The attorney for adult film actress Stormy Daniels said Friday that the American public deserves to know the details of her alleged affair with President Donald Trump, despite the case's tawdry nature, because “cover-ups matter.”
“The cover-up is that you have attorney Cohen claiming that Donald Trump never knew anything about this. You have the White House claiming that Donald Trump never knew anything about this. That’s going to be shown to be patently false,” Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, said in a Friday morning interview with CNN.
Daniels filed a lawsuit against Trump earlier this week seeking to void a non-disclosure agreement she signed in the waning days of the 2016 presidential election, the existence of which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, that awarded her $130,000 in exchange for her silence related to an affair with an individual who is unnamed in the agreement. That individual, referred to by the alias David Dennison, is Trump, Avenatti has said, and because Trump did not sign the agreement, it is void.
Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, did sign the document and facilitated the $130,000 payment to Daniels. He has said the money for Daniels’s payment came from his own personal funds and that Trump was not aware of the agreement, an argument that Avenatti on Friday called “laughable” given Cohen’s ethical obligations as an attorney and the context of the 2016 election’s waning days.
The White House said this week that Trump has denied the affair allegations. Daniels, too, has denied having an affair with Trump in the wake of the Journal’s report about the non-disclosure agreement, although that denial conflicts with a 2011 interview – predating the non-disclosure agreement – that she gave to “In Touch” magazine in which she detailed her sexual relationship with Trump, which she said began in 2006.
Avenatti said he was not intimidated by entering a legal battle with Trump, who has regularly relied on public threats of legal action as a means of pressuring foes. “He’s very active, he’s very aggressive, he’s very powerful,” Daniels’s attorney said. “But I haven't let people take my lunch money since I was seven, eight years old. I'm not going to start now.”
“We have substantial evidence and facts that were not included in the complaint. We're not going to lay all our cards out on the table,” Avenatti told CNN. “I am confident that when those evidence, or when that evidence and those facts come to light, the American people are going to conclude that attorney Cohen and the white house have not shot straight with them on this issue.”