM CST
This photo taken July 3, 209, shows adult-movie star Stormy Daniels at Rooster's Country Bar in Delhi, La., for the last leg of her statewide listening tour.   (Arely D. Castillo/The News-Star via AP)
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(Newser) – President Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, got a restraining order against Stormy Daniels last month in an attempt to keep the adult film star from speaking out about her alleged 2006 affair with Trump, the New York Times reports. The temporary Feb. 27 order, obtained in a private arbitration meeting with a retired judge, prohibits Daniels (whose real name is Stephanie Clifford) from discussing "confidential information" related to the nondisclosure agreement she signed in Oct. 2016, NBC News reports. Daniels' lawyer tells NBC that Cohen has continued to make efforts to silence Daniels via "threats" and "intimidation" since the order was procured, warning her she is subject to damages should she talk. In her lawsuit against Trump attempting to have the NDA declared invalid, filed Tuesday, Daniels refers to a "bogus," "improper and procedurally defective arbitration proceeding hidden from public view," the AP reports.

Cohen's own attorney says the NDA Daniels signed included an arbitration clause with permission to "seek an injunction in the event of a breach or threatened breach of the agreement," and that "the designated judge from the arbitration tribunal found that Ms. Clifford had violated the agreement and enjoined her from, among other things, filing [her lawsuit against Trump]." Also Wednesday, White House rep Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump denies "all of these allegations"—both the affair and any knowledge of Cohen's $130,000 payment to Daniels—and that "this case [has] already been won in arbitration." Her exact meaning was not clear, as Trump is not listed as a party on the restraining order, and CNN's Chris Cillizza notes several of Sanders' "non-answers" skirt the issue of whether Trump knew about the hush money. If all of this seems a lot to wrap your head around, you're not alone; Slate calls it "convoluted to the point of paradox." (Read more Stormy Daniels stories.)

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