A California judge on Thursday denied Stormy Daniels’ request to depose President Donald Trump and his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for her lawsuit arguing that the hush agreement barring her from discussing her alleged relationship with Trump is invalid.
In the ruling, the judge wrote that Daniels’ motion to depose Trump and Cohen was “premature,” suggesting that her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, could refile the motion at a later date. The judge wrote that Daniels cannot seek to depose Trump and Cohen until Cohen files a petition to move the case to arbitration. Lawyers representing Trump and Cohen have said that they will push to move the case to private arbitration, but have not yet submitted the filing.
Avenatti said that he will refile his motion to depose Trump and Cohen after they file their petition to move to arbitration.
Here is an order from the Ct denying our motion as premature on procedural grounds. We will refile the motion as soon as DT, MC, and EC, LLC file their motion to compel arbitration seeking to hide the facts from public view. We expect this any day. https://t.co/H85pmKdISK
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 29, 2018
Though Avenatti will have to wait to refile the motion to depose Trump and Cohen and to hold a jury trial, he told CNN that the language in the ruling was encouraging.
“We’re very, very encouraged by language in the order not just suggesting, but basically finding, that we’re correct in the application of the law and the facts to this matter. This does not bode well for the President or Mr. Cohen, and all indications are that when this motion is heard on the merits, we’re going to get the discovery and we’re going to get the trial we’ve asked for,” he said.
In the ruling, the judge noted that Daniels is allowed to ask for a jury trial, but said that a petition to compel arbitration must come first and that the petition may answer some questions that Daniels seeks to find through discovery.