Adult film star Stormy Daniels' lawyer filed requests to the Trump Organization and two banks on Thursday to preserve all records pertaining to the payment of the actress for the nondisclosure agreement.
Attorney Michael Avenatti reportedly sent requests to the former businessman's organization and two banks that were involved in the $130,000 payment facilitated by Trump's attorney Michael Cohen. The payment was made out to Avenatti's client, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, as part of a nondisclosure agreement.
“We request that you immediately preserve all evidence, documents, tangible things and electronically stored information (ESI) potentially relevant to the claim,” Avenatti demanded in a statement made to the three firms.
The requests represent the beginning of Avenatti's subpoenaing process for the relevant records for the ongoing case.
Cohen's use of his Trump Organization email in his dealings with the banks that carried out the wire transfer is cited as an “unmistakable link” between the massive company and the payment. Due to this link, the Trump Organization is of credible interest in the case. This is despite the fact that Cohen claimed that he paid Clifford out of pocket and was never reimbursed by the president or his family's business.
Furthermore, the attorney also demanded that the organization preserve all internal communications and financial records related to the case. He indicated interest in a communication from February “whereby Mr. Cohen attempted to interfere with Ms. Clifford/Daniels' ability to hire new counsel.”
The First National Bank and the City National Bank (the two banks that were involved in the payment) were demanded to preserve all relevant records and documents.
“Failure to do so may subject you to liability,” Avenatti warned City National Bank in the letter.
The White House has repeatedly denied Clifford's allegations and suggested that the payment was made without Trump's knowledge. The payment was made just one month before the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen recently added that his reasoning for the nondisclosure agreement was to protect Trump, who he cared about in a more intimate degree than that of just a business relationship.
Clifford is suing for the ability to share details of the affair she had with Trump in 2006 and is arguing that the agreement is not legally binding because Trump never personally signed it.
If Clifford reveals that an affair did, indeed, occur, it could cause a further drop in Trump's approval ratings and serve to repel some of his less diehard supporters.
H/T: The Hill