Avenatti requests 'suspicious' bank information

Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti is asking the Treasury Department to release information filed with the government by a bank about "suspicious" activity surrounding the porn star's hush-money deal with Michael Cohen.

Posted: Apr 5, 2018 4:19 PM
Updated: Apr 5, 2018 4:19 PM

A lawyer for Stormy Daniels is asking the Treasury Department to release information filed with the government by a bank about "suspicious" activity surrounding the porn star's hush-money deal with Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime attorney.

Michael Avenatti made the request in a letter addressed to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Monday. A copy of the letter was shared with CNN.

"We believe it is going to undercut the claims of Mr. Cohen relating to the transfer of the money, the flow of the money, and what exactly happened here. But the fact that a (suspicious activity report) was filed in this case is a big deal and it's an indication that the bank sees a problem here," Avenatti told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday.

Avenatti wrote in the letter that the $130,000 payment that Cohen made to Daniels is central to her lawsuit against Trump, Cohen and Essential Consultants -- the company that Cohen established in 2016 to facilitate the transaction. A "suspicious activity report," or SAR, was filed by First Republic Bank -- the bank Cohen allegedly used to make the payment -- to the Treasury Department, the Wall Street Journal reported last month.

The details of the $130,000 payment are not only key to Daniels' lawsuit, Avenatti argued, but also of "great public concern" to the country.

"(W)e request that you publicly release the SAR, along with any and all underlying facts, transactions, and documents in your control upon which the SAR is based," Avenatti wrote to Mnuchin. "And as Secretary of the Treasury, it is well within your authority to release the requested SAR information to allow the public to learn critical information relating to the payment."

He added, "Indeed, if the payment was made as innocently as Mr. Cohen has suggested, there should be no objection to the prompt release of the SAR."

The $130,000 payment was wired to the trust account of Daniels' former lawyer, Keith Davidson, at City National Bank in Los Angeles, according to the Wall Street Journal. Avenatti's letter to Mnuchin did not mention City National Bank or request any information related to it.

The letter comes as questions continue to swirl about Cohen's payment to Daniels just days before the 2016 election. Cohen has said that he used personal funds to facilitate the payment. Neither the Trump campaign nor the Trump Organization were involved in -- or ever repaid Cohen for -- the transaction, Cohen said.

"We are highly confident this agreement is going to be tossed out, for a variety of reasons, including the fact, as we've indicated, that Mr. Trump never signed the agreement," Avenatti said on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

Advocacy groups and some campaign finance and legal experts have raised concerns that Cohen's effort to quiet an individual making politically unflattering claims about then-presidential candidate Trump may have constituted an illegal in-kind campaign contribution.

Even as the White House continues to deny that Trump had an extramarital affair with Daniels in 2006, Daniels insists that she had a one-time sexual encounter with Trump. She filed a lawsuit last month to void the so-called "hush agreement" she signed in 2016 to keep quiet about the alleged affair. The contract cannot be enforced, Daniels is arguing, because Trump himself never signed it.

As a part of that case, Daniels is also suing Cohen for defamation, saying that he has publicly suggested that she is lying.

Avenatti requested in the letter to Mnuchin that the Treasury secretary release information about the bank transaction by April 11.

Terre Haute
Few Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 52°
Robinson
Broken Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 45°
Indianapolis
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Rockville
Broken Clouds
49° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 43°
Casey
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 40°
Brazil
Few Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 52°
Marshall
Few Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 52°
Breezy & Colder
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 393797

Reported Deaths: 9889
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1811085450
DuPage23780615
Lake21373514
Will19141430
Kane17421348
Winnebago10703182
St. Clair8096221
Madison7373157
McHenry6671121
Champaign639028
Unassigned4786270
Peoria474877
McLean430138
Sangamon424863
Rock Island417393
Kankakee350581
Macon330854
Tazewell280956
Kendall279730
LaSalle255465
DeKalb246942
Coles203040
Adams200422
Boone195325
Williamson193861
Clinton182829
Vermilion181011
Jackson158426
Whiteside158430
Knox136221
Randolph131415
Ogle12717
Effingham12264
Marion110220
Stephenson10759
Franklin103310
Grundy10197
Morgan98324
Monroe97130
Bureau94817
Jefferson92052
Henry8637
Christian84629
Macoupin82911
Union79925
McDonough78920
Lee7692
Douglas7339
Shelby71512
Fayette69924
Livingston69210
Woodford67615
Crawford6636
Montgomery64416
Logan6144
Saline5969
Fulton5571
Jo Daviess5369
Warren5299
Bond5189
Iroquois51519
Wayne50914
Jersey48121
Cass46811
Perry46516
Moultrie4436
Carroll43712
Pike3887
Johnson3760
Lawrence3518
Richland34218
Washington3272
Clay32413
Hancock3214
Mason3175
Clark31417
Cumberland3086
Greene29915
Mercer2876
De Witt2756
White2744
Jasper27210
Piatt2651
Pulaski2451
Wabash2415
Ford20814
Menard1881
Marshall1663
Edgar15910
Massac1582
Alexander1361
Hamilton1352
Henderson1310
Brown1170
Edwards1140
Gallatin1102
Scott1090
Putnam980
Schuyler931
Stark923
Calhoun640
Hardin560
Pope421
Out of IL10

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 169112

Reported Deaths: 4227
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26448794
Lake14804364
St. Joseph9866173
Elkhart9549145
Allen8886235
Hamilton6541119
Vanderburgh626970
Tippecanoe409816
Porter361451
Hendricks3472138
Monroe342638
Johnson3352131
Delaware318577
Clark312965
Vigo288341
Madison260797
LaPorte244165
Cass232725
Kosciusko214729
Warrick208965
Floyd190569
Howard172566
Dubois153526
Marshall152829
Bartholomew150758
Wayne149833
Grant138140
Henry137730
Boone132550
Noble127335
Hancock127144
Jackson123319
Dearborn105828
Lawrence102238
Morgan100940
Gibson96712
Clinton95216
Shelby94536
Daviess94136
Knox86110
LaGrange83115
Harrison82424
Fayette81022
DeKalb80011
Putnam78817
Posey7837
Jasper7235
Miami6985
Steuben6849
Montgomery65322
White64016
Adams6177
Greene59438
Scott56916
Decatur54739
Whitley5086
Ripley5018
Wells49011
Wabash4899
Clay4757
Sullivan47414
Starke47310
Huntington4725
Spencer4336
Orange43225
Randolph42711
Fulton4118
Jefferson4095
Perry40414
Washington3983
Jennings39613
Franklin38825
Pike36718
Fountain3563
Carroll35213
Jay3516
Vermillion2871
Tipton28623
Rush2654
Parke2644
Blackford2525
Newton24111
Owen2211
Martin2050
Pulaski1814
Crawford1661
Brown1523
Ohio1377
Union1240
Benton1130
Switzerland1030
Warren1021
Unassigned0236