- Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing the porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, called her previous attorney, Keith Davidson, an “absolute tool.”
- In an earlier interview with CNN, Davidson said there were unreported details of the nondisclosure agreement between Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, and the adult-film actress.
- Davidson also said Cohen had encouraged him to reveal those details, but Davidson said he wouldn’t, citing attorney-client privilege, which remains in effect even though he no longer represents Daniels.
Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing the porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, called her previous attorney, Keith Davidson, an “absolute tool” during an interview with the CNN anchor Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night.
Avenatti previously criticised Davidson’s handling of the 2016 nondisclosure agreement between the actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen.
Daniels contends that the agreement, which included a $US130,000 payment, is invalid because Trump did not sign it. She says the agreement was meant to keep her quiet about an affair she says she had with Trump in 2006.
Davidson previously represented both Daniels and Karen McDougal, a woman who has said she had a 10-month affair with Trump around the same time as Daniels.
Davidson spoke on the matter in his own interview with the CNN correspondent Sara Sidner that aired Wednesday, during which he implied the “whole truth” about the Trump-Cohen-Daniels matter had not yet been revealed.
Avenatti bristled at the suggestion, saying “Keith Davidson is an absolute tool.”
“I’m going to say it on national television tonight because what he has done by giving this interview is really unheard of in the legal profession,” Avenatti said of Davidson.
“For him to go out and comment on two matters, one for McDougal and one for my client, after he was terminated from both cases… to get his name out there or his face on television, is really outrageous,” Avenatti continued. “And it’s unethical and there’s going to be serious consequences that result from it. I’m shocked.”
Davidson told CNN that Cohen contacted him and encouraged to disclose unreported details of the agreement to the public with the reasoning that Daniels and McDougal had waived their attorney-client privileges by going public with their allegations.
Davidson said that after consulting with an ethics attorney he still felt obligated to honour the attorney-client privileges with Daniels and McDougal.
Avenatti asserted that the damage was already done.
“He was in contact with Mr. Cohen, who’s encouraging him to go out on television and tell a story, presumably to support Mr. Cohen,” Avenatti said.
“It raises a whole host of suspicions about exactly what’s been going on between these two attorneys,” Avenatti continued. “Michael Cohen can’t appear on your show or any other show to answer the most basic questions, and yet he’s trying to act as a puppeteer … as it relates to Mr. Davidson.”
Asked by Cooper whether Daniels was willing to waive her attorney-client privilege with Davidson, Avenatti said he would consider it but said such a move would be “highly unusual.”
“I think if the president or Michael Cohen would waive their attorney-client privilege, we’d certainly be willing to do that,” Avenatti said. “I doubt they’re going to do it.”
Cohen has insisted that the nondisclosure agreement and the payment associated with it were legally sound, with Trump’s representatives denying that Trump had an affair with either of the two women.
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