BuzzFeed News reported Sunday that lawyers associated with President Donald Trump were considering legal action in an attempt to prevent CBS’s “60 Minutes” from airing an interview with Stephanie Clifford, an adult film actress who claims to have had a sexual relationship with Trump.
“We understand from well-placed sources they are preparing to file for a legal injunction to prevent it from airing,” the outlet quoted “a person informed of the preparations” as saying Saturday. Clifford is known professionally as Stormy Daniels.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper is a contributor to “60 Minutes,” and CNN reported Thursday that he had taped an interview with Clifford to be aired “on a future episode” of the show, according to an unnamed “source involved” with the taping. BuzzFeed said it had learned that CBS plans to air the interview on March 18.
The Wall Street Journal first reported in January that an LLC established by Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, paid Clifford $130,000 in hush money in October 2016. Cohen has acknowledged using his own money to “facilitate” a payment to Clifford, but denies that Trump had an affair with her.
In recent weeks, Clifford has sued Trump over a non-disclosure agreement because, she said, he never signed the document. And Cohen obtained a temporary restraining order from a private arbitrator on Feb. 27 to prevent Clifford from sharing “confidential information” related to the NDA.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders appeared to reveal Trump’s knowledge of the temporary restraining order when she said in a press conference last week that “[t]his case has already been won in arbitration.”
Michael Cohen directed BuzzFeed News to Larry Rosen, who Cohen said is “my attorney handling this matter.” Rosen, in turn, told the outlet that his firm represents “EC, LLC in connection with the arbitration pending in California, in which a TRO against Ms. Clifford was previously obtained.”
“EC LLC” appears to be a reference to “Essential Consultants” LLC, the firm Cohen set up to pay Clifford $130,000. Various watchdog groups claim the payment could constitute a violation of campaign finance law.