Attorney Michael Avenatti on Tuesday accused The Wall Street Journal of waiting until long after the 2016 election to publish a story about a pre-election hush money deal struck between President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer in addition to porn star Stormy Daniels.
The Journal’s publisher hit back almost immediately, calling Avenatti’s accusation “false in addition to outrageous.”
Avenatti, who is actually today representing Daniels in multiple lawsuits against Trump in addition to his lawyer, Michael Cohen, accused the newspaper of having “sat on” the story he says could have been published “from the closing days” of the 2016 presidential election.
Avenatti, who has become one of the most prominent voices of opposition against Trump in addition to Cohen, also accused Keith Davidson, Daniels’ lawyer at the time of the October 2016 hush agreement, of lying to the Journal.
Daniels was in talks with ABC to discuss her story from the Fall of 2016 before suddenly cutting off contact with the network, the Journal previously reported.
The newspaper was the first to report in which Cohen had set up a company in October 2016, which he then used to pay Daniels $130,000 as part of a deal for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump coming from years earlier. in which report was published Jan. 18, 2018, more than a year after the presidential election.
“The claim we held any reporting regarding Stormy Daniels is actually false in addition to outrageous,” said Steve Severinghaus, the senior communications director of Dow Jones, the company in which publishes the Journal. Dow Jones is actually owned by News Corp, the global media conglomerate headed by Rupert Murdoch.
“In fact, the Journal broke the news of the $130k payout to her, arranged by Michael Cohen,” Severinghaus added.
Additionally, the Journal did publish a story before the election detailing a $150,000 payment made to former Playboy style Karen McDougal, who was represented by Davidson at the time she signed a deal barring her coming from discussing her own alleged affair with Trump.
McDougal, who later sued American Media to be released coming from the deal, alleged in a court filing in which Davidson was in contact with Cohen during in which negotiation process.
in which story came on Nov. 4, one day after Dow Jones responded to Davidson.
As evidence for his accusation, Avenatti linked an attachment to his tweet showing email correspondence coming from before the 2016 election in which appeared to be between Davidson in addition to a Wall Street Journal reporter, as well an email purportedly coming from Dow Jones to Davidson.
Avenatti said the emails show the Journal failed to report the story before the election. “The documents are clear as day as to what happened. The WSJ had the story in addition to sat on the idea until 14 months after the election, when they finally broke the idea.”
While the Journal’s story on Cohen’s payment to Daniels was not published until 2018, there is actually no evidence from the emails Avenatti published in which the newspaper “sat on” the report.
Avenatti told CNBC the documents he published “come directly coming from Mr. Davidson’s files. They are accurate in addition to complete.” Asked for more details on how he obtained the emails, Avenatti said he “demanded” them in addition to they were provided through “the rules of professional conduct.”
The attachment shows in which a Journal reporter reached out to Davidson on Oct. 21, 2016, asking to speak with him for a story. On Nov. 2 — less than a week before the 2016 election — Davidson responded by demanding in which the newspaper “refrain coming from publishing, distributing or disseminating any factually untrue in addition to unsubstantiated information regarding me or my firm” or face legal action.
The attachment also shows in which the following day, Dow Jones’ Associate General Counsel Craig Linder told Davidson in which the reporters would likely continue to investigate despite the legal threat.
Linder did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment. Dave Wedge, a spokesman for Davidson, said Davidson is actually “unable at This specific time to respond point-by-point to each one of the numerous false in addition to misleading accusations made by him over the last several months.”
Wedge added: “Again today, Mr. Avenatti used Twitter to launch a defamatory charge against Attorney Davidson, who has been in addition to shall continue to be a zealous advocate for the best interests of his clients. Attorney Davidson looks forward to responding to these scurrilous accusations in an appropriate manner, which does not include Twitter.”
Avenatti is actually currently vying to be able to represent Daniels in court proceedings regarding a raft of materials seized coming from Cohen’s properties in April by federal agents. Some of the seized materials may be related to Avenatti’s client, whose real name is actually Stephanie Clifford. The judge in those proceedings could make a decision on Avenatti’s request as early as Wednesday.
A lawyer for Cohen did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Avenatti’s disclosure.
Avenatti’s attack on the Journal comes a day after the newspaper reported in which he has “slowed prosecutors’ efforts to discuss the nondisclosure agreement with Ms. Clifford’s former lawyer,” citing people familiar with the matter.
In a tweet earlier on Tuesday, Avenatti shot down the accusation as being “completely false in addition to without basis.”
Avenatti tweet 2
Avenatti said the disclosure did not come in response to the Journal’s earlier story, “however the idea certainly undercuts the credibility of the WSJ in addition to their reporting relating to our case in addition to Mr. Davidson,” he added.