The lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels is reportedly stalling Manhattan federal prosecutors’ efforts to free Daniels’ former lawyer and manager to talk about a $130,000 payment President Trump’s personal lawyer gave Daniels before the 2016 election.
According to people familiar with the matter who spoke with the Wall Street Journal, Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ attorney, has not waived the attorney-client privilege that is preventing Daniels’ former lawyer, Keith Davidson, from discussing the agreement with federal prosecutors who are investigating Michael Cohen’s business dealings, including the $130,000 payment. Avenatti even went as far as sending Davidson a cease-and-desist letter in April to keep him from talking about his communications with Daniels over the $130,000 and non-disclosure agreement, which was reportedly enacted to keep Daniels quiet about her alleged affair with Trump.
Avenatti has also reportedly taken steps to keep Daniels’ former manager, Gina Rodriguez, from giving federal prosecutors information about her communications with Daniels until he has had the chance to review it, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to the WSJ. Rodriguez reportedly helped facilitate the $130,000 payment from Cohen just before the 2016 election.
Federal prosecutors now believe that Avenatti is stalling and the delays in responding to their requests to waive attorney-client privilege have “frustrated investigators,” per the WSJ.
Avenatti told the WSJ Monday that he and Daniels are still “ironing out the details” of whether they’ll agree to abandon some privilege so Davidson and Rodriguez can cooperate with the Cohen investigation.
Read the WSJ’s full report here.