Judge S. James Otero gave Cohen's attorney until Wednesday to file a declaration by Cohen himself indicating whether his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination could be at issue in the civil case due to an ongoing criminal investigation in NY.
Nobody said working for President Donald Trump was easy - but imagine having your job threatened on multiple occasions by your boss, who reportedly goes out of his way to belittle and disrespect you at every turn.
Cohen's attorneys have accused Daniels of violating the confidentiality clauses more than 20 times and said she could be liable for $1 million in damages for each violation.
Cohen's lawyer argued that because the criminal investigation overlaps issues in the lawsuit, Cohen's right against self-incrimination "may be adversely impacted if this case proceeds" because he won't be able to respond and defend himself.
Avenatti appeared on CNN's "The Lead" with Jake Tapper later Friday afternoon and boldly predicted that President Donald Trump would end up resigning because of all of this. Trump denies the affair occurred.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY is investigating Cohen's business dealings, after Federal Bureau of Investigation agents last week seized documents from Cohen's Manhattan offices relating to the Daniels payment and other issues.
Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, said it was a "strategic and purposeful" decision by Cohen not to previously file a declaration.
Per the Times, Cohen has been fully committed to Trump's political ventures for years, far earlier than most observers took any notice.
"This is their motion and their burden, it was their obligation to come with admissible evidence and they failed to do so", Avenatti said, referring to lawyers for Cohen and Trump.
The FBI has reportedly been investigating Cohen and his business dealings for months. "Michael is my attorney".
He even dabbled in marriage counseling, reportedly approaching Melania Trump at a Mar-O-Lago fundraiser earlier this year to apologize if his payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election caused her any pain. "You'll have to ask Michael". Avenatti also argues that Cohen has already spoken publicly about the case and that a delay is unfair to his client.
The hearing Friday will be the first in a case that has dominated headlines for weeks, ever since Daniels filed suit in California seeking to invalidate the deal.
The "conundrum", the judge said, is that "the scope and breadth of the criminal investigation remains a mystery".
Otero agreed, saying several times that Daniels was "undeterred".
After the raids, Cohen asked the judge to grant a stay for at least 90 days and argued that because the allegations in the lawsuit overlap with the criminal investigation, Cohen's civil rights "may be adversely affected if this case proceeds".