The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Michael Avenatti, lawyer for aging adult film star Stormy Daniels, has frustrated efforts by federal prosecutors to obtain information about a hush-money deal involving President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, according to individuals familiar with the Cohen probe.
Specifically, The Journal claimed that Avenatti, though a vocal critic of Michael Cohen, “the lawyer who paid Daniels $130,000 in October 2016 to sign a nondisclosure agreement about an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump”, was hampering efforts by Southern District of New York prosecutors to obtain information from Daniels’ previous attorney, Keith Davidson.
It was Davidson who handled the offer from Cohen for a $130,000 payment to Daniels and the so-called “hush agreement” to keep the alleged sexual encounter out of the press.
The Cohen probe
The Journal reported that Avenatti, who filed a California civil case against both President Trump and Cohen, was blocking prosecutors from obtaining documents and interviewing Davidson.
Avenatti denied the claims and criticized how the Journal sourced the story, Business Insider reported.
Or, more accurately, he threw another Twitter shit-fit:
On Twitter, Avenatti responded to the story, which was written by reporters who have broken many stories in the Cohen-Daniels saga. He called the suggestion that he was “delaying the investigation” untrue.
‘Completely bogus and designed to undercut us’
The Journal reported that cable news fixture Avenatti had yet to act on multiple requests by the SDNY for Daniels to waive her attorney-client privilege, which prevents Davidson from discussing his communications with her about the hush-money arrangement.
Avenatti also sent Davidson a cease-and-desist letter last month, ordering him not to disclose any of those communications, according to the report, which added that Avenatti made similar demands of Gina Rodriguez, who was involved in crafting the payment between Daniels and Cohen (but of course…)
On Rodriguez, Avenatti said her communications with Daniels are covered by attorney-client privilege because the manager acted as an intermediary between the adult-film actress and Davidson.