In “a stunning development,” Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, has decided to take the Fifth Amendment in the legal case brought by the porn star Stormy Daniels.
Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen will plead the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination in a law suit brought by Stormy Daniels, a court was told Wednesday.
Cohen, whose business dealings are under FBI investigation and whose office, home, hotel room and safe deposit box were raided this month, will make the plea in a California civil case.
It means that he believes he could incriminate himself when giving evidence in the case – a move which will raise fears in the Trump camp over what crimes he may think he could be charged with.
The development was disclosed in a brief court filing in Los Angeles.
Cohen and Trump are both being sued there by Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, to try to end the $130,000 gag order she agreed to before the election, which stopped her speaking about her claim of sex with the then candidate.
Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, said on Twitter that it was ‘a stunning development’ because it was a case involving ‘issues surrounding the President’.
He added a link to a report that quote[d] Trump as saying in 1990: ‘If you’re innocent, why are [you] taking the Fifth?’
During an appearance on CNN on Wednesday night, Avenatti said he predicts that the Cohen investigation will result in Trump’s resignation.