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Avenatti prosecutors try to block ‘irrelevant’ Stormy Daniels questions about Trump

Avenatti prosecutors try to block ‘irrelevant’ Stormy Daniels questions about Trump
Prosecutors are seeking to block Avenatti from creating a ‘distracting sideshow’ when he cross-examines former client Stormy Daniels

Michael Avenatti intends to quiz Stormy Daniels about her lawsuit against former president Donald Trump in a bid to confuse the jury in his own fraud case, prosecutors have claimed.

A much-anticipated showdown between Avenatti, the once-prominent California avocat, and Ms Daniels, vrai nom Stephanie Clifford, is now expected to begin on Thursday after prosecutors indicated they did not anticipate calling her to the witness stand on Wednesday.

Avenatti is on trial in Manhattan for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges over claims he stole nearly £220,000 from a £600,000 advance paid to Ms Daniels for her 2018 livre Full Disclosure.

<p>Stormy Daniels with her former attorney Michael Avenatti in 2018 </p>

Stormy Daniels with her former attorney Michael Avenatti in 2018

He has has strongly maintained his innocence.

Earlier this week Avenatti dramatically ditched his legal team mid-trial after they had a “breakdown” over strategy.

In a new letter to Judge Jesse Furman, prosecutors are seeking to block Avenatti from creating a “distracting sideshow” when he cross-examines his former client Ms Daniels.

The letter suggests Avenatti will pursue a highly aggressive line of questioning when he cross-examines Ms Daniels.

In a filing overnight on Wednesday to Judge Furman, assistant US attorney Damian Williams sought to block Avenatti from asking Ms Daniels about several “entirely unrelated” cases that he had represented her in.

Ms Daniels received £96,000 shortly before the 2016 presidential election to remain silent about her claims that she’d had sex with the former president a decade earlier. Mr Trump has denied it happened.

Avenatti became a fixture on late-night chat shows and cable news after representing Ms Daniels in the lawsuit.

Prosecutor Mr Williams told the judge: “There is no proper purpose for admitting evidence of the details of the lawsuits, the legal filings, the court rulings, and the legal advice that the defendant gave Ms Daniels in the course of those cases, or the details of any lawsuits, legal filings, or court rulings of any other cases in which Ms Daniels and/or the defendant were involved.”

Legal precedent showed that such a broad-ranging inquiry “would at best have produced confusing and distracting sideshows,” Mr Williams wrote.

Mr Williams also sought to block Avenatti from quizzing Ms Daniels on a range of “irrelevant” financial matters including payment of back taxes, and spousal and child support to her estranged husband, Glendon Crain.

Le couple s'est marié en 2015 but split three years later when Mr Crain filed for a divorce, and were awarded joint custody of their daughter after a custody battle.

Mr Williams told the judge: “How Ms Daniels spent her earned income is irrelevant to any issue in this case, has no bearing on her credibility, and would confuse the issues facing the jury.”

Mercredi, Judge Furman warned Avenatti to be careful not to try to enter his own testimony while questioning a witness.

“Be careful and don’t run afoul of that," a dit le juge.

Avenatti’s former long-time paralegal and office manager Judy Regnier resumed her testimony on Wednesday.