WASHINGTON — The attorney for a porn actress who says she had sex with President Donald Trump said late Monday that he may delay releasing a composite sketch of the person he says threatened Stormy Daniels to stay quiet.
Michael Avenatti said early Monday that he would release the sketch Tuesday, along with details of a reward for help identifying the person. He said late in the day that the timeline might change, after news broke about federal raid of the offices of Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen. But Avenatti said he still expected to release the information this week.
Federal agents raided Cohen's offices Monday, seizing records on topics including a $130,000 payment made to Daniels. The actress says she had sex with Trump once in 2006 and was paid by Cohen days before the 2016 presidential election as part of a nondisclosure agreement she is seeking to invalidate.
Avenatti said Monday that a "sizeable monetary reward" will be offered to anyone providing information identifying the person that Daniels says threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011. He said the sketch will help provide "additional details about what happened here."
A hard-charging attorney who has relentlessly kept the case in the headlines, Avenatti said "common sense dictates" that this person could only have been someone associated with Trump or the Trump Organization. He said the money would likely come from a crowd-sourced legal fund.
Daniels ,whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, said in a recent interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" that she was threatened to keep quiet by an unidentified man in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 when she was with her infant daughter. Avenatti tweeted a photo Sunday that he said showed Daniels sitting with a forensic sketch artist to develop a sketch.
The "60 Minutes" interview prompted a lawyer for Trump attorney Michael Cohen to demand that Daniels publicly apologize to his client for suggesting Cohen was involved in her intimidation. Daniels responded by filing a revised federal lawsuit accusing Cohen of defamation.
Avenatti is also pushing to have Trump and Cohen answer questions under oath. He refiled a motion in federal court in Los Angeles Sunday, seeking a jury trial and to depose Trump and Cohen. If successful, it would be the first deposition of a sitting president since Bill Clinton in 1998 had to answer questions about his conduct with women.
Trump answered questions about Daniels for the first time last week, saying he had no knowledge of the payment made by Cohen and adding that he didn't know where Cohen had gotten the money. The White House has consistently said Trump denies the affair and Cohen has held that he made the payment out of his own pocket, without involvement from the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign.
Cohen did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment Sunday.
Avenatti filed a similar motion over a week ago, which a judge deemed premature. He refiled after Trump asked a federal judge to order private arbitration in the case. Trump and Cohen filed papers last week asking a judge to rule that the case must be heard by an arbitrator instead of a jury. Avenatti opposes private arbitration.
In the filing, Avenatti says he wants to question Trump and Cohen for "no more than two hours." He says the depositions are needed to establish if Trump knew about the settlement agreement and if he "truly did not know about the $130,000 payment." He also asks if Trump was involved in any effort to "silence" Daniels.