Stormy weather ahead

Stormy Daniels’ lawyer won’t air the ev­i­dence of the al­leged Trump af­fair in pub­lic, but Daniels main­tains her story.

The Standard Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Ken Thomas and Kevin Frek­ing

WASH­ING­TON — A lawyer rep­re­sent­ing adult film star Stormy Daniels de­clined to spec­ify ad­di­tional ev­i­dence he claims he has of Daniels’ al­leged af­fair with Don­ald Trump in 2006, adding “it make no sense for us to play our hand.”

Michael Ave­natti, mak­ing a round of morn­ing tele­vi­sion ap­pear­ances fol­low­ing the air­ing of Daniels’ “60 Min­utes” in­ter­view, in­sisted there is more ev­i­dence to come, but that he and his client are with­hold­ing cer­tain de­tails, in­clud­ing the con­tents of a CD or DVD he tweeted a pic­ture of.

“We’re not going to get into the de­tails of ev­ery­thing we have at this time, and there’s a rea­son for that,” he said on NBC’s “To­day” show. “We un­der­stand the Amer­i­can peo­ple want all the in­for­ma­tion right now, im­me­di­ately. It would make no sense for us to play our hand as to this is­sue and we’re not going to do it right now.”

In the “60 Min­utes” in­ter­view, Daniels said that she’d been threat­ened by an uniden­ti­fied man in Las Ve­gas to keep quiet about her al­leged re­la­tion­ship with Trump, an in­ci­dent that she said hap­pened while she was with her young daugh­ter. She said in the in­ter­view that she had one en­counter of con­sen­sual sex with the fu­ture pres­i­dent.

“He knows I’m telling the truth,” said Daniels, whose le­gal name is Stephanie Clif­ford. She does not al­lege that she was co­erced in her en­counter with Trump, say­ing, “This is not a ‘Me too.’ I was not a vic­tim.”

Ave­natti said last week that he is still work­ing to ver­ify the man’s iden­tity, and that he has no di­rect ev­i­dence ty­ing the threat to Trump or his lawyer “other than com­mon sense.”

“It had to have come from some­one as­so­ci­ated with Mr. Trump, there is no other place for it to have come from. It didn’t come from the mag­a­zine, it makes no sense. It cer­tainly didn’t come from my client,” he said on ABC.

He also taunted Trump for fail­ing to tweet about the al­le­ga­tions, sug­gest­ing that meant they were true.

Trump did com­plain the fol­low­ing morn­ing about there be­ing, “So much Fake News,” but it’s un­clear whether he was re­fer­ring to Daniels.

In the in­ter­view, the adult film ac­tress pro­vided lit­tle new ev­i­dence of her al­leged 2006 af­fair with Trump but said she faced in­tim­i­da­tion tac­tics aimed at en­sur­ing her si­lence in 2011.

Daniels said that in the in­ci­dent, in a park­ing lot, the man told her: “Leave Trump alone. For­get the story.” She said he then looked at her daugh­ter and said, “That’s a beau­ti­ful lit­tle girl. It’d be a shame if some­thing hap­pened to her mom.”

She re­ceived a $130,000 pay­ment days be­fore the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion for her si­lence and has sought to in­val­i­date a nondis­clo­sure agree­ment.

The White House did not im­me­di­ately com­ment early last week on the in­ter­view.

Trump, through his rep­re­sen­ta­tives, has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions. His at­tor­ney, Michael Co­hen, has said Trump never had an af­fair with Daniels. Co­hen has said he paid the $130,000 out of his pocket.

Co­hen’s at­tor­ney, Brent H. Blakely, de­nied that Co­hen had any­thing to do with the threat.

“In truth, Mr. Co­hen had ab­so­lutely noth­ing what­so­ever to do with any such per­son or in­ci­dent, and does not even be­lieve that any such per­son ex­ists, or that such in­ci­dent ever oc­curred,” he said, de­mand­ing that Daniels “cease and de­sist from mak­ing any fur­ther false and defam­a­tory state­ments about my client.”

Pre­vi­ously, Co­hen has said nei­ther the Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion nor the Trump cam­paign was a party to the trans­ac­tion with Daniels and he was not re­im­bursed for the pay­ment.

CBS News / 60 Min­utes via AP

Stormy Daniels (left) talks with An­der­son Cooper on the CBS News pro­gram “60 Min­utes.”

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