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Stormy unchained: Lawyers for Trump and porn star struggled to control her after hush-money story broke in 2018

Stormy Daniels
Stormy Daniels appeared at an adult entertainment fair in Berlin on October 18, 2018 — months before the hush-money scandal broke.
  • Text messages shown in Donald Trump's hush-money trial reveal attorneys' struggles to manage Stormy Daniels.
  • Michael Cohen, Trump's ex-attorney, appeared frantic in messages after the hush-money story broke in 2018.
  • Prosecutors allege Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 days before the 2016 election on behalf of Trump.

Text messages introduced as evidence in Donald Trump's criminal hush-money trial show how ex-attorneys for Stormy Daniels and the former president struggled to control the woman after the bombshell news of the money-for-silence scheme broke more than six years ago.

The series of messages between Trump's personal-attorney-turned-nemesis, Michael Cohen, and Los Angeles lawyer Keith Davidson were displayed for the Manhattan jury as Davidson was on the witness stand this week.

Davidson, Daniels' former lawyer who brokered the hush-money agreement over the 2006 sexual encounter she says she had with Trump, testified how Cohen became "frantic" after The Wall Street Journal, in January 2018, first published the story about the $130,000 payment made to the adult film actress.

Stormy Daniels
Stormy Daniels is expected to testify at the hush-money trial.

The text messages between Cohen and Davidson during that time period show it, with Cohen repeatedly pleading for Davidson to call him.

"WSJ called stormy. She didn't answer. They say they are running story & have a deadline of tonight for her to comment," Davidson texted Cohen on January 10, 2018, two days before the story was published, the messages show.

Cohen quickly replied: "Write a strong denial comment for her like you did before."

'This is no good'

Days after the hush-money story broke, Cohen messaged Davidson to say he had Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — scheduled to appear "tonight" on Sean Hannity's Fox News show.

Davidson responded that she couldn't do it that day.

"She is flying to LA tomorrow. I'm trying to get her to commit for tomorrow," Davidson texted.

Cohen responded, "It's really important. Why?" and begged for Davidson to call him.

A text message Michael Cohen sent to Keith Davidson on January 17, 2018.
A text message Michael Cohen sent to Keith Davidson on January 17, 2018.

"This is no good. We need her as by doing tomorrow you just create another news cycle instead of putting an end to this one," Cohen wrote.

Minutes later Cohen texted Davidson, "Please call me," before he again texted, "Cmon!"

michael cohen
Michael Cohen.

"Let's forget tonight. They would rather tomorrow so they can promote the heck out of the show," Cohen messaged Davidson about a half-hour later.

Messages show Cohen's 'pants on fire stages'

A text message Michael Cohen sent to Keith Davidson on January 17, 2018.
A text message Michael Cohen sent to Keith Davidson on January 17, 2018.

More than two hours later, Cohen backtracked, messaging Davidson, "The wise men all believe the story is dying and don't think it's smart for her to do any interviews. Let her do her thing but no interviews at all with anyone."

Davidson then replied, "100%."

"Thanks pal," Cohen messaged back, adding, "Just no interviews or statements unless through you."

In Davidson's testimony Thursday about the text messages regarding Daniels potentially appearing on Hannity's show, he said, "This was sort of in one of Michael Cohen's pants on fire' stages, where he was sort of frantically trying to address the fact that Stormy's story had percolated into public consumption and he — he was frantic."

"I was in a trial and — which is fairly all-consuming — and it was just many, many, many phone calls and many, many text messages with little regard for my schedule," Davidson told the jury.

A courtroom sketch of lawyer Keith Davidson on the witness stand at Donald Trump's hush-money trial.
A courtroom sketch of lawyer Keith Davidson on the witness stand at Donald Trump's hush-money trial.

Davidson testified that he believed Cohen thought if Daniels went on Hannity's show, it "would somehow help him and his client."

"I had an understanding that he believed that she would further deny the interaction," Davidson told the jury.

Daniels initially denied an affair with Trump, including in written statements issued to the media after the hush-money story broke. But months later, she said she did, in fact, have sex with the then-"Apprentice" star in 2006.

Prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney's office say Cohen made the election-influencing hush-money payment to Daniels on Trump's behalf to buy her silence about the affair she had with him — and that Trump lied on documents to cover up his reimbursements to Cohen.

Trump, who faces 34 felony counts alleging falsifying business records, has repeatedly denied having an affair with Daniels.

'Why is she going on Kimmel after the Sotu'

stormy daniels on kimmel
Stormy Daniels on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in 2018.

The text messages between Cohen and Davidson also show the internal chaos that ensued before and after Daniels appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on January 30, 2018, following Trump's State of the Union address.

"Why is she going on Kimmel after the Sotu," Cohen texted Davidson days earlier. Davidson replied, "Idk I was pissed. She said this is her shot. I'm meeting with her this weekend to prep her and get the statement."

During Daniels' interview with Jimmy Kimmel, she suggested that her signature under a statement denying she had an affair with Trump had been forged.

"She just denied the letter," Cohen texted Davidson at the time. "Claiming it's not her signature."

A text exchange between Michael Cohen and Keith Davidson on January 31, 2018.
A text exchange between Michael Cohen and Keith Davidson on January 31, 2018.

"You said she did it in front of you," Cohen added. Davidson responded, "She did. Impossible - she posted it on her own twitter page."

Cohen then texted, "They showed her signature and she claimed it was not hers on Kimmel."

"Wtf," Davidson replied.

Cohen messaged minutes later, "The press is already beginning to send me e-mails."

Shortly after, Cohen texted Davidson to "please tell" Daniels' then-manager Gina Rodriguez "to ensure" Daniels "responds the same as your statement tomorrow when she does the view."

"This is not a comedy show!" Cohen fumed.

A text message from Michael Cohen to Keith Davidson on January 31, 2018.
A text message from Michael Cohen to Keith Davidson on January 31, 2018.

"Gina is ticked off at stormy because stormy made her look like a liar," Davidson told Cohen, referring to Daniels' agent. "Gina says she is going to have a LONG talk with stormy on the plane to NY tomorrow. She assured me this will get handled."

Davidson testified Thursday that Daniels signed the widely-circulated statement denying an affair with Trump, but that he wrote the statement himself.

The lawyer also testified that "an extremely strict reading of this statement would technically be true."

"I don't think that anyone had ever alleged that any interaction between she and Mr. Trump was romantic," Davidson said.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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