Cohen used business email in Daniels deal

Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stormy Daniels, says President Trump's attorney Michael Cohen's use of his business email during the transaction indicates that he was acting in an official capacity as a legal counsel to Trump when he transferred the money to Daniels.

Posted: Mar 12, 2018 9:13 PM
Updated: Mar 12, 2018 9:13 PM

A newly obtained email from President Donald Trump's personal attorney to the lawyer for the porn star who is suing Trump includes Michael Cohen's autosignature with his full title: executive vice president and special counsel to Donald J. Trump. The email also refers to Cohen's office being closed.

The email, which was exclusively obtained by CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," is a response to Stephanie Clifford's lawyer around the time of a $130,000 payment made just weeks before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair.

Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, filed a lawsuit against Trump this week over a nondisclosure agreement she now claims is void regarding the alleged sexual encounter between the two in 2006.

The email exchange between the two attorneys consists of Clifford's attorney at the time asking Cohen, "We good?"

Cohen responds: "Yes. It's Yom Kippur so the office is for all purposes closed. I am in tomorrow but can speak for the next 3 hours via cell if necessary (sic)."

Clifford's attorney, Michael Avenatti, provided the email to CNN and said he believes this is further proof that Cohen was acting in his professional capacity as Trump's attorney in his negotiations and agreement with Clifford, and not on his own behalf.

"It appears to be rather innocuous when you look at it. We assert it is not innocuous because if in fact the payment was being made personally by attorney Cohen, he wouldn't need the office open in order to effectuate the payment," Avenatti told Anderson Cooper.

Cohen has previously said, "Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford."

Avenatti said the email exchange happened during a time period when the two sides were discussing payment to Daniels.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Clifford claims that when Trump was running for office and multiple women were coming forward to share stories of their own alleged encounters with the then-Republican presidential candidate, Cohen intervened in an attempt to keep her from coming forward as well.

Avenatti also claims Cohen has attempted multiple times to quiet Clifford, as recently as this week.

Earlier Friday, CNN reported that Cohen used funds from his own home equity line to make the $130,000 payment to Clifford.

"The funds were taken from my home equity line and transferred internally to my LLC account in the same bank," Cohen said in a statement.

Cohen also confirmed that he used his Trump Organization email account to communicate details of a payment transfer to Clifford. He added that he regularly used his business email account for personal matters.

"I sent emails from the Trump Org email address to my family, friends as well as Trump business emails. I basically used it for everything. I am certain most people can relate," he said.

CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi and Wolf Blitzer contributed to this report.

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