The story of Donald Trump and Michael Cohen’s illegal porn star hush money deal was just confirmed as a major election issue in the hands of the Wall Street Journal just five days before Americans cast their ballots for President.
Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti just released a bombshell set of emails from her former attorney Keith Davidson, which confirms that the Wall Street Journal had the story of the hush money payoff scheme.
“Yes.” Avenatti told us when we asked if he used California bar rules to obtain these legally damaging emails against Cohen and Trump from Daniels’ prior lawyer, Davidson. “We demanded the documents and after a considerable battle, we were finally provided them.”
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Journal reporter Joe Palazollo had information on both Stephanie Clifford – Daniels’ legal name – and former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, which was made by AMI, owned by Trump’s friend David Pecker, the publisher of the National Enquirer. Avenatti released the documents along with an email from Davidson to Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
The timing of Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment on behalf of the Trump campaign is crucial to determining if the payment is an illegally unreported election expense.
There is a very good chance that Keith Davidson is the source of Avenatti’s emails between him and Michael Cohen.
That is because California Bar Rules of Professional Conduct regulate attorneys like Keith Davidson – who have had their client relationship terminated as he did by Stormy Daniels who moved on to work with Michael Avenatti.
Attorneys have a mandatory duty under Rule 3-700 Termination of Employment section “(D) Papers, Property, and Fees” which California bar rulebook says that it “makes clear the [attorney’s] duties in the recurring situation in which new counsel seeks to obtain client files from a member discharged by the client.” The rule reads in part:
A member whose employment has terminated shall: (1) …promptly release to the client, at the request of the client, all the client papers and property.
“Client papers and property” includes correspondence, pleadings, deposition transcripts, exhibits, physical evidence, expert’s reports, and other items reasonably necessary to the client’s representation, whether the client has paid for them or not.
Failure to follow bar rules can easily result in disbarment, which Davidson has suffered not once, but twice in the past, though he had his licensure restored after each suspension.
Stormy Daniels’ former lawyer Keith Davidson has a Hollywood reputation as the go-to guy in hush money payoffs and represented both women against Trump.
Davidson also worked on a third hush money payoff with Michael Cohen and convicted felon ex-RNC finance co-chairman Eliott Broidy.
Last month, the Washington Post reported that Davidson is cooperating with the federal probe into Michael Cohen’s hush money payoffs at Essential Consultants LLC, which Trump’s personal lawyer repurposed into a bribery slush fund for Russian oligarchs and major international corporations.
The timing of Cohen’s payoffs is key to determining if they’re unreported election expenses, and Trump’s recent acknowledgment of a campaign debt owed to his personal attorney led to a criminal referral from the Office of Government Ethics.
But the constant stream of emails to Michael Cohen from Keith Davidson about election reporting, right after their hush money deal, is threatening to sink his chances in his civil case in California, and simultaneously aiding the FBI’s criminal case against him and his client, Donald J. Trump.
For reference, here’s the original tweet with the emails from Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti:
See below. 1) the WSJ had the story in the closing days of the campaign but sat on it and 2) Mr. Davidson lied to them and conspired with Mr. Cohen in 2016. This is why we have demanded to see all of Davidson's docs for mos and will sue if need be. #Bastahttps://t.co/iCUrQg3VoT
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 29, 2018