Stormy Daniels' lawyer is demanding that the Trump Organization preserve all records related to the adult film actress and he plans to subpoena them — citing "unmistakable links" between President Donald Trump's company and a secrecy agreement she signed.
Attorney Michael Avenatti also sent similar requests Thursday to two banks involved in a $130,000 payment facilitated by Trump attorney Michael Cohen to Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.
"We request that you immediately preserve all evidence, documents, tangible things and electronically stored information ("ESI") potentially relevant to the claim," Avenatti wrote to the Trump Organization and the banks.
In a statement to NBC News, Avenatti said, "We intend on using all legal means at our disposal to uncover the truth about the cover-up and what happened. And this is but one of many tools we will use. When we are done, the truth will be laid bare for the American people."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has said Trump denies the affair. She also has said that as far as she knows, the president was not aware Cohen paid Clifford. Cohen has said he used his personal funds and was not reimbursed by Trump's company or campaign.
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Clifford contends that the nondisclosure agreement she filed weeks before the election is invalid because Trump never signed it. Cohen, however, says it's still in force and secretly obtained a temporary restraining order against her from a private arbitrator.
The legal threats have not silenced Clifford, who gave an interview to "60 Minutes" set to air Sunday and has been tweeting up a storm.
"Technically I didn't sleep with the POTUS 12 years ago," she tweeted this week. "There was no sleeping (hehe) and he was just a goofy reality TV star. But I digress...People DO care that he lied about it, had me bullied, broke laws to cover it up, etc. And PS...I am NOT going anywhere. xoxoxo"
While Trump's team has sought to distance the president and his company from the agreement with Clifford, the letters sent by Avenatti on Thursday highlight ties between them.
The letter to the Trump Organization requests it preserve all records — including texts, emails, photos, memos and financial statements — related to the Clifford matter. It also asks for records related to a February exchange "whereby Mr. Cohen attempted to interfere with Ms. Clifford/Daniels' ability to hire new counsel (i.e. Michael Avenatti)." Avenatti provided no other details about that.
The letter to First Republic Bank, where Cohen and a company he created have accounts, seeks the preservation of all data and records related to the $130,000 wire transfer to Clifford, including a suspicious activity report it filed with the Treasury Department. A letter to City National Bank, where the payment was accepted, seeks similar material.