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This image released by CBS News shows Stormy Daniels, left, during an interview with Anderson Cooper which will air on Sunday, March 25, 2018, on "60 Minutes." (CBS News/60 Minutes via AP)

Attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels seeks to depose Trump on payment

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By CATHERINE LUCEY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

In documents filed in U.S. District Court in California, Michael Avenatti seeks to depose Trump and Trump attorney Michael Cohen about a $130,000 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 if 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."

Michael Avenatti
In this image from video, Michael Avenatti, attorney and spokesperson for adult film star Stormy Daniels, listens to a reporters' question during an interview at The Associated Press, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in New York. Avenatti is seeking to depose the president and his attorney. Avenatti filed the motion in federal court in California. In the documents he seeks to depose President Donald Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen about a $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 presidential election. (AP Photo/Joe Frederick)

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

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.

Daniels Motion by Sinclair Broadcast Group on Scribd

As precedent, the motion references the fact that former President Bill Clinton was deposed while in office in 1998 during the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit. That came after the Supreme Court ruled that a sitting president was not immune from civil litigation on something that happened before taking office and was unrelated to the office.

Jones' 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.

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