Stormy Daniels' ex-lawyer sues Trump attorney Michael Cohen, alleges he recorded private phone calls

Porn star Stormy Daniels‘ ex-lawyer Keith Davidson is suing President Donald Trump‘s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, alleging Cohen secretly recorded conversations with him in violation of California law.

Michael Avenatti, accusing them of defaming him.

Davidson’s allegations came after a suit brought by Daniels against him and Cohen on Thursday. In that case, Avenatti accuses Davidson of colluding with Cohen while he was supposed to be negotiating on Daniels’ behalf regarding an agreement barring her from discussing an alleged affair with Trump in 2006.

As part of that agreement, Cohen paid Daniels $ 130,000 in October 2016 — weeks before the presidential election — through a company Cohen set up the same month. Rudy Giuliani, a member of Trump’s legal team, later admitted that Trump repaid Cohen for the payment to Daniels.

The lawsuit reveals text messages sent between Cohen and Davidson, showing an attempt by Cohen to get Daniels on the Fox News program “Hannity.” Avenatti said the attempted booking was meant for her to publicly deny the alleged affair with Trump.

But Cohen later texted Davidson, saying: “Keith, The wise men all believe the story is dying and don’t think it’s smart for her to do any interviews. Let her do her thing but no interviews at all with anyone,” according to the suit.

Avenatti alleges the “wise men” included Trump, though the suit does not offer any proof for that claim.

Avenatti also alleged that Davidson has withheld documents from his client file on Daniels to which she is entitled.

Dave Wedge, a spokesman for Davidson, said “it is an absolute blatant lie that Attorney Davidson has not given Mr. Avenatti the entire client file.”

He added: “It’s preposterous and completely baseless for Mr. Avenatti to suggest that any materials have been destroyed. Mr. Avenatti has already defamed Attorney Davidson and is continuing to use Twitter and the media to spread lies and misinformation as he continues his desperate ‘publicity tour.'”

In a court filing Thursday night, Davidson alleged in a crossclaim that Cohen “surreptitiously and intentionally recorded several telephone calls” with Davidson during negotiations over the hush deal.

Davidson said the alleged tapes, which were made while he was in California, violated California’s Invasion of Privacy Act requiring the consent of all parties involved to record private conversations.

Multiple outlets have reported that recordings were seized in FBI raids on Cohen’s properties in April as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the president’s fixer. Cohen is currently involved in court proceedings in a New York federal court regarding the seized materials. He has not been charged with any crime.

Davidson wants Cohen to pay at least $ 75,000 for the costs of the lawsuit, as well as other relief to be determined by the court.

Davidson’s defamation claim against Daniels and Avenatti accuses the porn star’s current lawyer of conducting a “crusade to falsely vilify Davidson while using Clifford’s Attorney Client Privilege with Davidson as both a sword and a shield.”

Noting that Avenatti has made more than 175 appearances on television, Davidson said Avenatti has made “countless reckless and false statements” against him.

But he only cited one specific example in the Thursday night filing: a tweet Avenatti sent a day earlier saying Davidson “should have been charged after his arrest for extortion.”

The Daily Beast reported that Davidson was arrested after soliciting money from wrestler Hulk Hogan in exchange for all copies of a surreptitiously recorded sex tape of Hogan. He was not charged with a crime, the Daily Beast reported, citing court filings.

Davidson said that he has “suffered injury to his personal, business and professional reputation including suffering embarrassment, humiliation, severe emotional distress, shunning, anguish, fear, loss of employment, and employability, and significant economic loss and future earnings, all to his economic, emotional and general damage in an amount according to proof” as a result of this and other statements.

Avenatti responded to Davidson’s suit in a statement to CNBC: “There is no question that at the end of this, Keith Davidson will be disbarred from the practice of law. He is a proven liar and his conduct is abhorrent. He is an embarrassment to the profession and seems to have forgotten what the attorney-client privilege is all about. We look forward to having his frivolous claims thrown out of court.”

Brent Blakely, a lawyer for Cohen in the new lawsuit, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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