President Donald Trump and a company affiliated with him filed court papers Monday seeking to force the pornographic film actress Stephanie Clifford to raise her disputes through private arbitration, not lawsuits. Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels, was paid $130,000 to keep quiet about her claims of an affair with Trump. She sued last month to get out of the nondisclosure agreement she signed in October 2016, alleging that it was void because Trump had never signed it. That raised the prospect of further embarrassing revelations for a president who has already been rocked by Clifford’s public statements. In a motion filed Monday, Essential Consultants — a shell company established by Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen to pay Clifford — asked the US District Court for the Central District of California to compel Clifford “to arbitrate any and all disputes arising” from the confidentiality agreement she signed. In a separate document filed on the same day, Trump formally joined the motion. Arbitration would be beneficial to Trump because it is a private process in which a third party resolves a legal dispute after all parties agree to be bound by the decision. A lawsuit, by contrast, could create a public spectacle, bringing… Read full this story
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