Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, has decided to opt-out of a bid to participate in proceedings related to the criminal investigation into President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, shortly after other lawyers criticized him in court for his behavior in the matter.
Avenatti reportedly faced tough questions during the hearing from federal District Judge Kimba Wood, who told him in court he would have to stop his “publicity tour” if he wanted to participate in the case.
According to CNN:
Wednesday’s court conference was scheduled, in part, to discuss the issue of what materials seized from Cohen are protected under attorney–client privilege.”
The judge has assigned a special master in the case to review the documents that were seized to determine what’s privileged. Wood said in court Wednesday that the review must be completed by June 15 and any remaining material “would be turned over to a government taint-team.”
Sources revealed that Avenatti filed a document in court Wednesday, saying he is withdrawing his request to intervene and will re-file it, if necessary, at a later time.
Earlier this month, Avenatti released bank records leaked to him that showed several companies had paid Cohen through a shell company for consulting services.
Knowing of this information, the judge reportedly “reprimanded Avenatti in court.”
You cannot declare your opinion as to Mr. Cohen’s guilt, which you did. You would not be able to give publicity to documents.”
“You’re entitled to publicity. I can’t stop you — unless you’re participating in a matter before me.”
In effect, Avenatti got Cohen’s lawyers to admit to the existence of the tapes, including specifically tapes about his client, which was his goal. And, he got the judge’s acknowledgment that speaking about the case publicly was within his rights, as long as he wasn’t part of this case against Cohen. It appears that Avenatti is way ahead of everyone else.
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