On Monday, adult film actress Stormy Daniels shared a message for Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's personal attorney, and said that she and her legal team would make sure "everyone finds out the truth" about him. In March, Daniels opened up to CBS News' 60 Minutes about her claim that she and Trump had a one-time affair (the president denies this) and that Cohen paid for her to keep quiet about it.
Daniels told reporters Monday, "For years, Mr. Cohen has acted like he is above the law. He has considered himself and openly referred to himself as Mr. Trump's fixer." She added that he "has played by a different set of rules or should we say no rules at all." But that will change, according to Daniels. She added, "He has never thought that the little man or especially women, and even more, women like me, mattered. That ends now."
Daniels gave these statements after a federal judge, Kimba Wood, denied a temporary restraining order meant to block investigators from reviewing the material seized in the FBI raids on Cohen's home, office, and hotel room the prior Monday. The New York Times first reported the raids, which Trump later called "disgraceful."
The material in question includes documents related to Cohen's personal payment of $130,000 made to Daniels in 2016, according to Daniels' attorney, and presumably other matters. Wood has told both sides to assess how much of the seized material may be within attorney-client privilege.
"My attorney and I are committed to making sure that everyone finds out the truth and the facts of what happened and I give my word that we will not rest until that happen," Daniels told the media.
Cohen has not responded to Daniels' remarks, but here is a CNN clip of Daniels, accompanied by her lawyer Michael Avenatti, as she sounded off on him.
Avenatti, too, had a strong-worded message for Cohen and told the media, "Michael Cohen is radioactive, and anybody that was associated with him in the last 20 to 30 years should be very, very concerned." The attorney mentioned conservative talk show host Sean Hannity and the recent revelation that he was one of Cohen's clients. Avenatti said, "What we witnessed earlier in the hearing with the disclosure relating to Sean Hannity proved my point."
Hannity has responded to the report by denying that he ever paid Cohen any sort of fees as a client. On his radio show, Hannity said that he knew Cohen for a "long, long time" but he wanted to be "very clear" to the world and said that Cohen had never represented him "in any matter."
"I never retained him in the traditional sense as retaining a lawyer. I never received an invoice from Michael. I never paid legal fees to Michael," Hannity said.
Things may not look so good for the president, Avenatti said. "Depending on what is contained within those documents, I think there is significant danger to the president. The president trusted Mr. Cohen as his fixer for years," he told the media. Trump, the attorney continued, "trusted [Cohen] with his innermost secrets and I think that the chickens are about to come home to roost."
If tweets are reliable parameters by which to judge emotions, then it seems like the FBI raid has caused fury in the White House. Shortly after the raid took place, Trump tweeted that attorney-client privilege was "dead" and called the search a "witch hunt." But the president may not be pleased to know that legal storm over Cohen is far from over.
By listening to the statements from Daniels and Avenatti on Monday, it looks like things could get even more worrisome for Trump. In fact, the possible repercussions of such legal tension is already being discussed in legacy media. In one particularly foreboding piece of writing, New Yorker reporter Adam Davidson recently wrote that the ongoing legal battle over Cohen could lead to the "end stage of the Trump presidency."