NY Times: The attorney's fees Stormy Daniels has to pay are not going to be 'insignificant' (Update)

The president and Stormy Daniels are now trading insults on Twitter which, as Allahpundit pointed out, seems like a bad way for Trump to highlight a genuine win in the defamation lawsuit yesterday signified by Daniels being required to pay his attorney’s fees. I’ve been wondering what kind of money we’re talking about. The NY Times doesn’t take a guess at the dollar figure but concludes it will not be an insignificant amount.

The money now owed by Ms. Clifford to compensate Mr. Trump’s team of lawyers for their work on the case over nearly six months will not be insignificant. While Charles J. Harder, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, said Monday that the fees had yet to be determined, the case required several lawyers and multiple court filings. At least four lawyers represented the president at a recent court hearing in Los Angeles, and one filing drew on research that cited more than three dozen cases as precedent.

Daniels’ attorney, Micheal Avenatti, is appealing the ruling, so it’s possible something could change. But assuming it doesn’t, this bill is not going to be a few thousand dollars. With multiple attorneys working on this for six months, this is going to be tens of thousands of dollars. Last night, Avenatti had something to say about that on Twitter:

And later last night, Avenatti released this longer statement:

Avenatti is talking about his other case against the president which involves Stormy Daniels’ non-disclosure agreement. That case hasn’t been resolved yet but Avenatti is correct that he appears to have a winning hand, given that Cohen, has already pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations connected to the case. Avenatti’s statement concludes, “Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump owe Ms. Daniels significant sums of money for attorneys’ fees and costs in connection with the NDA case that will far exceed any fees or costs awarded in the defamation case.”

Even if Avenatti is right about who will wind up paying more, the fact remains that the defamation case which he brought was a bust which is going to wind up costing his client money. The good news for Daniels is that she has a crowd-funding campaign for legal fees which has raised over half-a-million dollars so far. So whatever the fees are, her supporters have already covered it.

As for Trump paying more, let’s be blunt here. If he loses the NDA case Trump can afford to pay whatever attorney’s fees Avenatti wants to charge him. Even if he ends up paying ten times as much as whatever Daniels pays in the defamation case, it’s not going to impact him. Meanwhile, Daniels can’t be happy with Avenatti for advising her to file the defamation case in the first place, a case Avenatti himself now admits was secondary. If nothing else it muddies the waters on what might have been a clean win.

Update: Maybe I spoke too soon suggesting Avenatti’s NDA case was a winning hand. Over at Law and Crime there’s a piece arguing that case is weaker than the one that just got tossed out:

As for the original claim about the hush agreement, the immediate issue is whether the case should be decided by a court or through arbitration. Daniels and Avenatti have a strong case for why the arbitration clause in the agreement should fail. The clause only refers to disputes between Daniels and Trump, Trump never signed the agreement, and Trump never initiated any action against her. That being said, if the case were to move forward in court, they’d likely lose anyway, since there still appears to be a valid agreement between Daniels and Cohen/Essential Consultants LLC, where she agreed to accept money in exchange for her silence.

If Stormy loses that case too it’s really going to put a dent in her legal defense fund but not nearly as big as the dent it will leave in Avenatti’s ego.