Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Michael Avenatti Causing Problems for Federal Probe

Investigators to review more than 1 million items seized from Cohen Getty Images
Lisa Bryan | 02 June, 2018, 05:16

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels, alleged in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Wednesday that Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, had recorded "inappropriate" conversations.

Steven Ryan, Cohen's lead counsel, informed the choose "I would like extra time" and lobbied - unsuccessfully - for a mid-July deadline. Avenatti is an active thorn in the side of the White House and had come to court to press for his inclusion in the proceedings. But the judge seemed to reprimand him and his "publicity tour" in court, and shortly after the hearing, Avenatti withdrew his motion. "I want you to participate, or not be in the matter at all", Wood said.

The primary subject of the hearing Wednesday was a review of files and phone data taken from Michael Cohen, pictured, as part of an investigation of his personal business affairs.

Cohen is the focus of a criminal investigation in the Southern District of NY into whether he violated campaign-finance laws or committed bank fraud.

The stakes for the president are high.

"Any media report citing "unnamed sources" (and not a single document) suggesting we are delaying the investigation into Mr. [Michael] Cohen and [President Donald J. Trump] is completely false and without basis", he tweeted Tuesday morning.

At Wednesday's hearing, Wood set a June 15 deadline for Cohen's and Trump's lawyers to identify materials seized in April raids on his home, office and hotel room, which they say prosecutors can not use by prosecutors because the materials are subject to attorney-client privilege. Ryan said his team needed more time than the previous June 15 deadline Wood had imposed for the review and whether the records and documents seized were covered under attorney-client privilege. If Cohen's team can not finish in time, the remaining documents would be turned over to a separate group government lawyers - known as a "taint team".

"Lawerence, this is pathetic", Avenatti said. "I had to send him home".


"Sooner rather than later that is going to have to be teed-up", he told Wood.

A court-appointed official has given a NY judge an upbeat report on how fast attorney-client privilege designations are being applied to materials seized from President Donald Trump's personal lawyer.

Avenatti has made countless appearances on cable outlets blasting President Trump and Cohen while defending his client, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. "Fuckin' traitor!" yelled one. But the California lawyer has also used his sudden celebrity to attack Cohen and Trump, and disclosed leaked bank records showing payments to Cohen from companies with federal business.

In 2016, Cohen paid Daniels $130,000. He meant to prejudice and cause harm, and he did.

Hendon also took this opportunity to lay it on thick, accusing Avenatti of contradicting his own sworn affidavit submitted to the court on the matter.

Avenatti denied that he did anything wrong.

"Not even the same firm in the case", he said. Avenatti has taken to Twitter in current weeks to accuse each Cohen and Trump of varied types of corruption unrelated to the civil case Daniels filed towards Trump in California, and he has sought to intervene within the federal case towards Cohen in NY whereas utilizing courtroom appearances to proceed his public campaign towards them. She said the material includes data from a video recorder.

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