The adult film star known as Stormy Daniels found her lawsuit against President Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen halted by a federal judge Friday for 90 days. District Judge James Otero said that Cohen's constitutional rights could be at risk if the lawsuit were to continue while he is being criminally investigated. "The court finds that there is a large potential factual overlap between the civil and criminal proceedings that would heavily implicate Mr. Cohen’s Fifth Amendment rights," Otero said.
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The judge referred to the Constitutions protection against self-incrimination after Cohen admitted to paying Daniels $130,000. The money was allegedly intended to buy Daniels' silence about sleeping with Trump, Daniels' real name is Stephanie Clifford. Michael Avenatti who is representing Daniels said he plans to fight the stay with an immediate appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California.
Cohen recently stated he would invoke his fifth amendment right to refuse to answer questions in the lawsuit after the FBI raided his home, office, and hotel. The Fifth Amendment says no individual can be "compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." Daniels tried to get the case to continue saying Cohen could invoke the amendment for specific questions that could be self-incriminating.
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Judge Otero ruled such a deposition would be useless because it would lead to Cohen not answering anything anyway. Otero said the stay is warranted "to determine that the scope and context of the FBI investigation and potential criminal proceedings will not substantially interfere with this action."
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