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story.lead_photo.caption In this Sept. 19, 2017, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington.

LOS ANGELES -- President Donald Trump's personal attorney said Wednesday that he will assert his constitutional right against self-incrimination in a civil case brought by an adult-film star who said she had an affair with Trump.

Michael Cohen has been asking a federal judge in Los Angeles to delay Stormy Daniels' case after FBI agents raided his home and office earlier this month, seeking records about a nondisclosure agreement Daniels signed days before the 2016 presidential election.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and has sued to invalidate the confidentiality agreement that prevents her from discussing it. She's also suing Cohen, alleging defamation.

Cohen sought to delay the civil case until 90 days after the raid, arguing that his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination may be jeopardized if legal proceedings aren't stayed.

But last week, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero said there were "gaping holes" in Cohen's request for a delay.

Cohen's lawyer argued in court last week that because the criminal investigation overlaps with issues in the lawsuit, his client's right against self-incrimination could be adversely affected because he won't be able to respond and defend himself.

In a court filing Wednesday, Cohen said FBI agents had seized "various electronic devices and documents in my possession" that contain information about the $130,000 Daniels was paid as part of the agreement. Agents also seized communications with his lawyer, Brent Blakely, about the civil case, Cohen said.

Daniels has offered to return the $130,000 and argues that the agreement is legally invalid because it was only signed by her and Cohen, not by Trump.

Cohen will assert his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination "in connection with all proceedings in this case," he wrote.

Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, said Cohen's filing was a "stunning development."

"Never before in our nation's history has the attorney for the sitting President invoked the 5th Amend in connection with issues surrounding the President," he tweeted.

Information for this article was contributed by Jill Colvin of The Associated Press.

Photo by AP/ABC/Heidi Gutman
This image released by ABC shows adult film actress Stormy Daniels during an appearance on the daytime talk show "The View," Tuesday, April 17, 2018, in New York.

A Section on 04/26/2018

Print Headline: Trump lawyer says he'll plead Fifth in porn-star suit

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