The lawyer representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in a lawsuit against President Donald Trump has once again claimed to have a DVD containing some kind of evidence of the president's alleged affair with his client. In an interview for an online-only Overtime segment of Real Time with Bill Maher, Michael Avenatti said the mysterious DVD was "locked and loaded" and that he was open to the possibility of releasing its contents "if it's necessary."
"We have the DVD, and we're going to release it when and if it's necessary and we're going to see what happens with the case," Avenatti said. "But make no mistake about it: it's locked and loaded."
When pressed by Maher about whether he'd ever "release the contents of the warning-shot disco of evidence you tweeted about," Avenatti said the DVD's release would ultimately depend on how the case against President Trump progressed but did not offer specifics.
Avenatti had alerted Trump's legal team — and the public — to the existence of the DVD back in mid-March when he tweeted a photo of the mysterious disc shortly before Daniels' 60 Minutes interview aired. "If 'a picture is worth a thousand words,' how many words is this worth?????" Avenatti wrote along with the hashtag #pleasedenyit in a tweet accompanying the picture of the disc.
Although Avenatti would not divulge what's on the DVD, he told Maher his tweet about the disc was meant to be "a warning shot" to President Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen. "Well, we took that picture and we tweeted it out and it was exactly that — it was a warning shot to Michael Cohen and the president that if they tried to claim that my client was a liar after 60 Minutes there was gonna be consequences," Avenatti said. "And it worked, and it worked perfectly because we heard nothing from them."
It remains unclear exactly what's on the DVD.
According to the Daily Beast, there may be a clue as to what's on the disc in the nondisclosure agreement drawn up between Daniels and Trump under the aliases "Peggy Peterson" and "David Dennison." The online news outlet has reported one section of the agreement hints at the existence of "still images and/or text messages."
"Prior to entering into this agreement, PP came into possession of certain 'Confidential Information' pertaining to DD, as more fully defined below, only some of which is in tangible form, which includes, but is not limited to information, certain still images and/or text messages which were authored by or relate to DD," a section of the nondisclosure agreement read.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she was paid $130,000 by Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, to keep quiet about an alleged extramarital affair she had with Trump in 2006. She has also alleged that she was threatened by a man in Las Vegas in 2011 who allegedly told her to "leave Trump alone." Trump pushed back against Daniels' claim earlier this week in a tweet calling her story "a total con job." The president went on to say the man who Daniels alleged had threatened her was "nonexistent" and that Daniels was "playing the Fake News Media for Fools."
Earlier this month, Trump denied having knowledge of his lawyer's hush money payment to Daniels in his first public comments about the Daniels scandal. While speaking briefly to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump responded with a simple "no" when asked if he'd been aware that Cohen was paying Daniels to keep quiet. He also said he did "not know" where his attorney had gotten the money. "You'll have to ask Michael," the president said when asked why Cohen had made the payment.
While Cohen has admitted to making the six-figure payment to Daniels, he has maintained that the money came from his own pocket and that the hush money payment was made without Trump's consent or knowledge. Daniels is now suing the president for the right to speak publicly about their alleged affair on the grounds the non-disclosure agreement she signed is invalid because it was never signed by Trump.