Judge in Stormy Daniels Case Prods Cohen to Cite Fifth AmendmentBy
A Los Angeles federal judge postponed ruling on a request by President Donald Trump and his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to halt the lawsuit by adult film star Stormy Daniels over her alleged affair with Trump while a criminal probe of Cohen is under way.
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero said Cohen may need to file a statement with the court asserting his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to support his request to put the civil case on hold.
FBI agents last week raided Cohen’s New York office, home, hotel room and safe-deposit box, grabbing documents, computer hard drives and cell phones to advance an investigation targeting potential bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign-finance violations.
Otero said he’s not worried that putting the case on hold will disadvantage Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, because she has availed herself of ample opportunities to publicly discuss the hush agreement she is suing over.
“She doesn’t appear to be deterred,” Otero said in response to the argument by Clifford’s lawyer that a stay would prevent her from talking about her alleged affair with Trump.