Stormy lawyer: Cohen tried to keep me off the Trump case

Stormy Daniels' lawyer says a recent email reveals that Donald Trump's personal lawyer tried to keep him off the case.

Michael Avenatti also said the email — which he obtained and provided to NBC News — holds more proof that Trump was involved in the effort to silence the adult film actress.

The three-paragraph missive was sent Feb. 22, a month before Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, told the world in a television interview that she had sex with Trump in 2006 and was later threatened for agreeing to tell her story.

The White House denies allegations of an affair and any involvement in threats.

Michael Cohen, the president's personal attorney, sent the email to Keith Davidson, the lawyer who represented Clifford when she signed a 2016 nondisclosure agreement in exchange for $130,000.

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"It is my understanding that Ms. Clifford has or is seeking the advice of additional counsel regarding the above matter," Cohen wrote.

The "above matter" was outlined in the subject line: "PP -vs- DD NDA" — shorthand for the agreement between "Peggy Peterson" and "David Dennison," which Avenatti says are aliases for Clifford and Trump.

The email went on to say that an exhibit to the agreement that discloses their identities "is deemed Attorneys Eyes Only; specifically naming only you and I."

"Under no circumstances should you forward this document or the exhibits to anyone without my express written consent," Cohen added.

He signed the email: "Michael D. Cohen, Esq., Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump."

Clifford did hire Avenatti and then filed a lawsuit arguing the 2016 agreement is invalid because Trump never signed it.

Cohen has said that Trump didn't need to sign the agreement because he wasn't a party to the deal. The only parties, he has said, were Clifford and a company he created to pay her a $130,000 settlement just before the election.

But Avenatti says the subject line of the Feb. 22 email shows that's not the case.

"Cohen himself described the agreement in the email as one with DD (Donald Trump) — which is directly contrary to what he has said in the past publicly," Avenatti said.

Avenatti said the email also shows that "as late as one month ago, Cohen was continuing to take steps to prevent my client from getting a new attorney to help her exercise her rights."

And, he added, "Cohen was acting as counsel to Mr. Trump when he was attempting to silence her."

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Avenatti said Davidson did turn over the nondisclosure agreement to him after Clifford hired him. Davidson did not respond to a request for comment from NBC News, and it's not clear if Cohen, who also did not respond, gave his consent.

Over the last month, Avenatti has been working to highlight connections between Trump and the hush agreement, including Cohen's use of his Trump Organization email and the involvement of the company's in-house counsel in an arbitration proceeding.

Cohen insists the secrecy agreement was his doing and that he paid Clifford the money out of his own funds. The White House says Trump denies having sex with Clifford and did not know about the money Cohen paid her, through a company he created, just before the election.