President Trump has demanded $341,559.50 in legal fees from Stormy Daniels after a federal judge threw out her defamation case against the president earlier this month, reports the Washington Examiner.
US District Judge James Otero dismissed the case against Trump after ruling that an April tweet calling a forensic sketch of a man Daniels claims threatened her was a “total con job.” Otero said Trump’s tweet constitutes “rhetorical hyperbole” covered by the First Amendment, and ordered Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) to pay Trump’s legal fees.
“The court agrees with Mr. Trump’s argument because the tweet in question constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the U.S.,” Otero said in his October 15 ruling.
In a Monday court filing, Trump’s attorneys demanded $341,559.50 from Daniels, claiming that she “filed this action, not because it had any merit, but instead for the ulterior purposes of raising her media profile, engaging in political attacks against the president by herself and her attorney, who has appeared on more than 150 national television news interviews attacking the President and now is exploring a run for the presidency himself in 2020.”
Of note, Trump is seeking reimbursement for more than 500 hours of attorneys’ fees, with hourly rates ranging from an average of $841.64 for high-profile attorney Charles Harder (who represented Hulk Hogan in his $140 million lawsuit against Gawker), to $756.49 an hour for Los Angeles attorney Ryan Stonerock, all the way down to $307.60 for Harder LLP attorney Ted Nguyen.
Avenatti told the Examiner: “This is a number created out of whole cloth,” adding “And it is nothing compared to what he will owe my client from the main NDA case.”
Daniels filed a separate defamation lawsuit against President Trump in the spring for suggesting she lied.
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in 2016 in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump, however she filed a lawsuit claiming that the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) was invalid since it lacked Trump’s signature.
President Trump has denied the affair, while his attorneys argued in early October that the lawsuit should be dismissed since Trump was not going to enforce the NDA.
The lawsuit is moot because Trump has consented that the agreement, as she has claimed, was never formed because he didn’t sign it and he has agreed not to try to enforce it, Trump said in his court filing. The company created by Cohen to facilitate the non-disclosure agreement, which initially said Clifford faced more than $20 million in damages for talking, said in September that it wouldn’t sue to enforce the deal. –Yahoo
Read the Monday filing seeking attorney’s fees below:
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