NEW YORK—Donald Trump’s “fixer” Michael Cohen is facing what appears to be a major criminal case in the Southern District of New York, and he really doesn’t want Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, in court when he faces a judge. Late on Friday, according to a report by BuzzFeed News, Cohen and his lawyers filed documents with the federal court, accusing Avenatti of breaking rules for good conduct by lawyers and demanding he be banned from the case.
Avenatti has requested he be allowed to take part in the case because federal agents reportedly seized documents from Cohen on April 9 relating to his $130,000 “hush money” payment to Daniels days before the 2016 presidential election. Avenatti says that some of those documents may contain information that would be protected by attorney-client privilege.
Avenatti represents the AVN Hall of Famer in her lawsuit against Cohen and Trump, in which she seeks to have a “hush” agreement she signed in exchange for that $130,000 cancelled. That lawsuit is being heard in a California federal court, but on April 27, a judge there granted a 90-day delay in the case after Cohen asked for it—saying Daniels’ case overlapped with his SDNY criminal case.
But in Friday’s court filing, Cohen and his attorney, Stephen Ryan, now say that the connection between the two cases is merely “tangential.”
As of early Friday evening, Avenatti had not responded to Cohen’s new filing which came in response to Judge Kimba Wood’s demand he list his legal reasons for wanting Avenatti kicked out of court.
Since the California judge allowed that 90-day delay, Avenatti has occupied his time by making Cohen’s life extremely difficult, somehow obtaining bank records showing that Cohen received more than $500,000 from a company linked to a Russian billionaire into the same bank account that he used to make the payoff to Daniels.
That revelation led to numerous media outlets uncovering other mysterious payments to Cohen from major corporations including telecom giant AT&T and multinational drug manufacturer Novartis.
In Friday’s filing, Cohen admits the information about the payments is true, but says that Avenatti had “no lawful source” for that information. Cohen also accuses Avenatti of breaking ethical rules by making “inaccurate statements,” because a small percentage of the payments Avenatti listed as being transmitted to Cohen actually went to a different person with the name Michael Cohen.
In a May 14 filing, Avenatti defended his release of information on the payments to Cohen, saying that he was “clearly protected by First Amendment rights of free speech to publish information that, without serious dispute, are of utmost public concern.”
Photo via NBC News Scren Capture
Originally published at: https://avn.com/business/articles/legal/michael-cohen-wants-stormy-daniels-lawyer-barred-from-sdny-court-777363.htmlTags: Michael French Stormy Daniels