- Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, claimed that federal prosecutors canceled a Monday meeting with his client because word of the meeting leaked to the press.
- Prosecutors declined to comment to Business Insider.
Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, claimed that federal prosecutors canceled a Monday meeting with his client because word of the meeting leaked to the press.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was scheduled to meet Monday with prosecutors from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in relation to the criminal probe into President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen. But after multiple reports on the meeting Sunday, Avenatti said prosecutors canceled.
“So I was just informed by the US Attys office that they are cancelling the mtg tmrw scheduled with me and my client (for weeks) because the press found out about the mtg and they can’t handle a few cameras outside their offices,” Avenatti tweeted.
He added: “If they consider this a big deal, how will they ever bring any serious criminal charges against Cohen et al., let alone handle a trial, in such a high profile matter? We have bent over backwards to accommodate them. This is unheard of. We remain willing to cooperate but something isn’t right…”
Avenatti also published an email he sent to federal prosecutors criticising them for the cancellation.
“In sum, we see no reason to cancel the meeting, which we understood was important to your investigation,” Avenatti wrote.
A representative for the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment when reached by Business Insider. Later Monday, Avenatti provided an email to The Washington Post from Assistant US Attorney Nick Roos, who accused Avenatti of leaking word of the meeting to the media.
“Such leaks are inappropriate in and of themselves, and more importantly, call into question your commitment to maintaining the required confidentiality of the substance of our meeting with your client,” Roos told Avenatti in the email. “For these reasons we have cancelled our meeting, and will reassess how to proceed.”
Cohen is the focus of an investigation into whether he violated campaign-finance laws or committed bank fraud, wire fraud,illegal lobbying, or other crimes. In April, the FBI raided Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room.
At the center of Cohen’s troubles is a $US130,000 hush-money payment he facilitated weeks before the 2016 presidential election to Daniels to keep her quiet about her allegation of a 2006 affair with Trump. The FBI sought documents related to that payment and other similar agreements with women in the April raids. Cohen, Trump, and the White House have denied the affair. Initially, Cohen denied that Trump reimbursed him for the payment, but last month, Trump admitted to repaying his attorney for the expense.
Meanwhile, Daniels is suing Cohen and Trump in California seeking to void the nondisclosure agreement. She also sued her previous lawyer, Keith Davidson, who represented her in the hush-money settlement. Davidson, who is cooperating in the Cohen probe, countersued her.
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