Trump crowed about the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit’s ruling Monday night, once again denying he ever had an affair with the adult-film actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
“The lawsuit was a purely political stunt that never should have started, or allowed to happen, and I am pleased that my lawyers were able to bring it to a successful conclusion after the court fully rejected her appeal,” Trump said in a statement. “Now all I have to do is wait for all of the money she owes me.”
The court found that it lacked jurisdiction over Daniels’s appeal of the attorneys’ fees problem because she failed to file a notice of appeal within a 30-day deadline of a federal judge granting the fees to Trump. The ruling would appear to end a legal battle that dates back to 2016, when Daniels came forward with the claim she and Trump had a tryst in 2006, though the story stayed under wraps at the time.
Daniels answered Trump’s victory lap statement with a tweet vowing never to make good on the court order.
“I will go to jail before I pay a penny,” Daniels tweeted.
Daniels first revealed her claim in 2016, but the story received major traction two years later, when the Wall Street Journal revealed that she had received $130,000 just before the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about the alleged affair. She later sued Trump for defamation after he denied the affair took place and disparaged her.
When Daniels initially made the accusation, she was represented by Michael Avenatti, who became a favorite on liberal cable news programs and was even floated by many on the Left as a 2020 challenger to Trump. But just last month, Avenatti was convicted of swindling Daniels out of $300,000 over a book deal. He had already been convicted of extorting sneaker giant Nike for up to $25 million and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.
Not only is Avenatti in prison, but Trump’s attorney in the early stages of the case, Michael Cohen, also went to prison in connection with his payment of “hush money” to Daniels.
Daniels claims she and Trump had sex in July 2006 after they met at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, according to the Wall Street Journal. It would have been a year after Trump had married former first lady Melania Trump.