Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing adult film star Stormy Daniels, reportedly reached out to prominent Democratic operatives for help in the legal battle against President Donald Trump.
According to The New York Times, Avenatti was in touch with officials involved in several liberal groups and his law firm maintained contact with major Democratic donors, although it doesn’t look like he actually received money from them.
Avenatti has been caught up in an intense legal battle with the president, representing Stormy Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — the porn star who alleges that she had an affair with Trump years before he ran for office and that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid her to keep quiet about it. Trump has denied the allegations that he had an affair.
The liberal groups decided not to donate to Avenatti’s cause because they were turned off by his habit of generating massive media attention throughout the high-profile case, says the report.
The report raises big questions about the motives of Avenatti and his client, who have insisted that they “will not allow this to be politicized” by accepting donations from outside groups.
“I can’t tell you the name of every person that I have spoken to, or not spoken to, over the last three months, but what I can tell you is that we have not taken any political-associated dollars from anyone on the right or anyone on the left. Period,” Avenatti said in an interview on Thursday, according to the Times.
The fight between Avenatti and Trump has caused major problems for the president’s legal team, with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani offering conflicting statements about the issue, and as the investigation into Cohen’s business dealings ramps up.