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The Latest: Judge inclined to toss Trump defamation claim

September 25, 2018
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FILE - In this May 23, 2018 file photo Stormy Daniels, speaks during a ceremony for her receiving a City Proclamation and Key to the City in West Hollywood, Calif. A federal judge will consider Monday, Sept. 24, whether to toss out a lawsuit brought by Daniels against President Donald Trump and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, weeks after Trump conceded a non-disclosure deal she signed just before the 2016 presidential election is invalid. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on lawsuits filed against President Donald Trump by porn actress Stormy Daniels (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

A federal judge appears inclined to toss out a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump by porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Judge S. James Otero said in a Los Angeles courtroom that a tweet the president wrote in April appears to be “rhetorical hyperbole” and protected speech.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, sued Trump in April after he said a composite sketch of a man she says threatened her in 2011 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with him was a “con job.”

Trump says the man was “nonexistent” and that Daniels was playing the “fake news media for fools.”

Otero says Trump’s statement seems like opinion and speech that is protected under the First Amendment. He will rule later.

Otero scheduled hearings in December to discuss Trump’s efforts to dismiss another lawsuit by Daniels over a hush-money agreement related to their alleged affair.

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11:16 a.m.

Lawyers for President Trump are urging a judge to toss porn actress Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit over a hush-money deal after their alleged affair.

Trump’s lawyers are expected to argue in a Los Angeles federal court Monday that the agreement and $130,000 payout was not valid and they won’t punish her for breaking it.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has sued to escape the agreement so she can speak publicly without fear of reprisal.

Daniels’ lawyer wants to keep the litigation going to take testimony from Trump about whether the deal was inked to silence Daniels while he was running for president.

Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations for arranging payments to both Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election.

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