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"We are not going away and we will not be intimidated," Michael Avenatti, lawyer of Stormy Daniels, wrote on Twitter Friday. (Photo: CNN)

'Trump Must Be Desperate': President's Lawyers File to Move Stormy Daniels Suit to Federal Court, Out of Public View

"The filing today is yet another bullying tactic from the president," said Daniels' lawyer in response.

Jake Johnson

In an effort to keep the explosive case confined to private arbitration and out of public view, Donald Trump's attorneys on Friday filed a motion to move a lawsuit against the president by adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, whose on-screen name is Stormy Daniels, to federal court—a move immediately denounced by Clifford's lawyer as a "bullying tactic."

"The fact that a sitting president is pursuing over $20 million in bogus 'damages' against a private citizen, who is only trying to tell the public what really happened, is remarkable."
—Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stephanie Clifford

Trump's attorneys also filed a separate motion Friday claiming that Clifford violated a confidentiality agreement as many as 20 times, and could be on the hook for $20 million in damages. Daniels sued earlier this month claiming that because Trump himself never signed the "hush agreement," it is void.

As CNN noted on Saturday, the motion "marks the first time attorneys for Trump himself have joined the legal action in the Daniels matter."

"Attorney Charles Harder—best known for representing Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker, which resulted in its bankruptcy—is handling the case on the President's behalf," CNN reported.

The moves by the Trump legal team came just a day after it was reported that CBS's "60 Minutes" interview with Clifford and her attorney will air March 25.

As Common Dreams reported on Friday, Clifford's lawyer Michael Avenatti said his client has been physically threatened to remain silent about her alleged affair with Trump.

"I think it will become apparent to people when they tune in to '60 minutes' on March 25 as to the details relating to the threat," Avenatti added.

After Trump's legal team filed its motions on Friday, Avenatti argued in a series of tweets that the president is attempting to hide "the truth from the public."

Weighing in on the case Saturday, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) concluded that the Trump legal team's efforts show the president "must be desperate and scared."


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