Judge Wood Tells Avenatti He Would Have to Stop 'Publicity Tour'

Porn Star’s Attorney Avenatti Battles Wall Street Journal Report Of Stonewalling Federal Prosecutors

Porn Star’s Attorney Avenatti Battles Wall Street Journal Report Of Stonewalling Federal Prosecutors

Attorneys for President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, are headed to federal court Wednesday to try and block Michael Avenatti - the lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels - from intervening in the federal investigation into Cohen.

Legal teams for President Donald Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen will have until June 15 to complete reviewing for attorney-client privilege millions of files that the FBI seized from Cohen in an April raid, a Manhattan federal judge ruled Wednesday.

One of Cohen's attorneys, Stephen Ryan, claimed Avenatti had committed a "drive-by shooting" against the president's old "fixer" when he released "Suspicious Activity Reports" earlier this month that detailed monies paid to Cohen's shell company, Essential Consultants, for advice on how to lobby Trump. Prosecutors called that an "unreasonable delay".

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood said at a hearing Wednesday that she had to balance the needs of lawyers for Cohen and Trump with the needs of criminal prosecutors. She then presented the court with records regarding Avenatti's firm, Eagan Avenatti, that she said indicated Clifford is being represented by the firm. If you participate here, you would not be able to declare your opinion as to Mr. Cohen's guilt, which you did; you would not be able to give publicity to documents that are not public.

The judge also said Avenatti would have to stop saying that Cohen is guilty of something.

Citing people familiar with the situation, the Journal reported Avenatti has "slowed prosecutors' efforts" to discuss the nondisclosure agreement (NDA) with Daniels' former lawyer Keith Davidson, has demanded to review the documents subpoenaed from him, and has not acted on federal prosecutors' requests to waive attorney-client privilege so Davidson can discuss the NDA.

In a listening to in Manhattan on Wednesday, Choose Kimba Wooden of the Southern District of NY set a deadline of June 15 to finish their assessment, regardless of strenuous objections from Cohen's authorized workforce. Avenatti argued that the two exchanged privileged information.

"For a person who claims to be a lawyer, the minuscule amount of allegedly privileged matter is surprising, and what it tells us is that Cohen wasn't acting as a lawyer very often", Roland Riopelle, a partner at Sercarz & Riopelle who was formerly a federal prosecutor with the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY, told Business Insider.

The FBI is still working to access two blackberries, as well as going through the contents of a shredding machine, lawyers said.

Judge Wood had warned him about the "publicity tour", since he would be subject to NY laws and procedures if he were allowed on the case - meaning he'd have to pull back on his attacks against Cohen.

Ryan said Avenatti "intended to cause harm to my client and he succeeded". She said that while Avenatti argued that the firm in the bankruptcy case was not involved with Daniels' litigation, it had sent emails regarding her case.

He told reporters that Cohen's lawyer revealed in court on Wednesday "that there are audio recordings that Michael Cohen was taking for years".

"I don't know if we can make that", Ryan told Wood, who stuck to the deadline despite the objections from Cohen's team. Avenatti's firm holds a 75 percent stake in Eagan-Avenatti while Michael Eagan holds a 25 percent stake in said firm, according to documents obtained by Finnegan. "I want you to participate, or not be in the matter at all", Wood said. Trump subsequently admitted he had reimbursed Cohen for the payment, raising questions about campaign finance violations.

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