Stormy's lawyer ends bid for role in Cohen case

Hannah Rogers
June 1, 2018

But he withdrew the request after a court hearing Wednesday in NY in which a judge told him that while he is free to speak out now, he would have to end his "publicity tour on TV and elsewhere" if he entered the case.

A lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, on Wednesday accused adult film actress Stormy Daniels' lawyer of leaking Cohen's bank records to the press, calling it a "drive-by shooting of my client's rights".

U.S. Judge Kimba Wood on Wednesday rejected Michael Cohen's attempts to slow the schedule of the attorney-client privilege review process for the millions of of items seized from his home, office and hotel room last month.

In total, Harrison said they've received 3.7 million files from the government and have reviewed about a third.

US District Judge Kimba Wood appointed Jones as special master in late April to oversee the review, after Cohen's lawyers demanded that privileged communications seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation be reviewed not by the government but by an outside consultant not directly affiliated with any potential prosecution.

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Stormy Daniels' attorney has withdrawn his request to get a formal role in the legal negotiations over files the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized from President Trump's personal lawyer.

Avenatti's involvement has complicated the Cohen probe.

Avenatti said he was "disturbed" that Cohen had had conversations with Davidson about Clifford and recorded them.

Avenatti argued that he wanted to be ready to protect Daniels' attorney-client privileges with her previous lawyer, Keith Davidson, who actually reached the hush money agreement with Cohen in October.

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"I can't stop you, unless you're participating in a matter before me", Wood said to Avenatti in the packed courtroom in Manhattan Wednesday.

Judge Wood closed the hearing by reminding the court that the urgency to resolve the privilege issue quickly is rooted in the balance between concerns of attorney-client privilege and the need for the investigation to take its course. "Until you are admitted here I don't expect you to be heard".

"If you participate here, you would not be able to declare your opinion as to Mr. Cohen's guilt, which you did;" she said.

"The reason I rise today is because I've never seen an attorney conduct himself in the manner Mr. Avenatti has", Ryan said. No criminal charges have been filed.

Shortly after the court hearing, Avenatti withdrew his application, but not before appearing before TV cameras outside again and assailing Cohen and his legal team once more. 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.

"It has not occurred", he said.

Avenatti called those arguments "without merit and frivolous" and said it "speaks volumes that they so desperately" want him excluded from the case.

"Candidly, he shouldn't be asking us to answer questions; he should be asked to answer questions", Ryan said. ". People can make their own determinations as to their importance pertaining to the president and what he knew and when he knew it and what he did".

Of the more than 1 million seized pieces of information reviewed by a court-appointed official, only 252 were classified as privileged communication between attorney and client, meaning they would not be turned over to prosecutors investigating Cohen's business activities.

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