Stormy Daniels' lawyer seeks deposition from Donald Trump

If successful, it would be the first deposition of a sitting US president since Bill Clinton in 1998

Stormy Daniels' lawyer seeks deposition from Donald Trump

File photo of ‘Stormy Daniels’ attending the Erotica LA conference in California, 19-08-2018. Image: Antonio Nava/Pi/Zuma Press/PA Images

A lawyer for Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who claims to have had an affair with Donald Trump, has filed a motion seeking to depose the President.

The motion, which would also require Mr Trump's attorney to give evidence under oath, will add pressure on the US leader over his alleged sexual encounter with the adult film star years ago.

If successful, it would be the first deposition of a sitting US president since President Bill Clinton in 1998, when the Democrat had to answer questions about his encounter with Paula Jones, a former state employee who sued him for sexual harassment.

The legal action from Ms Daniels seeks to gain sworn testimony from Mr Trump and his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, over a $130,000 (€105,000) payment made to her days before the 2016 presidential election as part of a nondisclosure agreement she is seeking to invalidate.

Mr Cohen says the $130,000 was paid out of his own pocket and that neither the Trump Organisation nor the Trump campaign was involved.

Ms Daniel's attorney, Michael Avenatti, wants to question the pair for "no more than two hours" to establish if Mr Trump knew about the payment, which he refers to as a "hush agreement," and if he consented to it.

Mr Avenatti says the agreement is invalid because it was not signed by Mr Trump.

Asked if his client would opt for a settlement, the lawyer said that it was a possibility but "at this point we don't see how this case would possibly be settled."

A hearing in Los Angeles is set for 30 April.

'Reckless'

In a statement to CBS, the attorney acting on behalf of Mr Cohen 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".

The White House, which has said Mr Trump denies the relationship, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ms Daniels - real name Stephanie Clifford - detailed her alleged 2006 tryst with Mr Trump in an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes on Sunday. She said she'd slept with him once, shortly after Mr Trump's wife, Melania, gave birth to the President's youngest son.

She also alleged that she was approached in a parking lot in 2011 when she was with her infant daughter, and was threatened by a man with physical violence if she went public with her story.

After the interview aired, the lawyer acting for Mr Cohen demanded she publicly apologise for suggesting he had been involved. In response, Ms Daniels has submitted a revised federal lawsuit accusing Mr Cohen of defamation.

Mr Avenatti is part of a growing list of lawyers looking to question Mr Trump.

Attorneys for Summer Zervos, a former contestant on one of Mr Trump's Apprentice reality TV shows, say they want to depose the President as part of a defamation suit.

Mr Trump's legal team is in continued negotiations with special counsel Robert Mueller over the scope and terms of an interview with the President.