US prosecutors cancel porn star Stormy Daniels meeting in Michael Cohen probe

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Washington | Published: June 25, 2018 2:12:44 PM

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York today as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney.

She argues the nondisclosure agreement should be invalidated because Cohen, signed it, but the president did not. (Source: Twitter)

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York today as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, but the meeting was abruptly cancelled late Sunday after it was reported by news organisations, her attorney said.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was supposed to meet with prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan in preparation for a possible grand jury appearance as they work to assemble a case against Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. But after several news organizations, including The Associated Press, reported on the meeting, two prosecutors called Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, and told him that they were concerned about media attention in the case, he said.

“I was shocked at that response,” Avenatti said. Avenatti offered to move the meeting to another location and reiterated that Daniels – who he says has been cooperating with prosecutors for months – was ready to go forward with the meeting, but they called back to cancel it, he said.

The meeting has not been rescheduled and prosecutors offered no other explanation for the cancellation, he said. Daniels has said she had sex with Trump in 2006 when he was married, which Trump has denied. As part of their investigation into Cohen, prosecutors have been examining the USD 130,000 payment that was made to Daniels as part of a confidentiality agreement days before the 2016 presidential election.

“We believe cancelling the meeting because the press has now caught wind of it is ridiculous,” Avenatti wrote in an email to Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos. “We do not think it was any secret that at some point you were going to meet with my client.” A spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Manhattan had declined to comment on the meeting earlier Sunday night and did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on the cancellation. Daniels is suing to invalidate the confidentiality agreement that prevents her from discussing the alleged relationship with Trump.

She argues the nondisclosure agreement should be invalidated because Cohen, signed it, but the president did not. Daniels and Avenatti have also turned over documents in response to a subpoena from federal prosecutors about the USD 130,000 that Daniels was paid, a person familiar with the matter said.

They weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Daniels’ interview had been in preparation for a possible grand jury appearance in the federal investigation into Cohen’s business dealings, the person familiar with the matter said. If prosecutors bring a case to a grand jury, they could call witnesses to testify under oath and the grand jury would decide whether to bring criminal charges with a written indictment.

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