Stormy Daniels has suffered yet another setback in her ongoing feud with President Donald Trump. Daniels has been ordered to pay President Trump $293,000 in legal fees after a lawsuit Daniels filed against President Trump was deemed meritless. The ruling Tuesday is a blow to Daniels, but she still has other cases pending.
“The U.S. District Court today ordered Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) to pay President Trump $292,052.33 to reimburse his attorneys’ fees (75% of his total legal bill), plus an additional $1,000 in sanctions to punish Daniels for having filed a meritless lawsuit against the President designed to chill his free speech rights,” Charles J. Harder, the president’s legal counsel, said in a statement.
“The court’s order, along with the court’s prior order dismissing Stormy Daniels’ defamation case against the President, together constitute a total victory for the President, and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels in this case.”
Trump’s attorneys had asked for $800,000 for the failed defamation lawsuit, yet the amount decided on by the court is far lower.
“Charles Harder and Trump deserve each other because they are both dishonest,” Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti said. “If Stormy has to pay $300k to Trump in the defamation case (which will never hold up on appeal) and Trump has to pay Stormy $1,500,000 in the NDA case (net $1,200,000 to Stormy), how is this a Trump win?”
The back-and-forth in this case began when news of an alleged affair between Trump and Daniels officially became public. Trump has acknowledged paying $130,000 in hush money, but denies the affair took place.
The rest is a morass of name calling and finger pointing that is still far from over. This specific case came after Trump accused Daniels of lying about a man that she claims threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot. Daniels claims he was acting on behalf of Trump to ensure she remained silent.
Yet Trump’s tweet about Daniels was eventually ruled as an act of free speech by U.S. District Judge S. James Otero.
“The court agrees with Mr. Trump’s argument because the tweet in question constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the U.S.,” Otero said. “The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement.”