President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, filed court documents on Wednesday, April 25, indicating that he will plead the fifth to avoid incriminating himself in the case brought by porn star Stormy Daniels, CNN reports.
“Based upon the advice of counsel, I will assert my Fifth Amendment rights in connection with all proceedings in this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York,” Cohen, 51, said in the papers, via the network.
In the filing in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the attorney said federal investigators seized “various electronic devices and documents” from his home, office and hotel room on April 9, including information pertaining to the $130,000 payment he made to Daniels, 39, before the 2016 presidential election in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump, 71.
In response to Wednesday’s news, the stripper’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, tweeted, “This is a stunning development. Never before in our nation’s history has the attorney for the sitting President invoked the 5th Amend in connection with issues surrounding the President. It is esp. stunning seeing as MC served as the ‘fixer’ for Mr. Trump for over 10 yrs. #basta.”
This is a stunning development. Never before in our nation’s history has the attorney for the sitting President invoked the 5th Amend in connection with issues surrounding the President. It is esp. stunning seeing as MC served as the “fixer” for Mr. Trump for over 10 yrs. #basta
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 25, 2018
Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) has repeatedly alleged that she had sex with the real estate mogul in 2006, the same year that he and wife Melania Trump welcomed their son, Barron, now 12. Daniels filed a lawsuit against the former reality TV star in March, claiming the nondisclosure agreement that Cohen brokered with her is void because the president never signed it. She also sued Cohen for defamation.
Trump has denied the affair allegations and knowing anything about Cohen’s payment to Daniels.