Mar 8, 2019

Judge dismisses Stormy Daniels’s hush money suit against Trump

Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels. Photo: Hector Retamal /AFP/Getty Images

A federal judge in California tossed out adult film actress Stormy Daniel's lawsuit on Thursday against President Trump to invalidate the $130,000 nondisclosure agreement she signed in Oct. 2016 demanding she keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump ahead of the 2016 election.

Details: U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero said the case should be sent back to the California Superior Court where it was initially filed, and that it "lacks subject matter jurisdiction," CNN reported.

The backdrop: Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who set up the payment, admitted in federal court that Daniels received the money in exchange for her silence. But Trump denied the alleged 2006 affair.

  • As the case played out in court, Cohen and Trump agreed with Daniels that the nondisclosure agreement would not be enforced. However, Daniels and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, asked the court to rule that the agreement was illegal. They also sought legal fees in the case and a sworn testimony from Trump and Cohen.

What they're saying: Avenatti declared victory in a tweet Thursday night, saying that by dismissing the case, the judge eventually gave his client "everything she asked for in the lawsuit — she won." But he didn't mention the broader goal of the case.

  • Daniels tweeted: "More than a year ago when I was being threatened with a 20 million lawsuit, I asked a judge to toss out this illegal NDA. Glad I stood my ground & kept fighting."
  • Trump attorney Charles Harder called Otero's ruling a "total victory" for the president, per the AP.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,094,068 — Total deaths: 58,773 — Total recoveries: 225,519Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 273,880 — Total deaths: 7,077 — Total recoveries: 9,521Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: Wisconsin's governor called for a last-minute primary election delay. "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said on the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
  8. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Government will cover uninsured patients' coronavirus treatment

Azar at Friday's briefing. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The federal government will cover the costs of coronavirus treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a White House briefing Friday.

How it works: The money will come from a $100 billion pot set aside for the health care industry in the most recent stimulus bill. Providers will be paid the same rates they get for treating Medicare patients, and as a condition of those payments, they won't be allowed to bill patients for care that isn't covered.

More states issue stay-at-home orders as coronavirus crisis escalates

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay-at-home order on Friday as the novel coronavirus pandemic persists. The order goes into effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and will remain in place through April 30. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also issued a statewide social distancing order on Friday.

The big picture: In a matter of weeks, the number of states that issued orders nearly quadrupled, affecting almost 300 million Americans.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health