The latest development in the Stormy Daniels saga: Michael Cohen, the lawyer for President Trump who paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 after she signed a nondisclosure agreement related to her alleged affair with Trump, now says she could owe $20 million in damages. That's based on Cohen's allegations, which USA Today reports are detailed in a court filing, that she violated the terms of the NDA on 20 occasions, triggering $1 million in damages per violation. For her part, Daniels has sued the president, claiming the NDA is invalid because it's missing Trump's signature. The Wall Street Journal reports the filing says the damages could be owed to either Trump or Essential Consultants, the LLC through which Cohen paid Daniels the $130,000.
The BBC reports the filing also requested the case be taken from state to federal court, upping the likelihood the case would go arbitration and exit the "public view," as USA Today puts it. Bloomberg reports the filing argues that neither Daniels nor Trump are residents of California, where Daniels' own lawsuit was filed; a Calif. lawyer not involved in the case says federal judges are generally seen as a bit more conservative than their California state counterparts. Here's how Michael Avenatti, Daniels' lawyer, responded on Twitter: "The fact that a sitting president is pursuing over $20M in bogus 'damages' against a private citizen, who is only trying to tell the public what really happened, is remarkable. Likely unprecedented in our history. We are NOT going away and we will NOT be intimidated. #basta." (Daniels' lawyer says she has been physically threatened.)