A judge has ordered Stormy Daniels to pay President Donald Trump's legal fees after her defamation case was dismissed. The ruling puts Daniels on the hook for $293,000 in fees as well as $1,000 in sanctions.
The defamation suit was filed over a tweet that Trump sent in April suggesting that Daniels was lying about threats made against her when she tried to go public with the details of their supposed affair in 2006. The case was dismissed back in October by US District Judge James Otero, who said that the tweet constitutes "rhetorical hyperbole" normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States."
Daniels' punishment was well below the amount request by Trump's legal team, who asked that Daniels pay almost $800,000 in fees and damages. Still, the Trump team celebrated the ruling.
"The U.S. District Court today ordered Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) to pay President Trump $293,052.33 to reimburse his attorneys’ fees (75% of his total legal bill), plus an additional $1,000 in sanctions to punish Daniels for having filed a meritless lawsuit against the President designed to chill his free speech rights," Charles J. Harder, the president's legal counsel, 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."
In a since-deleted tweet, Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti said that the ruling would never hold up on appeal and noted that the case regarding Trump and Daniels' non-disclosure agreement is the true focus of her legal fight against the president.
"Charles Harder and Trump deserve each other because they are both dishonest," he wrote. "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?"