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Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, and lawyer Michael Avenatti. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images

A federal judge in California on Tuesday ordered adult film star Stormy Daniels to pay Donald Trump $293,052.33 in attorneys' fees for her defamation case against the president, which the judge dismissed in October, and another $1,000 in sanctions for filing a "meritless" legal challenge.

Background: Daniels sued the president for what her legal team described as "irresponsible and defamatory statements" he made about her on Twitter. But U.S. District Judge James Otero ruled that it was non-defamatory on its face, instead characterizing it as "rhetorical hyperbole."

Trump’s lawyer Charles Harder said in a statement: "The court’s order, along with the court’s prior order dismissing Stormy Daniels’ defamation case against the President, together constitute a total victory for the President, and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels in this case."

  • Earlier this month, Harder asked Judge Otero for almost $800,000 in attorneys’ fees and penalties in the case, per BuzzFeed News.

Meanwhile, Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti tweeted: "Harder and Trump deserve each other because they are both dishonest. If Stormy has to pay $300k to Trump in the defamation case (which will never hold up on appeal) and Trump has to pay Stormy $1,500,000 in the NDA case (net $1,200,000 to Stormy), how is this a Trump win?"

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Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy. Photo: Alex Edelman/CNP/Getty Images

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries.
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  3. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
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Michigan board certifies Biden's win

Poll workers count absentee ballots in Detroit, Michigan on Nov. 4. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified the state's election results on Monday, making President-elect Joe Biden's win there official and granting him the state's 16 electoral votes.

Why it matters: Republican Party leaders had unsuccessfully appealed to delay the official certification, amid the Trump campaign's failed legal challenges in key swing states.