“Stormy” clouds continue to gather over the President.
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Continuing to move aggressively to undo the non-disclosure agreement she signed promising not to talk about her affair with Donald Trump, an attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels today put two banks and The Trump Organization (TTO) on notice that they must preserve all records and documents related to the $130,000 payment made just before the 2016 presidential election.
They join Special Counsel Mueller in crossing the “red line” that Trump laid out in the early days of the Russia probe, warning the seasoned prosecutor to not go near his personal finances or his business records – a warning which Mueller did not respect, and it’s obvious at this point that Daniels and her crew aren’t scared of the president’s bluster either.
Daniels, whose birth name is Stephanie Clifford, is now represented by attorney Michael Aevnatti, who sent the requests to the banks and TTO as a prelude to seeking subpoenas to force them to turn over the relevant documents and records, according to NBC News.
“We request that you immediately preserve all evidence, documents, tangible things and electronically stored information (ESI) potentially relevant to the claim,” wrote Avenatti.
Avenatti in demanding TTO respond indicated he sees “unmistakable links” between the company and the payment.
That includes Cohen’s use of a TTO email account in dealings with the bank that he used to send the money as a wire request.
“Avenatti also noted that (TTO) assistant general counsel Jill Martin initiated an arbitration proceeding,” reports NBC News, “which the company says she did in ‘her individual capacity.'”
That bank which Cohen used to send the money is First National Bank, which he put on notice along with CityNationall Bank, which received the payment into an account belonging to Daniels then-attorney.
“Failure to do so may subject you to liability,” wrote Avenatti to City National Bank.
In the case of TTO, Daniel’s lawyer demanded that they preserve all relevant internal communications and especially any communications from February “whereby Mr. Cohen attempted to interfere with Ms. Clifford/Daniels’ ability to hire new counsel.”
Daniels is suing to get a judge to agree that the non-disclosure agreement is void now because Trump never signed it, but Trump’s team has counter-sued because they say Daniels has violated the confidentiality clause at least 20 times – which is nonsense – and they want her to pay them a penalty of $20 million.
Cohen also claims he got a temporary restraining order against Daniels from a private arbitrator.
Cohen with Trump as a party to the motion recently got the lawsuits moved from a California state court to federal court.
Meanwhile, CBS is advertising and promoting an interview journalist Anderson Cooper conducted earlier this month with Daniels that it will broadcast on the show “60 Minutes” Sunday evening, apparently with or without a court’s blessing.
Avenatti has said in his own TV interviews that the interview will explain his claim that Trump or those representing him made “physical” threats against Daniels.
Today on CNN, Avenatti charged that Trump’s legal team, especially Cohen, have been “engaging in thuggish behavior, threats, intimidation, and hiding the money trail.”
Avenatti has also said at least six other women have contacted his firm with claims that they too had some sort of relationship with Trump, but he has not revealed any of those yet – claiming he is still checking them out.
Trump at various times has claimed he never met Daniels, but she has other witnesses who saw them together and heard him talking to her on the phone – not to mention all the pictures of them together – so if this ever goes to a trial there is lots of potential for further embarrassment for the president.
The only sure things are that the story of the Trump and the porn star is far from over, and the ratings for “60 Minutes” will be up this week.”
That is all part of an on-going problem for a president whose credibility is already suspect.