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Trump awarded over $121,000 in legal fees from Stormy Daniels in defamation case

Stormy Daniels ordered to pay legal fees
Stormy Daniels ordered to pay Trump legal fees after court loss in defamation case 00:30

On the same day that former President Donald Trump was indicted in relation to a payment made to Stormy Daniels, the adult film star was ordered by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to pay more than $121,000 for his legal fees in another case. 

The fees are owed for work by several lawyers at two law firms, Harder LLP and Dhillon Law Group.

Daniels had sued Trump for defamation based on a tweet he had posted about her. The tweet showed a photo of Daniels' ex-husband next to a composite sketch Daniels commissioned that depicted an unknown man she claimed had threatened her when she was about to go public with her claim about an affair with Trump.

The judge dismissed her case and ordered her to pay Trump's legal fees in 2018. She appealed the order, arguing the fees were too high. 

The court found that her "argument that the fee request is unreasonable and excessive is not well-founded." The court denied a small fraction of the fees submitted: Trump's request for $5,150 to prepare the document for the fee reply because it was "not itemized."

The ruling came hours after Trump appeared in a New York City courtroom in a separate criminal case brought by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. He is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

The indictment alleges falsification of business records when Trump reimbursed his former lawyer and "fixer" Michael Cohen for payments made to Daniels during the 2016 campaign. 

Falsifying business records is typically a misdemeanor under New York law but can be upgraded to a low-level felony if prosecutors can show the defendant committed the offense with the intention to commit or conceal another crime. Trump was charged with felonies on the grounds that the conduct was intended to aid another crime — violating election laws. 

–Gina Martinez and Camilo Montoya-Galvez contributed to this report.

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