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Stormy Daniels' attorney wants to depose Donald Trump

An attorney for an adult-film star claiming a sexual encounter with President Donald Trump filed a motion Wednesday seeking to depose the president and his attorney.

Lawyer for Trump's attorney Michael Cohen pans the move as attention-seeking ploy

Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, believes a non-disclosure agreement she agreed to is null and void because it hasn't been signed by Donald Trump. Her attorney filed a motion Wednesday seeking to depose the president and his counsel. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images, Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

An attorney for an adult-film star claiming a sexual encounter with U.S. President Donald Trump filed a motion Wednesday seeking to depose the president and his attorney.

Michael Avenatti filed the papers in federal court in California. In the documents, he seeks to depose Trump and Trump attorney Michael Cohen about a $130,000 US payment made to Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 presidential election.

Avenatti wants to question each for "no more than two hours." In the filing, he says the depositions are needed to establish whether Trump knew about the payment and if he consented to it.

"We're looking for sworn answers from the president and Mr. Cohen about what they knew, when they knew it and what they did about it," Avenatti told The Associated Press.

While he noted that "in every case you always have to be open to settlement," Avenatti said that "at this point we don't see how this case would possibly be settled."
Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti has gained notice for his aggressive style, but it's unclear whether he'll ever get to question Donald Trump or Michael Cohen, Trump's attorney, in a legal setting. (Joe Frederick/Associated Press)

Cohen has said he paid the $130,000 out of his own pocket, while asserting Trump never had sex with the porn performer.

In a statement to CBS, Cohen's attorney David Schwartz called the filing a "reckless use of the legal system in order to continue to inflate Michael Avenatti's deflated ego and keep himself relevant."

A hearing before Judge S. James Otero in the federal court's Central District in Los Angeles is set for April 30.

Deposition proved troublesome for Clinton

Trump has not spoken on the matter, although the White House has said he denies the sexual encounter even took place. The White House communications department hasn't specified why an agreement with Daniels would therefore be needed, referring all questions to Cohen.

Daniels alleged in a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday she was threatened in 2011 by an unknown man not to publicly reveal details of her interactions with Trump, around the time she gave an interview with a magazine, which was never published.

Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, agreed to a non-disclosure agreement in late 2016 in the waning days of the presidential election campaign, but is claiming it is null and void because, among other reasons, it was not signed by Trump.

White House says the president denies claims from Stormy Daniels

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White House spokesperson says the president has 'strongly, clearly and has consistently denied these underlying claims' 0:41

It's rare for a president to be deposed: It happened most recently to Bill Clinton in 1998 during the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit, which only occurred after the Supreme Court ruled that a sitting president was not immune from civil
litigation on something that happened before they took office and was unrelated to the office.

During that deposition, Clinton was put on the record about an alleged sexual affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, which he denied. It was later revealed that Clinton had lied about the affair.

Jones's case was dismissed by a judge, then appealed. The appeal was still pending when Clinton agreed to pay $850,000 to Jones to settle the case. He did not admit wrongdoing.

With files from CBC News

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