The Orange County, Calif., attorney representing adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in her case regarding a payoff from Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen said today that he’s now representing whistleblowers from within Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Michael Avenatti flew to Arizona this week, where he told reporters that he’s representing five migrant children who had been separated from their families.
“I think the facility was well maintained. I thought the staff was very cooperative and trying to do the best they can to care for these children,” he said Thursday outside a Southwest Key Programs facility in Phoenix. “But the fact remains that these children are better off with their parents and certainly shouldn’t be over 1000 miles away in an unknown place.” He said there were 128 children at the facility with the “vast majority” of those family separations.
Avenatti also tweeted, “We are now representing whistleblowers within ICE, outside contractors, etc. They have reached out to us to provide us with info as to what is really going on. We are going to blow this wide open and take the info to the American people so they can decide what happens next.”
In a separate tweet, Avenatti denied that he’d dropped Stormy Daniels as a client and will represent her “to the end.”
“The truth: With each passing day, it becomes less likely that these families will be reunited. Time and distance is working against them. The public needs to DEMAND that these families be reunited NOW. Otherwise, we are on the verge of destroying thousands of families,” he wrote. “All children and mothers should be immediately brought to a single staging area (stadium, convention ctr, military base, etc.) and reunited. This can be solved now if the US Govt has the will. Otherwise, the window will close. Time is of the essence and the risk is too great.”
He didn’t elaborate on what his whistleblowers offered or when their information would be released.
Audio released this week of children crying at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility while an agent jokes with them was reportedly recorded and leaked by a whistleblower.
Human rights attorney Jennifer Harbury said she first received the audio recording from an unidentified source of “impeccable integrity” who recorded the audio in person. In the tape, a little girl asks for her aunt and recites the phone number that she memorized.
Pro Publica, which published the audio, called the number to verify the story of the 6-year-old Salvadoran girl, identified as Alison Jimena Valencia Madrid. “And yes, the little girl exists. Yes, the little girl is in detention. And yes, she was frightened, and yes, she was separated from her mother,” Harbury told CBS.
Harbury said the setting of the audio is a place “where children have been brought after they were separated from their parents.”
“Those are the small children like age 12 down to 4 that you hear on the tape. There are also some teenagers that fled the cartels, for example, ran for their lives, and they’re unaccompanied for that reason and they’re also in the back of that room,” she said.