Attorney Michael Avenatti and adult film star Stormy Daniels continue to expose the fraud that is Donald Trump and everyone around him. As if exposing the potentially criminal hush money arrangement between his client and Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, wasn’t enough, Avenatti says he is vetting two more women whom he has already deemed to be “credible.” Depending on when and how these women were paid, campaign finance violations, bank fraud and tax fraud charges could begin to pile up.
In an interview on Morning Joe, Avenatti took a barrage of questions from the panel and added more intrigue to the Trump-Cohen Dumpster fire, especially the discussion about the criminal legal implications involved with the whole scandalous affair. Watch the newsworthy segment and see the full transcript below.
The clip above cuts off at the end, so I want to emphasize the point Avenatti makes about Stormy Daniels at the end of this clip:
I think ultimately history is going to judge her in a courageous way and I think a lot of people are going to owe her — they owe her currently a lot of gratitude frankly.
He’s right. Thank you, Stormy Daniels, for having the courage to come forward and stick to the case. It may very well lead to the unraveling of the Trump presidency.
MIKA: In past interviews you have told us other women have come to you, have come forward. You said you were vetting them. Are they fully vetted? Is there more to share?
AVENATTI: They are fully vetted. There are at least two I think are on solid ground. As the evidence comes out disclosures will be made that my client was not alone as relates to these payments, that Michael Cohen was not a 24-hour, 7-day a week fixer for the sole purpose of taking care of Stormy Daniels.
MELBER: Two women who allege they have agreements with Michael Cohen or Donald Trump?
MIKA: And women who claim to have had affairs or sex with Donald Trump?
MIKA: And these women, are they part of a larger payment?
AVENATTI: I’m sorry?
MIKA: Did they have larger payments paid to them, larger than $130,000?
MIKA: Much larger? Like are we talking about over a million dollars?
AVENATTI: I’m not going to disclose any more.
GEIST: Are the agreements documented, Michael?
AVENATTI: There appear to be but we have not verified the documents.
MIKA: Are they your clients now?
AVENATTI: Technically not.
MIKA: But you are working with them?
AVENATTI: Correct, I mean there is privilege that is attached.
MIKA: There is a possibility they may become your clients?
MIKA: And you feel that these cases so far in the vetting process appear to be on solid ground to match similar to the Stormy Daniels line of payment, money from Trump to Michael Cohen to them for their silence?
MIKA: And — okay. So are there any other women beyond those two that you are still vetting?
MIKA: So there could be more than two.
MIKA: Are any of them looking like they will appear —
AVENATTI: This is a good examination.
MIKA: I’m wondering about the other women. Is it a category where they are a longshot or is it a process of getting through the vetting?
AVENATTI: It is a process of vetting. We want to be careful about what we state.
MELBER: Can I add one more question?
MELBER: Do you believe that any financial dealings with these women were properly reported at the time or like Stormy Daniels do you believe they also might create other exposure for Donald Trump?
AVENATTI: I think they may create additional exposure.
MIKA: Payments close to the campaign, close to the timing of Stormy Daniels’ payment?
AVENATTI: I don’t want to get into the exact timing considerations of when they considered but I think they may prove to be problematic.
GEIST: Are they willing to have their cases be made public in the way Stormy Daniels has?
AVENATTI: We don’t know yet.
MIKA: This is a huge problem.
AVENATTI: We already have huge problems. Prospective campaign finance violations. Prospective problems relating to disclosures relating to the assets and other liabilities. The other thing I think is really critically important — we talked about this yesterday — when the 2016 disclosure form was created in May of 2017, Donald Trump was not the only individual that was consulted in connection with that. Michael Cohen would have been consulted in the preparation of that form obviously because it related to the assets and liabilities of Donald Trump in 2016. And the person that was at the forefront of a lot of that would have been Michael Cohen. I think a critical question that’s going to be asked ultimately is what did Michael Cohen tell whoever was compiling that form in May or June of last year? Meaning related to 2016. What did he tell them? Did he have communications with the president about what should go on that form or otherwise.
MELBER: Mika, this is part of the reason why Michael Avenatti has turned out to be such a formenting relentless figure in the life of the Trump administration. It is legal to lie to reporters, it is legal to lie to the American public and the voters ultimately decide whether they care. It is illegal to lie to federal authorities. That’s why you have a letter, new to Rod Rosenstein, about whether there were lies in the financial disclosure form. And also it’s illegal separately to lie to banks.
BARNICLE: On top of that, potentially as you are talking about all of this, one of the huge problems that could occur is both bank fraud and tax fraud, it would seem. And the president of the united States, who doesn’t send emails, Michael Cohen, who obviously has to keep some record of expenditures incoming and outgoing, that’s a huge problem.
AVENATTI: I agree with that. I mean, if in fact the president deducted these payments to Michael Cohen as a legal expense — meaning expense for legal services, which appears to be what Mr. Giuliani suggested as relates to how Michael Cohen was reimbursed, that would be a problem. Because it would not be a legal expenditure if it was just a pass-through in order to reimburse him for the Stormy Daniels payment.
MIKA: On these two women — I can’t believe I have to ask you this, are one of them related to this Broidy guy as covering for Trump’s name?
AVENATTI: I have not included her in the two.
MIKA: Really? So that’s a third potentially?
AVENATTI: Well, potentially.
MIKA: Yeah. Do any of these payments on these two cases that appear to be on solid ground — are they for procedure or anything? I hate to ask …
AVENATTI: Are you asking if one of the payments are related to an abortion?
AVENATTI: Not that I know of.
MIKA: Okay. When do you think these two cases that are on solid ground will be fully vetted and these women will be able to come forward?
AVENATTI: I think we are on the verge of being able to state that they are fully vetted. I feel comfortable enough to state this this morning to you. And it’s up to them ultimately if they are willing to come forward. I mean, there is a lot of downside associated with that. I mean, I think people don’t have a full understanding of what my client has faced and continues to face day in and day out relating to her family, relating to threats, relating to death threats, relating to a lot of things she has had to put up with. She is a very courageous woman. I think ultimately history is going to judge her in a courageous way and I think a lot of people are going to owe her — they owe her currently a lot of gratitude frankly.