As federal investigators pore over material seized from President Trump’s personal lawyer, the man representing Stormy Daniels says there is a “substantial amount of evidence” to charge the lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti said in an interview with Cheddar he was certain Mr. Cohen committed a crime and that he could charged before the end of the summer.
“I know that for a fact,” Avenatti said, though he didn’t say how he arrived at this certainty.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, alleges she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. She was paid by Cohen to stay quiet about the affair, as part of a non-disclosure agreement she signed in 2016. Avenatti is now helping her challenge that contract.
He said the fact that the FBI got search warrants for Cohen’s office and hotel room was a sign there was sufficient evidence already to implicate Cohen given the level of scrutiny those warrants would have received.
“That was not a decision that was made lightly,” Avenatti said. “There were multiple individuals that had to have been consulted and had to have signed off on that including a federal judge,” he said.
Earlier this week, Avenatti told CNN that he was aware of more FBI raids planned “within the next week.”
When asked Thursday on Cheddar how he could know the FBI’s plans, he again declined to say how he got his information.
The FBI agents who raided Cohen’s office were looking for information on potential campaign finance violactions, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. Investigators were reportedly gathering details on Cohen’s relationship to the Trump presidential campaign, in which he had no official role, and trying to determine if he was connected to the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape.
The $130,000 that Cohen paid Daniels in 2016 to keep her quiet about her tryst with Trump is a key element of the case, Avenatti said.
If the payment came from Cohen, it could be considered an undisclosed campaign contribution, Avenatti said. If prosecutors find that Trump reimbursed Cohen for that payment, or even knew about it, Avenatti said the president could face conspiracy charges.
“In the event that Michael Cohen were to roll over on the president, that could pose a significant problem for the president and his ability to stay in office,” Avenatti said.
For the full interview, click here.