Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stormy Daniels, appeared on Morning Joe on behalf of his client on Friday morning, as he continues to fight to get Daniels out of the nondisclosure agreement she signed to keep quiet over her affair with Donald Trump. At one point during the interview, Mika Brzezinski turned to Avenatti and asked him point blank: “Was she threatened in any way?”
“Yes,” responded Avenatti bluntly. “Was she threatened physical harm?” Brzezinski followed up, and Avenatti once again answered to the affirmative.
When Brzezinski continued her line of questioning, asking whether or not Daniels life had been threatened, Avenatti responded, “I’m not gonna answer that, people are gonna have to tune into 60 Minutes on March 25th,” referring to the interview that Trump’s lawyers are reportedly attempting to block.
Joe Scarborough then continued to press Avenatti for details on these alleged threats, and if they came from the president directly. When asked whether he would deny that the President of the United States threatened his client, Avenatti once again said that he would “not confirm or deny.”
Again, I think it will become apparent to people when they tune into 60 Minutes on March 25 as to the details relating to the threat and the American people can judge for themselves on who’s telling the truth and who’s not telling the truth. And again, we’re not trying to silence anyone, we want both sides to lay out their version of the facts so the American people can decide for themselves what happened.
For what it’s worth, we haven’t heard Trump’s version of the facts, because unlike literally every other scandal that rocks his administration, he has not made a peep about Daniels on Twitter or otherwise.
Update: Avenatti later sat down with Chris Cuomo on CNN’s New Day and suggested that his client was under duress when she signed the agreement:
“That’s one thing, and [she] says I’m gonna speak unless we can figure out a deal. Fine, legal, as long as it wasn’t being coercive,” Cuomo said, running through possible scenarios.
“She makes that deal, now she doesn’t like that deal and she wants to speak, that’s one disposition under the law,” he continued. “If it was, well, I have to do because I’m afraid if I don’t do it something will happen to me because that has been articulated, that’s something else.” “Which was it?” he asked.
“Something else,” the attorney replied, ominously.
As to why they didn’t come right out and claim the agreement was signed under duress, Avenatti made the argument that duress is extremely difficult to prove in court, as opposed to one of the parties just straight up not signing the agreement.
“Huge difference, huge difference,” Cuomo agreed. “Not only in terms of legal sufficiency, but in terms of court of public opinion. I mean we’re having this conversation here, not in front of a magistrate for a reason.”