Judge hints Stormy Daniels' lawsuit against Trump could be tossed

A federal judge in Los Angeles appeared inclined Tuesday to toss out a lawsuit against President Trump by adult film star Stormy Daniels seeking to tear up an agreement that paid her $130,000 in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual relationship with Trump more than a decade ago.

Lawyers for Trump and his onetime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, agreed to rescind the settlement agreement with Daniels, then asked U.S. District Judge S. James Otero to dismiss the lawsuit. Otero did not rule on the request, but seemed to agree that Daniels no longer had grounds to sue.

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"It seems you've achieved ... what you sought to achieve," Otero said.

"They admitted what we said all along," Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti told reporters after the hearing. "So any attempt by anyone to claim that this is not a victory for Stormy Daniels is completely bogus and nonsense and dishonest."

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Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, brought the lawsuit to free herself from the agreement she'd signed to keep from telling her story late in the 2016 presidential campaign. Cohen arranged the payment and later pleaded guilty to campaign violations after admitting the deal was struck to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

Trump has denied the alleged affair with Daniels, which she says happened in 2006, the year after he married Melania Trump.

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Daniels had claimed the agreement was not valid because Trump's signature was not on it, and the president's lawyer has said he was never a party to the settlement.

Despite appearing to get what Daniels originally sought -- dismissal of the agreement she'd disregarded long ago in speaking to news media and writing a book -- Avenatti, who once toyed with challenging Trump for the presidency, fought hard to keep the case alive. He argued the case should continue because he wanted to take sworn statements from Trump and Cohen. He also plans to ask for legal fees.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.