- Porn star Stormy Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, sought financial help from Democrats in his battle with President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported Friday.
- The Times reported that the efforts did not lead to any financial help.
- Daniels has crowd funded more than $US528,000 for her cause.
- Avenatti told The Times he has not taken money from political donors.
Porn star Stormy Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, sought financial help from Democrats in his effort to fight President Donald Trump and his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen, The New York Times reported Friday.
Avenatti contacted a person close to major Democratic operative and millionaire David Brock, while a member of Avenatti’s law firm was in touch with a pair of people connected to top Democratic donors, including Rachel Pritzker, heiress to the Hyatt hotel fortune, people familiar with those conversations told The Times
The publication reported that the discussions did not appear to lead to any financial help for Avenatti’s high-profile legal and media battle against the president and his lawyer.
Cohen facilitated a $US130,000 hush money payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, before the 2016 presidential election to keep her quiet about her allegations of an affair with Trump. He’s now the focus of a criminal investigation in the Southern District of New York into whether he violated campaign-finance laws or committed bank fraud.
Daniels is now suing Cohen and Trump in California, seeking to void that nondisclosure agreement.
The Times reported that Brock and his fleet of liberal advocacy groups opted against donating to Avenatti because they did not see the value in doing so. It was not clear why the other donors opted against offering up cash.
Daniels has raised money for her battle with Trump and Cohen via a crowdjustice.com page, where more than 15,000 people have donated in excess of $US528,000. She admitted in April that she was not footing Avenatti’s bills, which led to questions about who was funding her attorney. Avenatti previously insisted that he was not seeking money from major political donors because “we will not allow this to be politicized.”
Avenatti told The Times in a Thursday interview that “this isn’t about politics.”
“I can’t tell you the name of every person that I have spoken to, or not spoken to, over the last three months, but what I can tell you is that we have not taken any political-associated dollars from anyone on the right or anyone on the left,” he said. “Period.”
Avenatti, now a hero on the left for his aggressive public battle with Trump and Cohen, did at one time work in Democratic politics. More than 20 years ago, he worked at a consulting firm run by Rahm Emanuel, not the mayor of Chicago. Avenatti said he worked on more than 150 campaigns in 42 states, but told The Times that about 50 of those campaigns were for Republicans.
The attorney said he did not recognise the names of Brock or the two people connected to top Democratic donors, but didn’t dispute that he or his colleagues may have contacted them.
“We’ve contacted people on the right and the left relating to a variety of issues,” Avenatti told The Times. “We have not sought any money from anyone on the right or the left.”
He added that he turned down “big money” from both liberal and conservative donors “because we’re not going to have this politicized.”
Avenatti has exploded onto the scene in recent months as the president’s most prominent adversary. Trump, however, has avoided publicly engaging with Avenatti, though the president’s outside attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has battled the lawyer for much of the past month. On Thursday, Giuliani told Business Insider he did not “think the president pays much attention to him really.”
“I mean the president just thinks he’s a fool, and he probably feels terrible that he’s caused so many problems for Michael Cohen who doesn’t deserve it,” Giuliani said.
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