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Avenatti Says Two More Women Have Hush Payment Claims Against Trump

Michael Avenatti. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan), At least two other women who say they were paid by Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, to stay silent about alleged relations with the president may come forward, attorney Michael Avenatti said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Thursday. Avenatti currently represents Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, in her battle to be released from a nondisclosure agreement she made with Cohen ahead of the 2016 presidential elections. Cohen has said he paid Clifford $130,000 to stay silent. On Wednesday, a financial disclosure form filed by Trump with federal ethics officials became public, which showed Cohen was reimbursed in 2017 for at least $100,000 in expenses incurred on the president’s behalf, which could include the money paid to Clifford. On Thursday morning, Avenatti said the payment to the two women he’s in talks with was even more than the money paid to Clifford. “As the evidence rolls out over the coming months, disclosures are going to be made that my client was not alone as it 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,” he said. According to Avenatti, the two women’s claims followed the same pattern as Clifford’s: an alleged intimate affair with the president became a payoff from Cohen. Avenatti said his team was still vetting the women, who appeared to have documentation backing up their stories. He said he was not officially working for the women, but that privilege was attached to his interactions with the women. Avenatti refused to discuss the timing of the payments specifically, but said “they may prove to be problematic” for Trump. Clifford contends in her lawsuit against Trump and Cohen that the payment to her was an in-kind donation and runs afoul of campaign finance laws. Both the women he’s communicating with have yet to decide if they’re willing to go public with their situation, Avenatti said Thursday. “It’s a big issue for them,” he said. The two claims he’s currently reviewing aren’t the only ones brought to his attention, Avenatti acknowledged. “So there could be more than two,” host Mika Brzezinski asked Avenatti, who affirmed this was the case.

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