Avenatti asks for release of Cohen recordings

Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti asks for the release of Michael Cohen's audio recordings.

Posted: May 31, 2018 5:19 AM
Updated: May 31, 2018 5:19 AM

Michael Avenatti, the relentlessly media-savvy attorney for the pornographic film director and actress Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels), wasn't his usual ebullient self Wednesday morning at Manhattan's Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse.

Representing Clifford as an "interested party" in the federal matter pertaining to the search warrants executed in April on the home, office and hotel room of Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, Avenatti couldn't find a seat at the table -- literally or figuratively.

Lawyers for the other represented parties (Cohen, President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization) wouldn't make room for Avenatti at counsel's table, and so Avenatti made due by pulling up a chair at the end of the back table, cater-corner to Ellen Beth Resnick, a lawyer for the Trump Organization.

He also didn't have a microphone, so he had to get up and walk across the courtroom to stand at the podium any time he wanted to address Judge Kimba M. Wood, the federal district court judge presiding over the matter.

Avenatti's purported objective has been to represent Clifford as a formal, intervening party in Cohen's case, the entirety of which has very little to do with his client.

Avenatti has been adamant in court filings that his fight to represent Clifford, and thus to be admitted to practice law in the Southern District of New York on a pro hac vice basis ("for this occasion only"), stems from his duty to protect her interests in any records -- including any audio recordings between Cohen and Clifford's former attorney Keith Davidson -- that may have been swept up in the FBI raids of Cohen's premises.

On Twitter, Avenatti has dubbed these possible recordings the "#TrumpTapes," although there was absolutely no indication made by any party at the hearing that Trump was -- or was even possibly -- on those recordings.

Unfortunately for Clifford, this may be where Avenatti's winning streak comes to an end.

Until this point, Avenatti has been pursuing a dual pronged approach: duking out multiple legal issues, both in the various legal courts in which he has filed cases (or in this instance, in a case in which he would like to formally represent a party), and in the court of public opinion. He has been making multiple cable news appearances, sometimes several times a day on several different networks, arguing for his client. He even pressed his case in an appearance on Stephen Colbert's "The Late Show."

He is now at a crossroads, and he may have to forgo at least one courtroom battle. Wood was nonplussed by Avenatti's colorful and impassioned rhetoric, which included his assertion that he has been "an exemplary member of the bar for 18 years" with an "exceptional track record."

At the end of one of Avenatti's soliloquies, Wood noted that he has "no standing to make these points," and that "until you are admitted here, I don't expect you to stand and be heard." That's basically lawyer speak for "you have no right to be here."

In keeping with their stance in court filings, Cohen's attorney, Stephen Ryan, on Wednesday vehemently opposed Avenatti's request to join the case, citing Avenatti's release of confidential bank records to the media. "I've never seen an attorney conduct himself in the way he has," Ryan said, and called Avenatti's behavior reckless.

Matching Avenatti's flare for the dramatic, Ryan noted that he's never opposed a motion of this nature in his 37 years of practice, but he did so on Wednesday because of Avenatti's "intentional, malicious, and prejudicial release of information" which amounted to a "drive-by shooting" of his client.

Taking these and other matters into consideration, Wood calmly warned Avenatti that if he were to be admitted in this matter, "You'd have to stop doing some of the things you've been doing." On the other hand, she noted, if he is not formally allowed to intervene in this case, she can't stop him from continuing his "publicity tour." It seems this warning struck a chord with Avenatti.

Immediately after the conference, Avenatti withdrew his pro hac vice motion, stating he would refile his application at a later date if necessary. After the conference, he proceeded directly to the microphone podium outside the courthouse to make a short statement, as has been his signature practice (none of the other attorneys stopped for comment), and to introduce his "Trump Tapes" designation for media consumption.

So, it seems Avenatti has chosen to continue his media blitz, rather than peruse an actual seat at the table before Wood; we will no doubt be hearing from Avenatti on a cable news broadcast imminently, but we won't be hearing from him again anytime soon in Wood's courtroom.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 485655

Reported Deaths: 6558
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1007641586
Ramsey43106801
Dakota36297390
Anoka33293385
Washington22078256
Stearns18734201
St. Louis14805262
Scott13290107
Wright12526115
Olmsted1178988
Sherburne872872
Carver772640
Clay691587
Rice670491
Blue Earth594735
Kandiyohi579574
Crow Wing520681
Chisago499045
Otter Tail482170
Benton446490
Winona418349
Mower404731
Douglas392668
Nobles387047
Goodhue385768
Polk343162
McLeod339349
Beltrami337951
Morrison324547
Itasca313046
Lyon313044
Becker311342
Isanti306154
Steele300411
Carlton300149
Pine282016
Freeborn280723
Nicollet258641
Todd248030
Brown245037
Le Sueur235320
Mille Lacs227447
Cass220024
Waseca208717
Meeker207434
Martin189528
Wabasha18653
Roseau180217
Hubbard160640
Houston157314
Dodge15224
Renville149640
Redwood147027
Fillmore13728
Chippewa136335
Cottonwood134820
Pennington134416
Wadena130920
Faribault123017
Aitkin118833
Sibley117310
Watonwan11738
Rock115714
Kanabec107519
Pipestone101424
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9448
Jackson93510
Swift87918
Pope8045
Marshall77815
Stevens7418
Lake74018
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68416
Wilkin67110
Koochiching61811
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5062
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned46768
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3055
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 362827

Reported Deaths: 5440
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58260551
Linn20670313
Scott18318210
Black Hawk16258292
Woodbury14979211
Johnson1384874
Dubuque13562194
Dallas1138690
Pottawattamie10791143
Story1024945
Warren556674
Clinton543784
Cerro Gordo533782
Webster519587
Marshall497272
Sioux494869
Buena Vista474537
Des Moines458861
Muscatine452291
Wapello4345108
Jasper417766
Plymouth395378
Lee375452
Marion359169
Jones294154
Henry293337
Carroll286249
Bremer280854
Crawford275135
Boone259730
Washington254347
Benton253854
Mahaska224746
Jackson221638
Dickinson217840
Tama213765
Kossuth208555
Clay193625
Hamilton192142
Delaware189140
Winneshiek189127
Buchanan185729
Fayette185235
Page183319
Hardin181439
Wright179931
Harrison179469
Cedar178523
Clayton168154
Butler167231
Mills163020
Floyd162741
Cherokee154836
Madison154718
Poweshiek154330
Hancock147130
Allamakee146747
Lyon145941
Iowa145023
Appanoose139247
Grundy139230
Jefferson138734
Winnebago138631
Cass134751
Calhoun133811
Mitchell130940
Louisa128241
Union126631
Chickasaw125215
Sac124618
Emmet121740
Shelby121733
Franklin118319
Humboldt117925
Guthrie116628
Palo Alto105221
Montgomery104136
Howard102921
Clarke100420
Unassigned9900
Keokuk98229
Monroe93328
Adair92128
Ida91432
Pocahontas85419
Davis83123
Monona81627
Greene77510
Lucas74021
Osceola70615
Worth6997
Taylor66612
Fremont5909
Decatur5829
Van Buren56118
Ringgold52320
Wayne48921
Audubon4889
Adams3274
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 43°
Mason City
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 49°
Albert Lea
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 43°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 43°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 44°
Mild conditions expected this week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events