President Donald Trump‘s attorney Charles Harder said in a Monday filing that porn star Stormy Daniels and her attorney Michael Avenatti better cough up all of the cash for troubling him with their defamation lawsuit.
Judge S. James Otero previously dismissed the suit and ruled that President Trump could seek money to cover attorneys’ fees if he so chose. Harder reveled in the prospect.
“No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today’s ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels. The amount of the award for President Trump’s attorneys’ fees will be determined at a later date,” Harder said back in October.
Now it’s November, and Harder is pursuing the money Judge Otero allowed him to seek — and then some.
Harder began by saying the fees he wants to collect are “directly attributable to Plaintiff’s gamesmanship and the constant media attention drawn to this case by her and her attorney.” Harder also said the $1 sanction proposal Avenatti and Daniels made was “preposterous.”
He said that “virtually every position [Daniels] has taken in this case, is entirely without merit” and that the argument Trump is entitled to “only recover $25,000 in fees, and that she should only be sanctioned $1, is preposterous.” Harder argued that the case began with the plaintiff “knowingly filing it in the wrong court (one business day after the Stay Order), despite her counsel’s statement that she would file it in the already pending action in this Court involving the same parties and subject matter.”
Harder said that the ensuing “labor intensive” legal work and Daniels’ refusal to “voluntarily dismiss her frivolous defamation claim (which ‘troubled’ this Court)” are reasons why more legal fees are “reasonable.” He said that Daniels should pay up for Trump’s legal fees “in whole” and that she should be sanctioned “in an amount equivalent to or in excess of those fees.”
Harder further said that the criticism of the billable hours he claims to have spent on this case — “For example, Plaintiff takes issue with the 69 hours spent on Mr. Trump’s reply in support of his Motion to Strike” — should be “rejected.” He maintained that the national nature of the case and the high-profile nature of the client required meticulous legal research on “substantive issues,” careful preparation of “each sentence” and double/triple-checking of each filing.
Avenatti responded to this by dismissing Harder as a “hack.”
“Harder is a hack who claims credit for the Hulk Hogan verdict when he did practically nothing at trial,” he told Law&Crime.
[Images via Tara Ziemba/Getty Images, Gerardo Mora/Getty Images]