The lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels is demanding that the Trump organization preserve all records related to the actress. He plans to subpoena them citing “unmistakable links” between President Donald Trump’s company and a secrecy agreement she signed.
Attorney Michael Avenatti also sent similar requests to two banks involved in a $130,000 payment facilitated by Trump attorney Michael Cohen to Daniels.
“We request that you immediately preserve all evidence, documents, tangible things and electronically stored information (“ESI”) potentially relevant to the claim,” Avenatti wrote to the Trump’s Organization and both banks.
In a statement to NBC News, Avenatti said, “We intend on using all legal means at our disposal to uncover the truth about the cover-up and what happened. And this is but one of many tools we will use. When we are done, the truth will be laid bare for the American people.”
Stephanie Clifford, the legal name of Daniels, said in a lawsuit filed earlier this month that she had an “intimate” relationship with Trump in 2006 and 2007. Now she is locked in a legal battle over whether she can publicly talk about it.
Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, has said that Trump denies the affair. She also said that as far as she knows, the president was not aware that his lawyer, Cohen, paid Clifford. Cohen said that he used personal funds and was not reimbursed by Trump’s company or campaign.
Clifford’s contention is that the nondisclosure agreement filed weeks before the election is invalid because Trump never signed it.
Cohen maintains it is sill in force and obtained a temporary restraining order against her from a private arbitrator.
Cohen, along with Trump, also filed a lawsuit that moved the proceedings from California state court to a federal court. They hope to get $20 million in damages from Clifford.
All these legal threats have not silenced Clifford at this point. She gave an interview to “60 Minutes” that is set to air on Sunday and she has been busy tweeting.
“Technically I didn’t sleep with the POTUS 12 years ago,” she tweeted this week. “There was no sleeping (hehe) and he was just a goofy reality TV star. But I digress…People DO care that he lied about it, had me bullied, broke laws to cover it up, etc. And PS…I am NOT going anywhere. xoxoxo”
Trump’s legal team has tried to distance Trump from the agreement with Clifford. But Avenatti’s letters point out that Cohen used his Trump Organization email account to correspond with one of the banks. Avenatti also noted that Trump Organization assistant general counsel Jill Martin initiated an arbitration proceeding.
The letter to the Trump Organization requests that they preserve all records, including texts, emails, photos, memos and financial statements, that relate to the Clifford matter.
A mysterious part of the letter asks for records related to a February exchange “whereby Mr. Cohen attempted to interfere with Ms. Clifford/Daniels’ ability to hire new counsel (i.e. Michael Avenatti).” Avenatti provided no other details.
Avenatti warned in the letter: ”You must act immediately to preserve any and all potentially relevant evidence, documents, tangible things and ESI. Failure to do so may subject you to liability.”
Credit: NBC News