Avenatti: Cohen’s offer to tear up agreement with Daniels is attempt to avoid Trump deposition
© Getty

Michael Avenatti says his client Stormy Daniels needs more to make a deal than an offer from President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE's former lawyer Michael Cohen to tear up a 2016 nondisclosure agreement with her.

Cohen’s shell company on Friday moved to vacate the 2016 nondisclosure agreement that provided $130,000 to former adult-film star Daniels in exchange for her silence about her alleged affair with Trump.

Cohen requested that Daniels return the money she received in the deal, and Avenatti said his client could do so but cast doubt on Cohen's motives. 


Avenatti said the offer is Cohen's attempt to protect his former client, Trump.

“Michael Cohen is back to playing games and trying to protect Donald Trump,” Avenatti tweeted. “He is now pulling a legal stunt to try and ‘fix it’ so that we can’t depose Trump and present evidence to the American people about what happened. He is not a hero nor a patriot. He deserves what he gets.”

Avenatti added in a follow-up tweet that he and Daniels would only agree to settle the case if Cohen and Trump presented “full disclosure and accountability.”

“We are committed to the truth,” he wrote. “And we are committed to delivering it to the American people.”

Avenatti has been representing Daniels in her two cases against Cohen and Trump over the alleged affair — one claiming the nondisclosure agreement is invalid and another claiming collusion and defamation. 

Avenatti appeared on CNN moments after learning that Cohen moved to dissolve the nondisclosure agreement.

"I haven't had a chance to digest it, I just saw it on my email literally right before I came on," Avenatti told CNN.

"What they're trying to do is they don't want me to get a chance to depose Michael Cohen and Donald Trump," he added. "This is a Hail Mary to try and avoid that, that's my first guess."

Cohen's lawyer Brent Blakely said Friday that California law requires Daniels to return the money that Cohen paid her in 2016 to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump.

"Today, Essential Consultants LLC and Michael Cohen have effectively put an end to the lawsuits filed against them by Stephanie Clifford aka Stormy Daniels," Blakely told CNN.

"The rescission of the Confidential Settlement Agreement will result in Ms. Clifford returning to Essential Consultants the $130,000 she received in consideration, as required by California law," he added. 

Daniels offered to give the money back in March in exchange for the agreement to be voided but Cohen, who was still working on behalf of Trump, rejected the deal. 

Avenatti said on CNN that "there's no question" Daniels would give the money back if the agreement is rescinded.

A source familiar with Cohen's thinking told the network that Cohen no longer benefits from Daniels's promise to keep quiet about the alleged affair.

Cohen's new attorney says his client has made a "declaration of independence" from Trump and no longer would take a bullet for the president in any investigation. 

The longtime Trump lawyer pleaded guilty last month to campaign finance violations surrounding payments made to buy the women's silence shortly before the 2016 election. He implicated the president in his statement to the court.

He is set to be sentenced later this year on those charges as well as bank and tax fraud charges.