In a series of TV interviews Michael Cohen’s lawyer David Schwartz may have destroyed Cohen’s claims that the Stormy Daniels nondisclosure agreement (NDA) is a valid contract. Cohen has consistently held it is a valid contract and in fact sued Daniels for $20 million claiming there were 20 different contract violations by Daniels.
Schwartz, on CNN and CBS stated that Trump wasn’t involved in the alleged nondisclosure agreement with Daniels.
Here is Michael Cohen's lawyer and spokesman saying categorically that Cohen negotiated agreement w/o ever telling his client DJT anything abt it and made him a party to the agreement w/o any intention of telling him abt it or having him sign it. @MichaelAvenatti @renato_mariotti pic.twitter.com/xqNLvcx1uX
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 29, 2018
This bombshell admission in front of millions of people on television may have destroyed Trump’s and Cohen’s case against Daniels.
One legal expert said that Schwartz’s statements would clearly mean “there was no contract between Trump and Daniels,” and that she would not be required to keep silent about her alleged affair with Trump.
Schwartz went so far as to say that Trump was not even aware of the nondisclosure agreement that Daniels signed (but Trump didn’t) in October of 2016, just a week and a half before the presidential election.
The agreement, if it exists, was intended to stop Clifford from talking about her sexual relationship with Trump that she says took place in 2006. Daniels received a $130,000 payment for signing the agreement. Cohen said he paid this amount from his own money.
On CBS Schwartz said that by seeking money Daniels was engaging in “legal extortion.”
“She violated the agreement right away, right. So she never had any intention of – so she stole the $130,000 basically and then decided to shop the story around.”
In his TV interviews, Schwartz suggested that, in drafting the legal documents and getting the agreement signed, Cohen had acted independently in the matter, without guidance from his client who would soon become President of the United States.
“The president was not aware of the agreement. At least, Michael Cohen never told him about the agreement,” Schwartz said. “Michael Cohen left the option open. That’s why he left that signature line, the option open to go to him. He chose not to. He chose to bind the LLC, EC LLC and Stormy Daniels into the contract.”
“Because he (Cohen) is that close to him (Trump), he had great latitude to handle these matters. Michael was the ‘fixer,'” Schwartz said. “It could be anything. There were a ton of matters that took place that Michael fixed. And Donald Trump wasn’t involved in every single matter.”
But Schwartz said that Trump leaned on Cohen for many things. “It could be any business problem,” Schwartz said. “And believe me, Michael Cohen got calls at three in the morning, Michael and I would be at dinner, the boss would be calling him all the time. So there were always problems. In any business there’s always a problem.”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti disagreed with Schwartz’s conclusions. He said that Schwartz’s assertion that Trump was not even aware of the Stormy Daniels agreement is good news for her.
It would mean that “there was no contract between Trump and Daniels, and Daniels can release the materials,” Mariotti posted on Twitter. “Why would he admit this on national television,” Mariotti asked.
Michael Cohen's attorney just claimed on @OutFrontCNN that Trump was not aware of the Stormy Daniels agreement or the payment, which means that there was no contract between Trump and Daniels, and Daniels can release the materials. Why would he admit this on national television?
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) March 28, 2018
“Under the terms of the agreement itself, only ‘DD’ can enforce it,” he said in another tweet. “If Cohen’s position is that Trump is not DD, then unless someone else comes forward as ‘DD,’ it is unenforceable and Stormy Daniels can release the materials.”
He went on: “It appears that Michael Cohen managed to hire a lawyer who is even more incompetent than himself. Cohen’s lawyer is a complete train wreck in this interview.”
Under the terms of the agreement itself, only "DD" can enforce it. If Cohen's position is that Trump is not DD, then unless someone else comes forward as "DD," it is unenforceable and Stormy Daniels can release the materials. https://t.co/pIquaTzwX1
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) March 29, 2018
Michael Cohen may believe that by sending David Schwartz to give interviews on live TV he has strengthened his case against Stormy Daniels, but in fact the opposite happened. After Schwartz’s admissions it is almost guaranteed that any court would hold the NDA to be invalid, which means Daniels is free to talk about her affair with Trump.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.