On March 22, mere days before his client Stormy Daniels’ hotly anticipated 60 Minutes interview was set to air, attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted out a cryptic message, accompanied by an even more puzzling photo:
Daniels, of course, is a renowned porn star who was paid $130,000 by President Donald Trump’s longtime attorney/fixer Michael Cohen to stay silent about an alleged affair she had with Trump in 2006, months after first lady Melania Trump gave birth to their son, Barron. In addition to the payoff, Daniels has subsequently claimed her life was threatened by a mystery man acting on behalf of Trump or Cohen. (The president has denied knowing about the payment.)
He’s since called the Twitter missive a “warning shot” to Trump—a sentiment he echoed on Friday night’s episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.
During the “Overtime” segment, which only airs online, Avenatti was asked if he’d ever “release the contents of the warning-shot disc of evidence you tweeted about.”
“Possibly. It depends how the case progresses,” he replied.
Maher then pressed, “What’s on it?”
“Well, we took that picture and we tweeted it out and it was exactly that—it was a warning shot to Michael Cohen and the president that if they tried to claim that my client was a liar after 60 Minutes there was gonna be consequences, and it worked, and it worked perfectly because we heard nothing from them,” said Avenatti.”
He added, “So we have the DVD, and we’re going to release it when and if it’s necessary and we’re going to see what happens with the case. But make no mistake about it: it’s locked and loaded.”
People have speculated about the contents of the disc given how the original settlement agreement between Daniels and Trump—which used the aliases “David Dennison” for Trump and “Peggy Peterson” for Daniels—contained a section that read, “Prior to entering into this agreement, PP came into possession of certain ‘Confidential Information’ pertaining to DD, as more fully defined below, only some of which is in tangible form, which includes, but is not limited to information, certain still images and/or text messages which were authored by or relate to DD…”
In the words of Late Night host Seth Meyers, “So we are looking at the very real possibility that Donald Trump sent Stormy Daniels a dick pic.”