Stormy Daniels Loses Effort to Restart Lawsuit Against Trump
By Erik Larson
June 19, 2018, 5:24 PM EDT Updated on June 19, 2018, 6:18 PM EDT
Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford will have to wait.
A federal judge denied a request to resume her stalled lawsuit to get out of a 2016 nondisclosure agreement that bars her form talking about an alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump more than a decade ago.
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero in Los Angeles said Tuesday the request by Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, didn’t overcome the seriousness of the criminal investigation into Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who got a 90-day hold placed on the suit after pleading his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
“The gravity of the criminal investigation and the various competing interests in this action counseled in favor of a temporary stay,” Otero said.
Trump and Cohen are both defendants in Clifford’s lawsuit. Michael Avenatti, her attorney, argued in May that Trump’s sudden acknowledgment of a 2016 hush agreement with Clifford -- which the president had previously denied knowing about -- meant the case could move ahead without Cohen.
When the stay was issued on April 27, the California judge wasn’t aware of Trump’s statements a day earlier on Fox News, where the president said the criminal investigation in New York had nothing to do with the hush-agreement case, Avenatti said in the May filing. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, also asserted Cohen’s innocence on May 2, telling Fox’s Sean Hannity that Trump was aware of the agreement and repaid Cohen for the “perfectly legal” hush payment.
“Mr. Trump or Mr. Giuliani’s belief in Mr. Cohen’s innocence has absolutely no bearing on Mr. Cohen’s Fifth Amendment privilege,” Otero said. “As the holder of the privilege, it is Mr. Cohen himself who must determine whether there is a reasonable ‘risk of incrimination’ that would justify his silence.”
Avenatti said he will file an appeal shortly. “The ruling was not unexpected,” he said Tuesday.
Arkansas man allegedly tries to pay waitress with her own stolen credit card (ABC News)
More Arkansas man allegedly tries to pay waitress with her own stolen credit card originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
An Arkansas man was taken into custody on Tuesday after he attempted to pay for a meal with a stolen credit card that ended up belonging to his waitress, authorities said.
Police said Shamon West, 21, stole the woman's purse, along with her credit cards and driver’s license, on Sunday when he allegedly broke into her car at a gas station in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, about 44 miles south of Little Rock.
Police arrested West at a restaurant, about two blocks away from where the robbery happened, on Tuesday after the victim, Flora Lunsford, went to close out his bill and noticed her own name on the credit card, according to a statement.
She immediately notified police, who arrested him after finding the victim’s driver’s license, social security card and other credit cards in his possession.
Police obtained surveillance video from the gas station that showed the suspect entering Lunsford's vehicle just moments after she parked her car and went inside the convenience store, according to ABC affiliate KATV.
The video allegedly shows West as he exits the vehicle with the purse and gets back into his car, without paying for gas, KATV reported.
Investigators said they were baffled by the entire situation.
"As a side note, the driver’s license, as all do, had her picture on it," a spokesperson for the Pine Bluff Police Department noted, according to KATV. "Therefore, you would think he should have known what she looked like. Yet, he still handed her own credit card to her."
West faces charges of theft by receiving and forgery, court records show. He was being held at the Jefferson County jail on a $2,840 bond.
It wasn’t immediately clear if he had obtained an attorney as of early Thursday.