Attorneys for Michael Cohen are asking a federal judge to block adult-film star Stormy Daniels's attorney Michael Avenatti from a case involving an FBI raid of Cohen's home and office last month.
In court papers filed on Friday, Cohen's attorneys accused Avenatti of creating a "carnival atmosphere" in legal proceedings involving Cohen, pointing to his numerous television appearances in recent months.
"Mr. Avenatti’s deliberate public dissemination of confidential nonpublic information speaks to his character and lack of fitness to appear before this Court — as well as his craving to create a 'carnival atmosphere,' " the filing reads.
"Mr. Avenatti has appeared on national television and made statements regarding Mr. Cohen 147 times over the past ten weeks, and many of these statements concerned nonpublic information and misrepresentations regarding Mr. Cohen," it continues.
Cohen's lawyers argue that Avenatti is "primarily focused on smearing Mr. Cohen publicly in his efforts to further his own interest in garnering as much media attention as possible."
The filing comes days after Avenatti asked a federal court in Manhattan to allow him to join the legal fight surrounding the April 9 FBI raid on Cohen's home and office, which is seeking to resolve disputes over seized records that may include privileged information.
Avenatti is representing Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, in a separate lawsuit in California against Cohen and President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE. That lawsuit seeks to void a nondisclosure agreement that prevents Daniels from speaking publicly about her alleged affair with Trump in 2006.
Cohen has acknowledged making a $130,000 payment to Daniels weeks before the 2016 presidential election to keep her from going public with the allegations — a payment Trump previously said he did not know about, but officially acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday.