Michael Avenatti has called for the “immediate indictment” of Donald Trump following a Wall Street Journal report that alleges the president had complete knowledge of payoffs made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. The Journal story dropped on November 9 at 1:03 p.m., by 1:24, Avenatti had taken to Twitter to rail against the president. Donald Trump explicitly denied knowledge of the payments made to the two women in April and May 2018.
Karen McDougal has alleged that she had a lengthy affair with Donald Trump between 2006 and 2007. It was widely reported that McDougal was to come forward with her allegations prior to the 2016 presidential election but was silenced after she sold her story to the National Enquirer. Porn star Stormy Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, has also alleged that she had a brief affair with Trump in 2006. Both alleged affairs happened while Trump was married to First Lady Melania Trump.
Avenatti Said in Response to the WSJ Article: ‘No One Is Above the Law in the United States’
Avenatti initially tweeted regarding the new report, “This further confirms what we have been saying and alleging for months. There can be no question now as to the validity of our allegations. I look forward to the apologies directed at my honest and heroic client.” Avenatti followed that up with, “In light of the sworn testimony and evidence relating to the payment to my client and Trump’s involvement (confirming our allegations), we are calling for the immediate indictment of the president. No one is above the law in the United States.” Avenatti accompanied the second tweet with a September 2018 opinion piece he wrote for the New York Times in September 2018. The article was titled, “The Case for Indicting the President.”
Trump Has Previously Claimed He Knew Nothing About Payments Made to Stormy Daniels or Karen McDougal
Avenatti has represented Stormy Daniels since she first came into the mainstream following her allegations that she had a brief affair with the president in 2006. The November 2018 Journal report contradicts President Trump’s past claims that he knew nothing of payments, that his lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to both Daniels. The article describes the president as being an active participant in the alleged scheme to prevent Daniels and McDougal from going public with their allegations.
The Journal’s Report Says ‘Trump Was Involved in or Briefed on Nearly Every Step of the Agreements’
One sentence reads, “The Wall Street Journal found that Mr. Trump was involved in or briefed on nearly every step of the agreements. He directed deals in phone calls and meetings with his self-described fixer, Michael Cohen.” The investigative report goes on to quote a University of California, Irvine law professor, Richard Hasen, who said that in order to secure a criminal conviction, prosecutors would have to prove that Trump “willfully” broke campaign finance laws. Also implicated in the report is Trump’s longtime friend, David Pecker, the chief executive of American Media Inc., the company that publishes the National Enquirer, who allegedly agreed to “quash” Karen McDougal’s story by paying her $150,000 for her story. The Journal report says that “Mr. Trump later thanked Mr. Pecker for the assistance.”
Avenatti Has Previously Targeted Donald Trump Jr. Over a Possible Indictment
In the past, Avenatti has poked fun at the possibility that Donald Trump Jr. could be indicted. When Trump Jr. posted a tweet that made fun of rumors that Avenatti would run for president, the lawyer responded saying, “Bif: If I were you, the last thing I would be doing is referencing other people getting out of federal prison. Because after you are indicted, you will likely be passing them on your way in. BTW, they don’t have silver spoons or gold toilets in the joint. Buckle up Buttercup.” On November 7, a Vanity Fair report suggested that Trump Jr. was “worried” about being indicted shortly. Central to Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election is a meeting that Trump Jr. organized with Russian agents in Trump Tower during the summer of 2016.