In the last installment, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, had released—and the New York Times had corroborated—information connecting Russian (and other) oligarchs’ payments to Donald Trump’s “fixer”/lawyer. This money was used, among other things, to pay off Daniels to the tune of $130,000. The obvious question was, well, how did Avenatti get ahold of this information?
The Daily Beast reports that experts think the level of detail matches or exceeds that of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), the same reports that Avenatti has repeatedly called for making public. The obvious implication is that someone, either in law enforcement or at a relevant bank, leaked those reports to Avenatti. But it seems that the unauthorized disclosure of these reports is a crime.
I’m on the fence here. Privacy is a human right and governments usually are on the side of breaching that very important right. On the other hand, these shadowy, sleazy financial dealings of the rich and powerful are the very sort of thing that need to be brought to light. Avenatti has made the connection that no one else, publicly at least, has been able to make.
Jonathan Turley, “Giuliani’s Firm Severs Ties With Him And Publicly Refutes His Statements On Common Legal Practices,” May 11, 2018, https://jonathanturley.org/2018/05/11/giulianis-firm-severs-ties-with-him-and-publicly-refutes-his-statements-on-common-legal-practices/
Kate Briquelet, “Experts: Leaking Michael Cohen’s Bank Records Could Be Illegal,” Daily Beast, May 10, 2018, https://www.thedailybeast.com/experts-leaking-michael-cohens-bank-records-could-be-illegal
- Jonathan Chait, “Russian Leverage Over Trump Is Not Just a Theory. It’s Now Fact,” New York, May 8, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/05/russian-leverage-over-trump-fact-michael-cohen-stormy-daniels-devin-nunes.html↩
- Kate Briquelet, “Experts: Leaking Michael Cohen’s Bank Records Could Be Illegal,” Daily Beast, May 10, 2018, https://www.thedailybeast.com/experts-leaking-michael-cohens-bank-records-could-be-illegal↩