Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti filed a motion on Wednesday asking a federal judge to depose President Donald Trump, a move that could lead to Trump testifying under oath about his knowledge of a $130,000 payment to Daniels just before the 2016 election.
Avenatti also asked to depose Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen who admitted to making the payment to Daniels, Trump’s alleged former mistress. According to CBS News, the depositions could reveal if Cohen used Trump’s money to pay off Daniels as well as whether the Trump campaign broke campaign finance laws.
Daniels, Avenatti said, wanted to prove Trump pushed a hush agreement to prevent Daniels from speaking out just weeks before his presidential election.
The White House repeatedly said that Trump denied Daniels’ multiple allegations, but Trump himself has remained noticeably quiet about the issue on Twitter.
Cohen’s spokesman blasted the case as “so illogical.” “I’m sure he [Avenatti] does want to depose the president,” spokesman David Schwartz said.
“This case is so illogical, it’s not going to happen. You can’t make that happen by bringing a frivolous action.”
Schwartz also called the lawsuit a “reckless use of the legal system” and attacked Avenatti’s statements:
His statements are ludicrous when he asks where Michael Cohen and Donald Trump are? He knows they are following the rules of the court. They are handling the case in a court of competent jurisdiction and as a lawyer, he needs to do the same. This is politically motivated and people see through this charade.
But while speaking on CBS “This Morning” on Wednesday, Avenatti called Schwartz a “hack” and defended his motion. “The motion is not crazy,” Avenatti said.
“We’re relying on U.S. Supreme Court precedent and a whole long line of cases in the ninth circuit court of appeal[s]. It is well founded, it is well thought out,” he added.
Avenatti suggested Trump’s team prompted the motion by trying to resolve it through private arbitration. “The other side is attempting to force this case into a private arbitration, hidden from the public,” he said.
“In order for the judge to determine that, we are arguing that under the law, we’re entitled to the deposition.”
Avenatti also defended himself against accusations that he had a political motive in pursuing the lawsuit. “It’s simply not true,” he said. “I’m representing my client. The president and Mr. Cohen are the ones who spread half truths about my client.”
Watch Avenatti’s interview above, via CBS News.