At the end of March, Stormy Daniels spoke to 60 Minutes and told Anderson Cooper that she was threatened in a parking lot in 2011 when she was looking to sell the story about her alleged affair with President Donald Trump. Now, her lawyer tells CNN that a sketch of the man Stormy Daniels says threatened her will be released on Tuesday.
Michael Avenatti told CNN's New Day on Monday that he and Daniels are close to finding the identity of the man. "We're going to be releasing that tomorrow, along with a significant reward, asking that the public come forward, asking to identify this individual," Avenatti said.
Avenatti had hinted at the composite sketch in two tweets over the weekend. On Saturday, he posted, "Expect a major announcement in the coming days regarding our efforts to identify the thug who threatened Ms. Clifford in Las Vegas in 2011 to 'leave Trump alone' while making reference to her little girl. You can run but you can’t hide."
Then on Sunday, Avenatti posted a picture of Daniels with Lois Gibson, "the foremost forensic artist in the world," as Avenatti identified her. Both tweets were posted with the hashtags #thugsearch, #searchforthetruth, and #basta.
Avenatti expressed confidence that the man would be identified. "We are very close, we need some assistance from the public. We're going to offer a significant reward to get us over the goal line, and I'm confident that we're going to get there," Avenatti told CNN.
Asked if he thought the suspect would be identified, Avenatti told CNN that he hoped that "people are going to recognize the individual and are going to come forward with information." He declined to say whether or not he had provided the police with a copy.
Daniels on 60 Minutes told Anderson Cooper that she was approached in a parking lot by a man in 2011. She alleges he told her, "Leave Trump alone. Forget the story," and then continued, mentioning Daniels' daughter. "That's a beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom."
A letter from Brent Blakely, the lawyer retained by Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen, denied Cohen's involvement in the incident. It read:
In truth, Mr. Cohen had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any such person or incident and does not even believe that any such person exists, or that such incident ever occurred.
Avenatti was asked on Monday whether he thought someone connected to Donald Trump was involved. "Here's what I'll say," Avenatti told CNN Monday, "It could have only come from one of three places: my client, meaning she threatened herself which makes no sense; In Touch magazine, which makes no sense because why would they threaten my client for an interview they're going to do in their own magazine; or someone associated with Trump or the Trump Organization. We think it's pretty clear where it came from."
In addition to releasing the sketch, Daniels' legal team is taking other measures. Avenatti filed a motion Sunday to have Donald Trump deposed in the case, to see if he is the person mentioned in the non-disclosure agreement as "David Dennison," whether Trump knew about it, and whether he was aware of the $130,000 payment made to Daniels for her silence. The motion was filed in federal court in California.
The White House has denied the allegations that the president had an affair with Daniels, and Trump spoke for the first time on the matter on Thursday. Aboard Air Force One, the president was asked if he knew about Cohen's payment of $130,000 to Daniels. He responded with a curt, "No."
If the sketch leads to anyone concrete, it could change the dynamics of the case.