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March 11, 2018

Report: Trump Tries to Stop Stormy Daniels '60 Minutes' Interview

CYBERSPACE—With AVN Hall of Famer Stormy Daniels set to appear on the iconic CBS News program 60 Minutes next Sunday, Donald Trump has his legal team frantically scrambling to block the interview from airing, according to a report Sunday by the site BuzzFeed News. Daniels recorded the interview with correspondent Anderson Cooper on Thursday, March 8, according to a tweet posted by Daniels’s lawyer, which AVN.com noted in a story on Friday. And CNN, on which Cooper also serves as an anchor, itself confirmed that the interview taping occurred. While the contents of the interview have not been publicly revealed, presumably Daniels will discuss her alleged affair with Trump in 2006 and 2007, the “hush money” payoff she received to keep her quiet about it just before the 2016 presidential election, and the lawsuit she filed last week to void that “hush agreement.” At least that’s what Trump’s legal team seems to be anticipating. According to Sunday’s BuzzFeed report, “well-placed sources” reveal that the Trump lawyers are “preparing to file for a legal injunction to prevent [the Daniels interview] from airing.” Why they would attempt to stop the interview if they did not believe Daniels discussed the Trump affair in detail is unclear at best. But according to BuzzFeed, the legal arguments that they plan to use in order to preempt the 60 Minutes airing are also unclear. “Trump and his legal team often have threatened litigation without following through on those threats in the past,” BuzzFeed reported—perhaps referring in part to Trump’s threat to sue all of the women, now numbering 19, who have accused him of sexual misconduct. Trump made that threat during his presidential campaign in 2016, saying, "The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.” But as of March 11, 414 days into his term in the nation’s highest office, Trump has not filed lawsuits against any of his accusers. Daniels, it should be noted, has not accused Trump of sexual misconduct—their reported affair was consensual, according to her own account in a 2011 interview that surfaced in January of this year. She claims in her lawsuit, however, that she suffered “injury” due to the conduct of Trump and his associates. Attempts to stop publication or broadcast of information, particularly such attempts by the government, are generally considered “prior restraint” and have been treatedby the United States Supreme Court as "the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights.” Reportedly, however, Trump’s personal attorney and self-described “fix-it guy” Michael Cohen, obtained a restraining order from an independent arbitrator in late February, which would prevent Daniels from speaking or writing about the alleged Trump affair.  But Daniels filed her lawsuit anyway, a lawsuit in which she explicitly states that had an “intimate relationship” with Trump starting in the summer of 2006 and extending into 2007. The lawsuit claims that the agreement Daniels signed with Cohen in which she agreed to remain quiet about the affair is not valid, because Trump himself never signed it. The Anderson Cooper interview with Stormy Daniels is set to air on March 18, according to BuzzFeed reporter Chris Geidner.

 
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