Attorneys for President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Wednesday claimed that Michael Avenatti, who represents Stormy Daniels, spread inaccurate information about Cohen's financial dealings.
In a court filing in New York district court, the legal team argued that Avenatti made “numerous incorrect statements” about Cohen when he published a document on Tuesday laying out detailed claims about Cohen’s financial history.
As a result, Cohen’s attorneys requested that Avenatti not be permitted to appear in court in New York's Southern District, where Cohen has an ongoing case.
The New York Times confirmed some of the contents of Avenatti’s document Tuesday, including that Cohen had set up a shell company where he received money from AT&T, Swiss drug company Novartis and an American company linked to a Russian oligarch with ties to the Kremlin.
Cohen's shell company, Essential Consultants LLC, was then used to pay $130,000 to Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, as part of a nondisclosure agreement related to an alleged affair she had with Trump.
Cohen’s lawyers claimed that much of Avenatti's document was untrue, and that it referenced a number of wire transfers and transactions that Cohen himself was never involved in.
In one instance, they argue that Avenatti actually cited a wire transfer involving a Canadian citizen named Michael Cohen.
“Mr. Avenatti’s conduct in somehow obtaining random bank records and publishing them without proper concern for their accuracy is extremely troubling for the parties in this case, the Court, and the public,” Cohen’s attorneys wrote.
Cohen’s lawyers acknowledged that some of the information Avenatti published is accurate, including that he received money from AT&T and Novartis.
However, they argued that Avenatti obtained that information from Cohen’s actual bank records, which they allege he obtained unlawfully.
“We are not aware of any lawful attempts by Mr. Avenatti to obtain these records,” Cohen’s attorneys said.
The Treasury Department’s inspector general has since launched an investigation into how Avenatti obtained the bank records.
Cohen is reportedly under investigation for bank fraud and campaign finance law violations following FBI raids of his home and office last month.
Avenatti hit back at Cohen's lawyers' claims, calling them "baseless, improper and sanctionable."
"They fail to address, let alone contradict, 99% of the statements in what we released," Avenatti tweeted. He called for the release of Cohen's bank records for full transparency.
If Mr. Ryan/Mr. Cohen dispute the receipt of nearly $2MM from Columbus Nova, Korea Aero, Novartis or ATT (as opposed to insignificant amounts), they should state it NOW. Regardless, they should IMMEDIATELY produce the bank records so the American people can judge the truth.— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 9, 2018
Mr. Ryan’s submission on behalf of Mr. Cohen is baseless, improper and sanctionable. They fail to address, let alone contradict, 99% of the statements in what we released. Among other things, they effectively concede the receipt of the $500,000 from those with Russian ties.— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 9, 2018
President Trump is said to have been unaware that Cohen received payments in exchange for insights and access to his administration.