In a twist on the Watergate-era saying “it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup,” the attorney for Donald Trump’s former mistress Stormy Daniels on Wednesday noted that it’s more scandalous that the president’s lawyer paid the adult film actress to cover up their affair than the tryst itself.
When asked by CNN host Erin Burnett for his response to news that Trump is making himself available “as needed” to review documents seized during the raid of his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen earlier this month, Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti said it’s “bad for the country” that the president is devoting his time to the personal matter.
“From a personal level, for the president, I can think of no greater priority that he should have than this case,” the lawyer said, repeating his belief that Daniels’ lawsuit and the ensuing FBI raid on Cohen’s office and residences will result in his impeachment or resignation.
“Why do you think it would lead to his resignation?” the host asked. “If he slept with her, fine. People don’t care.”
Shaking his head, Avenatti insisted that it’s “not about that.”
“It hasn’t been about that for some time,” he said. “It’s not about the sex, it’s not about what happened in Lake Tahoe. It’s about the coverup, it’s about the lies to the American people, it’s about the fact that Michael Cohen, his fixer for 10 years, knows where many many bodies are buried.”
Avenatti charged his legal rival with being “sloppy in his execution” of the $130,000 “hush agreement” paid to Daniels and acknowledged that although his client is a part of the story, her affair with Trump is not the be-all, end-all.
“I think there is going to be a mountain of evidence that is going to support charges against Michael Cohen, he’s gonna roll on the president, and there are going to be very, very dark days ahead for the president,” the attorney said.
“If the American people don’t care who he slept with and they don’t care if he lied about it to his wife or to lied about it to them,” Burnett asked, “what then would the issue be?”
“The issue is the coverup,” Avenatti concluded, “and the American people should care when their president lies to them.”
Watch below, via CNN: