On Monday, Michael Avenatti, lawyer for Stormy Daniels (whose real name is Stephanie Clifford,) wrote a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department asking Secretary Steven Mnuchin to investigate purported "suspicious activity" surrounding the $130,000 in hush money paid to Clifford just days before the 2016 presidential election.
In a letter to Sec. Mnuchin, Avenatti is requesting public disclosure of info about a “suspicious activity report”… https://t.co/oA9OUSBtbp— MJ Lee (@MJ Lee)1522786584.0
As the scandal involving adult film star Stephanie Clifford and President Donald Trump deepens, Clifford's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, is unleashing a new weapon in their quest for the truth about the alleged 2006 affair between Clifford and Trump.
READ: Michael Avenatti Tweets Response to Donald Trump’s Filing for Private Arbitration in Stormy Daniels Case… https://t.co/AdmJLykd6C— fototec (@fototec)1522787973.0
According to CNN, a "suspicious activity report" was filed by First Republic Bank, which Trump attorney Michael Cohen used to make the $130,000 payment to Clifford in 2016.
We will soon find out if Mr. Cohen is really willing to lose his license, perjure himself, and possibly face other… https://t.co/ie8ThfDZce— Michael Avenatti (@Michael Avenatti)1522661932.0
The payment was made under the name "Essential Consultants LLC," a corporation set up by Cohen to funnel the money.
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.
Information about the suspicious banking activity is of "great public concern,” Avenatti wrote in the letter. “Inde… https://t.co/J7sAdDZqjQ— MJ Lee (@MJ Lee)1522786705.0
In his letter, Avenatti argues that the payment is of "great public concern" due to the secrecy and appearance of impropriety regarding the origin of the funds.
(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, 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. 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.
Cohen claims to have used personal funds to make the payment, and Trump has refused to comment on the issue at all. At the crux of Clifford's argument is the legality of the money, and, as she and Avenatti claim, that the non-disclosure agreement is not enforceable.
And the Declaration Mr. Cohen just filed is more interesting for what it DOES NOT state - it does not state that he… https://t.co/c1AwZo9e12— Michael Avenatti (@Michael Avenatti)1522711434.0
Trump, aka "David Dennison," never signed the agreement. Avenatti has also stated that no amount of money will stop their pursuit of the truth.
CNN's Camerota Grills Avenatti on How Much Money Stormy Daniels Would Take to 'Go Away' https://t.co/kjFh7yEt9t via @mediaite— Michael Avenatti (@Michael Avenatti)1522415874.0
Avenatti and government watchdog groups also claim that the payment violated campaign finance laws, as it was not disclosed to the Federal Election Commission prior to the election.
The $130K hush money was considered a in kind contribution by Michael Cohen, for purposes of benefiting Trump, whic… https://t.co/PzXKBkAkWH— Sherri 👻TWDFan4Ever👻 (@Sherri 👻TWDFan4Ever👻)1522027418.0
2/2 The only relevant issue in the Stormy Daniels case is whether there was an illegal campaign contribution in p… https://t.co/LmMXX0Ayxw— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)1522034538.0
Clifford has also sued Cohen for defamation because he has called her a liar. Clifford and Avenatti requested that the information surrounding the hush money be released by April 11th.