Michael Avenatti 'in the Process of Vetting' Two More Women Who Claim They Received Hush Payments from Trump

Attorney Michael Avenatti revealed that two more women claim they signed hush money agreements with President Donald Trump’s longtime attorney — and for much more money than the $130,000 paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

The attorney said he’s confident the women’s claims are solid, although they’re not yet his clients and he’s not certain they’ll agree to come forward publicly as Daniels has.

“They’re not fully vetted, but there are at least two I think are on solid ground,” Avenatti told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I think that as the evidence rolls out over the coming months disclosures are going to be made that my client was not alone as relates to these payments.”

He told co-host Mika Brzezinski that these two women were paid more than Daniels to keep quiet about their extramarital affairs with Trump, but he declined to say whether they were paid more than $1 million.

Avenatti said he had not included in that pair a woman paid $1.6 million through Republican donor Elliott Broidy to cover up an abortion, and he said that additional women had made similar claims that he had not yet finished investigating.

“It is a process of vetting,” Avenatti said. “We want to be careful about what we state.”

Avenatti declined to say whether the payments had been made just before the 2016 election, as the payment to Daniels had been, or whether they had been properly reported — but he said they would also be problematic for the president.

“They may create additional exposure,” he said. “They may prove to be problematic.”

The payments could represent violations of laws against both bank fraud and tax fraud, the attorney said, if they weren’t properly reported.

“I mean, if in fact the president deducted these payments to Michael Cohen as a legal expense — meaning expense or legal services, which appears to be what Mr. Giuliani suggested as relates to how Michael Cohen was reimbursed — that would be a problem,” Avenatti said. “Because it would not be a legal expenditure if it was a pass-through in order to reimburse him for the Stormy Daniels payment.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.