Washington, April 21 (IANS) The former lawyer of two women who were paid to stay silent about thier alleged affair with Donald Trump, has been drawn into the federal probe into the US President’s attorney, Michael Cohen.
Keith Davidson, who had represented the women, was contacted by federal authorities on Friday in the wake of a raid on Cohen’s Manhattan office and shared records with investigators, the Washington Post reported.
Davidson was asked to provide “certain limited electronic information” for the probe led by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, his spokesman Dave Wedge said.
“He has done so and will continue to cooperate to the fullest extent possible under the law,” Wedge said.
Shortly before the 2016 election, Davidson represented both porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in two separate legal agreements that required each woman to keep quiet about the alleged sexual relationship with Trump. Daniels was paid $130,000.
However, she later sued Cohen, seeking to be released from the agreement which her lawyer argued was invalid because Trump did not sign it.
Similarly, McDougal sued American Media Inc., the media company that had paid her $150,000 for the rights to her story, arguing that she was deceived into accepting the terms.
She said that Davidson “inappropriately pressured her and secretly colluded with Cohen”, who was not technically part of the negotiation, the New York Times reported.
Another former Playboy model was represented by Davidson in recent months as he negotiated another agreement with Cohen. Under that contract, Elliott Broidy, the deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, agreed in late 2017 to pay $1.6 million to the woman, who had become pregnant during an affair with Broidy.
Davidson had called Cohen a “friend”, and defended his professional integrity to CNN and said that Cohen had encouraged him to talk to the media and “spill my guts”.
The investigators who have sought information from Davidson were working separately from the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
Among the evidence that the authorities in New York seized were recordings of conversations that Cohen secretly made.