Stormy Daniels owes Michael Avenatti a great, big “I told you so” because she’s just been ordered to pay nearly $300,000 of Donald Trump’s legal fees for that defamation lawsuit he talked her into filing. While this ruling has no bearing whatsoever on her primary NDA lawsuit against Trump, you still know it’s something Trump’s gonna be congratulating himself for, and maybe we should give it to him since he’s having such a bad day. Michael Cohen was sentenced to 3 years in prison today. Stormy lost the defamation suit in October, but because of the nature of the suit, the plaintiff is required by Texas law to pay the defendant’s legal fees. So yes, it’s technically a loss, but the judge also stated that Trump’s lawyers overcharged, so the amount requested was reduced. Maybe they’ll let her pay it to Cohen’s prison commissary account.
According to NBC News, the financial judgment comes after the court dismissed Stormy’s suit that accused Trump of defamation when he #tooktotwitter and suggested that Stormy fabricated the story she told about a parking lot goon who threatened her back in 2011. Here’s the tweet that prompted the lawsuit.
A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)! https://t.co/9Is7mHBFda
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
Of all the lies he’s tweeted, this is the one? Michael was really reaching with this one because Judge James Otero was unmoved. NBC says:
Otero found that the tweet “constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States” protected under the First Amendment, and he dismissed it under a Texas law that limits lawsuits intended to silence political speech through legal intimidation.
Otero claimed Story’s suit qualified as a SLAPP, or Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, which automatically dings the plaintiff with the burden of legal costs. Trump’s attorneys requested $340,000, but Stormy was only ordered to pay $292,052.33 because the “defendant could have streamlined litigation by distributing more work to the junior associates”. Imagine a Trump lawyer padding the books?! What’s next, nine federal charges for “failure to report millions of dollars in income and making secret payments to women who claimed they had affairs with Trump“? (via NBC) Is there no honor left in this world?
Meanwhile, Stormy’s SLAPP happy attorney had this to say of the judgement.
Only @realDonaldTrump would celebrate a “win” at the end of the first quarter. Stormy will never pay a dime because Trump and his purse puppy Cohen owe my client in excess of $1,500,000 in the NDA case. Seeing as he isn’t good at math, that’s over $1,200,000 to my client. #Basta
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) December 12, 2018
And then added:
"Michael Cohen was sentenced today," said attorney Michael Avenatti, who noted Cohen will report to prison on the same day a lawsuit was filed on behalf of adult film star Stormy Daniels. "Donald Trump is next." https://t.co/22QD0CSkHY pic.twitter.com/WMb0CCuwCM
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 12, 2018
If I’m being completely honest with myself, I still get a little charge when Michael comes hard for Trump. And yes I did read that back to myself, phrasing, but it stays.