MANHATTAN (CN) – President Donald Trump’s embattled personal lawyer Michael Cohen filed court papers Friday afternoon arguing the attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels shouldn’t be allowed to appear in a case stemming from last month’s FBI raid of Cohen’s home and office.
In an 11-page memo, Cohen’s attorney Stephen Ryan with McDermott Will & Emery said Michael Avenatti has violated the rules of the court and ethical rules “for the sole purpose of fanning a media storm and prejudicing Mr. Cohen.”
Avenatti represents Daniels, who claims to have had an affair with Trump in 2006. Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in hush money ahead of the 2016 presidential elections through a company he set up, Essential Consultants LLC.
Friday’s memo aims to stop the showy Avenatti, who has become known for his regular TV spots, from appearing in ongoing hearings in Manhattan federal court related to the FBI’s April 9 raid on Cohen’s home, office and hotel room.
“To our knowledge, this court has never been presented with clearer evidence of the deliberate creation of a carnival atmosphere and inappropriate conduct while an attorney’s application for admission was pending,” the memo states.
The filing continues, “Moreover, this is an unprecedented attack on an individual who has not been charged with any crime.”
Avenatti wants to appear in the case to make sure that communications from Daniels are protected by attorney-client privilege. He needs the court’s permission for admission pro hac vice because he isn’t licensed to practice law in New York, only in California.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood ordered Cohen’s attorneys to respond to Avenatti’s motion. The response was filed just minutes shy of the 5 p.m. Friday deadline set by Wood in her order two days prior.
Cohen’s attorneys insist that Avenatti only has a “tangential relationship” to the New York case and his request should be denied because he has published inaccurate information about Cohen and his banking transactions without a lawful source.
On Friday evening, Avenatti quickly filed a two-page affidavit responding to Cohen’s memo, calling the claims “unsubstantiated” and saying they “reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the facts and the law.”
In an email, Avenatti said Cohen’s arguments were baseless.
“[Why] do they want me excluded so badly? It should be pretty obvious,” he added.
The next status conference in this case is scheduled for Thursday May 24.