Trump Attorney Michael Cohen Will Plead the Fifth in Stormy Daniels Lawsuit

A “stunning development” says porn star’s lawyer.

Michael Cohen, President Trump's embattled lawyer, left, leaves court in Manhattan on April 16.Go Nakamura/ZUMA Wire

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen indicated in a court filing on Wednesday that he will assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a lawsuit filed by adult film actress Stormy Daniels against President Donald Trump.

Cohen, who is a subject of a criminal investigation by the Justice Department, cited a recent raid of his New York office, noting that federal agents “seized various electronic devices and documents in my possession,” including materials related to a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Daniels alleges she previously had an affair with Trump. A federal judge in New York is slated to hold a hearing on Thursday about the materials.

“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 US Attorney for the Southern District of New York,” Cohen said.

Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, called Cohen’s decision a “stunning development” in the case. The adult film actress sued President Trump in March to get out of a nondisclosure agreement from October 2016.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate