President Donald Trump faces a "real legal conundrum" now that porn star Stormy Daniels has filed a lawsuit against him, Philadelphia trial lawyer and CNN host Michael Smerconish says.
Daniels alleges she was paid hush money to keep an affair with Trump secret during his 2016 election campaign. On Tuesday, she filed a lawsuit against him claiming a nondisclosure agreement she signed is not valid because Trump, allegedly identified by the phony name of "David Dennison," never signed it.
"These documents were cleverly drawn to try to leave David Dennison, aka Donald Trump, as much out of the equation as humanly possible," Michael Smerconish said Thursday on his Facebook page.
"But the lawyer representing Stormy Daniels wouldn't stand for it and instead, filed a lawsuit naming expressly President Trump, in addition to David Dennison …"
That puts the president in the legally ticklish position of having to choose from three alternatives, according to Smerconish:
- Trump could "defend the merit of the agreement and say there was a deal."
- He could "ignore it but to allow Stormy Daniels to then get declaratory relief where she can speak her mind."
- Or he could say, I had nothing to do with it, David Dennison or the president, I had nothing to do with this. It was unauthorized, but nonetheless it's a bonafide agreement."
"It's a real legal conundrum for the president and his lawyer and it will be interesting to see the way in which he attempts to defend against this lawsuit because he has to, he's been named," Smerconish said.
On Wednesday morning, Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti — when asked by "Today" co-host Savannah Guthrie whether the porn star had a sexual relationship with the president, answered, "Yes."
Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has claimed he paid Daniels $130,000 of his own money without Trump's knowledge as part of a nondisclosure agreement just weeks before the election.
Trump's encounter with Daniels allegedly occurred in 2006 — a year after he married Melania Trump and she was pregnant with their son, Barron. Trump has repeatedly denied the affair.
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