A move by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen to put a temporary restraining order on files seized by the FBI got even more dramatic on Friday, when the lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels weighed in.
During a hearing in Manhattan, lawyers for Cohen and Trump argued that the FBI’s raid endangered the confidentiality of information that might be unrelated to the FBI’s investigation. When lawyers for both parties moved to discuss privately with judge Kimba Wood how to treat any such seized documents, Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti asked to join.
“We have every reason to believe that some of the documents that were seized relate to my client,” Avenatti told the court. Judge Wood approved his request to be heard in the closed meeting.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, received a $130,000 payment from Michael Cohen in 2016, which she and her lawyers say was in exchange for silence about an alleged affair with Donald Trump. Cohen has done his best to distance Trump and the Trump Organization from this transaction.
Avenatti told reporters outside the courthouse that he was there to make sure the process was “as public and as open as possible,” and to ensure the public had access to as many documents as possible.
Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously gave the judge’s name as Kimba Brown.