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

The legal battle is ramping up.

Patrick Fallon/ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.

 

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate