The adult-film actress who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump before he became United States president offered on Monday to return $130,000 that Trump's personal lawyer paid her in what she said was hush money to remain silent about the alleged relationship.
Avenatti in a letter to Cohen, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, said the actress would wire the funds to an account of Trump's choosing by Friday. The binding agreement blocked her from discussing her affair with Trump, which allegedly took place soon after he got married.
Is there a Donald Trump-Stormy Daniels sex tape? A source close to the actress said that it included new details of her relationship with Mr Trump, which she claims began in 2006, shortly after his wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron.
On Monday, Avenatti sent a letter on Clifford's behalf to Cohen's law firm in NY, offering to return the $130,000 on March 16 "to resolve all pending disputes, including the lawsuit and arbitration", according to the letter shared by multiple news outlets.
Common Cause filed amended complaints Monday with the Federal Election Commission and Justice Department.
In a series of twists and turns last week, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was the first to acknowledge from the administration's side that there had been any contact between Trump and Clifford, claiming that he had won a case "in arbitration" against the actor.
"On information and belief, EC was created by Mr. Cohen with Mr. Trump's knowledge for one goal - to hide the true source of funds to be used to pay Ms. Clifford, thus further insulating Mr. Trump from later discovery and scrutiny". Cohen did not explain why he made the payment or say whether Trump was aware of it.
The offer of payment to Trump represents a shift by Avenatti, who said last week, "If she is ordered to return the money in order to invalidate the agreement, she will strongly consider doing so".
The letter says if the offer is accepted, the nondisclosure agreement would be "deemed null and void". Cohen insisted he paid Daniels out of the goodness of his heart, using his own money, and Trump never knew anything about it nor reimbursed him.