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Michael Cohen files motion to strike Stormy Daniels' defamation claim

Michael Cohen's attorney on Monday filed a motion to dismiss the claims of defamation filed against him by Stephanie ...

Posted: Apr 10, 2018 8:13 AM
Updated: Apr 10, 2018 8:13 AM

Michael Cohen's attorney on Monday filed a motion to dismiss the claims of defamation filed against him by Stephanie Clifford, the adult film actress known as Stormy Daniels.

The filing calls Daniels' defamation claim "a desperate attempt ... to keep at least a portion of this case out of arbitration," and lists seven reasons why the court should either strike or dismiss the porn star's claims.

Cohen's filing is in response to an amended complaint filed by Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti which said that Cohen's public denial of the affair she alleges she had with Donald Trump in 2006 was "meant to convey that Ms. Clifford is a liar."

In the filing, Cohen's attorney stated Daniels was not damaged by Cohen's words because she said her earnings had quadrupled.

The FBI raided Cohen's office Monday and seized documents with information related to Daniels as well as bank records, sources said.

Stephen Ryan, a lawyer for Cohen, said in a statement that the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York had executed "a series of search warrants" including at his office, and "seized the privileged communications" between Cohen and his clients.

Avenatti told CNN's Anderson Cooper that he believes the raids could be related to Cohen being "untruthful" with the bank about the purpose of the accounts used to wire the money to Daniels.

"We have substantial reason to believe that when Michael Cohen opened the bank accounts at First Republic Bank for the purposes of wiring this money that he was not truthful and honest with the bank as to the purpose of those accounts and what they were designed to be used for," he said.

Avenatti also said the raid should have made Trump nervous about Daniels' claims.

"It appears that the noose is tightening around Michael Cohen. I think the President has considerable reason to be concerned," he said. "A lot of faith and confidence has been put in Michael Cohen. I think the expectation was that he was going to be the fall guy."

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