David Schwartz, the attorney representing Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, suggested that Trump wasn't involved in the alleged nondisclosure agreement with porn star Stormy Daniels.
Schwartz also deflected the suggestion that the agreement had "some sort of sexual nature."
A formal federal prosecutor argued Schwartz's assertion would 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.
The attorney representing Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, made an admission that could have resounding implications for the ongoing legal fight with porn actress Stormy Daniels.
On Wednesday, Cohen's attorney, David Schwartz, suggested that Trump was not aware of the nondisclosure agreement that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, signed in October 2016. The agreement was meant to prevent Clifford from commenting on her alleged affair with Trump, in exchange for a $130,000 payment.
Schwartz suggested that, in orchestrating the agreement, Cohen had acted independently in the matter.
"Because he's that close to him, he had great latitude to handle these matters," Schwartz said of Cohen in a CNN interview.
"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 scrutinized Schwartz's argument on Twitter after the CNN segment aired, saying the attorney's claim that Trump was unaware of the Stormy Daniels agreement could actually be good news for the actress.
It would mean that "there was no contract between Trump and Daniels, and Daniels can release the materials," Mariotti argued on Twitter.
"Why would he admit this on national television," Mariotti asked.
Cohen's lawyer also addressed a line on the "hush agreement," that listed the initials, "DD," which stood for "David Dennison," Trump's alleged pseudonym. The line was left blank.
"That's evidence in of itself that he didn't go to Donald Trump," Schwartz said of Cohen. "Because the line was blank. He left the line blank."
Mariotti disagreed with that assessment: "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."
Cliffords is suing Trump to toss the nondisclosure agreement that prevented her from publicly talking about the alleged affair in detail. Both Cohen and the White House have denied her accusations.