Stormy Daniels’ lawyer said Thursday that he is nearly done confirming the accounts of two women who say they had sex with Donald Trump and then signed secrecy agreements that paid them even more than the $130,000 the adult film star received.
“They are not fully vetted. But there’s at least two that I think are on solid ground,” lawyer Michael Avenatti said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“And I think that as the evidence rolls out over the coming months, disclosures are going to be made that my client was not alone as it relates to these payments.”
Avenatti said the two women are not officially his clients yet and have not agreed to be identified. But he said it appears there is paperwork that he expects will show Trump, through his personal attorney Michael Cohen, paid off the women.
“We have not verified the documents,” Avenatti cautioned, but added that if the payments are bona fide, the timing of them could be “problematic” for Cohen and Trump.
-Michael Cohen exits the U.S. Federal Court in New York on April 16, 2018.Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / AFP – Getty Images file
There are accusations that the October 2016 payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, violated federal campaign finance laws because it was made to avoid bad publicity weeks before the presidential election.
Cohen has said he fronted the money for Trump, but the president did not list any debts to the lawyer in his federally required financial disclosure filing last year.
A reimbursement to Cohen was included in a 2017 filing that was released Wednesday — days after Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani confirmed that the president had repaid Cohen for the settlement, which the White House had previously said Trump knew nothing about.
Attorneys for Trump and Cohen did not immediately respond to inquiries about Avenatti’s comments on the two women. The claim is the latest in a string of maneuvers that have bedeviled Trump and Cohen.
In March, Avenatti filed a lawsuit on Daniels’ behalf seeking to invalidate her agreement not to talk about an allegedly “intimate relationship” on the grounds that Trump — who denies the affair, according to the White House — never signed it.
That was followed by a “60 Minutes” interview with Daniels; the release of a lie detector test for a celebrity magazine that concluded she was telling the truth about having unprotected sex with Trump; the creation of a forensic sketch of a man who allegedly threatened the actress to stay quiet about Trump; and a defamation suit against the president.
Then last week, Avenatti put out a compendium of bank transactions that showed post-election payments to Cohen from big companies like Novartis and AT&T — which said he offered himself as a consultant with close ties to the new administration. That led to revelations that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had contacted the companies about the transactions.
As Avenatti dropped bombshells, the feds dropped one of their own: The FBI raided Cohen’s hotel room and office in April as part of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan into the Daniels payoff and other matters. Avenatti has sought to intervene in a federal court dispute over the material seized in the raid.