LOS ANGELES (CN) – Leaked emails published Wednesday show police officers in Columbus, Ohio, exchanging images and videos of porn actress Stormy Daniels and bragging about arresting her at a strip club there.
Ohio-based publication Fayette Advocate, which published the emails Wednesday, said the messages were leaked by a whistleblower “with the city of Columbus” though it was not clear whether the contact was a city employee.
Columbus police arrested Daniels on July 12 on suspicion of violating an Ohio law that prohibits “touching” what turned out to be undercover detectives, though Columbus police claimed in a subsequent statement that she was arrested as part of sting operation on human trafficking and prostitution crimes.
She was released the next day after a judge dismissed the charges.
In an email from the account of Det. Shana Keckley, a participant in the arrest, Daniels is seen in a picture smiling next to Trump. A separate message shows an image of Daniels wearing lingerie and kneeling on a bed.
On July 10, Keckley emailed herself a video of Daniels in Los Angeles. She then sent herself another message containing a map to the club the porn actress would be performing at.
At 3:50 a.m. July 12, Keckley said to another officer, “You’re Welcome!!!!!…. Thank me in person later.”
Moments later, Keckley said she “got the elements….we arrested Stormy this morning, she is in jail.”
In a reply a few hours later, an officer said, “Great Job!!!!! Let me know how that goes for ya.”
Keckley did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment by press time.
Daniels, born Stephanie Clifford, is suing Trump, his former personal attorney Michael Cohen and shell company Essential Consultants to nullify a confidentiality agreement over her alleged affair with Trump in 2006.
She claims Cohen paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about the affair during the 2016 presidential election.
After her arrest, Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti called the incident “politically motivated” and demanded an investigation into the officers’ conduct.
He promised “swift and devastating” legal action after posting photos from what he said was a Columbus Police officer’s social media account that featured pro-Trump images and commentary.
On Wednesday, Avenatti called the newly leaked emails “disturbing” and said he would continue to investigate the true motives behind Daniels’ arrest.
“This is extremely disturbing,” Avenatti wrote on Twitter. “I intend on getting to truth and the bottom of who ordered @StormyDaniels arrested and why. It appears that I was correct when I stated it was politically motivated.”
Columbus Police spokesperson Denise Alex-Bouzounis did not immediately respond to a request for comment by press time.
In a statement after her arrest, Police Chief Kim Jacobs apologized for the officers’ actions and said “one element of the law was missed in error and charges were subsequently dismissed.”
Jacobs said “a mistake was made” and that he accepted “full responsibility” for Daniels’ arrest.
Robin Davis, media director for Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, told Courthouse News the mayor’s office is “not in possession” of the leaked emails and said the office is “aware” of police department’s ongoing investigation into officers’ actions.