Evening Express

Company offers to drop Stormy Daniels’ ‘hush-money’ agreement

A company set up by Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer has agreed to rescind Stormy Daniels’ hush-money agreement and drop its planned 20 million dollar (£15.5 million) lawsuit against the porn actress for violating its terms.

A lawyer for the company, Essential Consultants, said in a court filing that the company wants Ms Daniels to repay the 130,000 dollars (£100,000) she was paid as part of the agreement.

Ms Daniels claims she had an affair with Mr Trump in 2006, which the president denies. Essential Consultants was set up by Mr Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Donald Trump (Susan Walsh/AP)

The development could kill a plan by Ms Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, to try to compel the president to provide testimony under oath, if the agreement is rescinded and a judge agrees to dismiss the case.

Essential Consultants was set up by Mr Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty in federal court last month to campaign-finance violations and other charges.

Cohen told the judge that he and Mr Trump had arranged the payment of hush money to Ms Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election.

Michael Cohen leaves court in New York (Mary Altaffer/AP)

In addition to the offer to quash the agreement, Essential Consultants also agreed to back off its plan to fight Ms Daniels in private arbitration and will not pursue a lawsuit against her, Brent Blakely, a lawyer for the company said in a letter to Ms Daniels’ lawyer.

Cohen has said that Ms Daniels could owe 20 million dollars for violating the agreement.

Ms Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told The Associated Press that Friday’s development is “a stunt by Michael Cohen trying to fix it so that Donald Trump is not deposed”.

Mr Avenatti said he did not have to accept the offer and would not settle the case “without the depositions,” which he said would include Mr Trump.

He believes the court should invalidate the agreement because it violated campaign finance laws, he said.

Ms Daniels is also suing Mr Trump and Cohen for defamation.