The lawyer representing adult film star Stormy Daniels got ripped to pieces in court on Wednesday when the judge ordered him to choose between his publicity tour or remain involved in the case.
During a tense hearing, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood excoriated Michael Avenatti for carrying out his never-ending media tour across cable news, saying his public stunts are effecting Michael Cohen’s right to a fair trial.
“I either want you to participate, or not be in the matter at all,” Wood told Avenatti. “I don’t want you to have some existence in a limbo where you’re free to denigrate Mr. Cohen, and I believe potentially deprive him of a fair trial by tainting a jury pool. … This conduct is inimicable to giving Mr. Cohen eventually a fair trial.”
As noted by Zero Hedge, guess what Avenatti chose: His media tour.
It appears the judge told @MichaelAvenatti he could represent his client in court or he could continue his daily appearances on CNN and MSNBC, but he could not do both. Guess which one he chose?
— Byron York (@ByronYork) May 30, 2018
Wood was hand-picked years ago by Hillary Clinton to serve her department, and also officiated George Soros‘ wedding in 2013. So, her smacking down the liberal lawyer speaks volumes about how out-of-hand all of this has gotten.
As detailed by Conservative Daily Post, Daniels is locked in a court battle with Cohen, President Donald Trump‘s personal attorney. The case involves the nondisclosure agreement between Cohen and Daniels as well as the $130,000 payment he made to her in 2016 as part of the deal.
Daniels claims that she had an affair with Trump in 2006, but Trump has vehemently denied the claim. She is suing so she can legally speak out about the alleged affair and break her nondisclosure.
Avenatti filed a motion so he could be present in the courtroom and work with federal prosecutors in the case. Stephan Ryan, Cohen’s attorney, vociferously opposed Avenatti’s motion and said his never-ending media tour has been used to unlawfully smear Cohen and the president.
Michael Avenatti just withdrew his motion to appear before a New York court on the Michael Cohen case. Judge came down hard on him this morning. Saying if he wanted a seat at the table he would need to stop his publicity tour.
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) May 30, 2018
Michael Avenatti warned by federal judge about his 'publicity tour' https://t.co/nPEatSLJ44
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 30, 2018
After Ryan called Avenatti’s media appearances “reckless and improper,” he also reminded the court that Avenatti was busted earlier this month leaking some of Cohen’s bank records to the media, an attempt to smear Cohen and gain traction in the case.
Wood agreed with Ryan, and told Avenatti she would only grant his motion if he agreed to stop all media appearances until the case was concluded. He withdrew his motion so he could remain on CNN all day, every day.
Aside from Wood ripping Avenatti to pieces, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that prosecutors are having a hard time formulating a winning strategy in court. Daniels admitted earlier this year that she agreed to the deal with Cohen and signed the nondisclosure without any reservations or hesitations.
She’s only suing now because Trump is president, and the media is giving her and Avenatti unlimited airtime so they can fuel their anti-Trump narrative. But it’s not playing out as expected in court, with no indication that Daniels has any legal right to break the nondisclosure and speak out about the alleged affair.
In fact, Trump’s legal team revealed in March that they plan to counter-sue Daniels for $20 million. Trump’s team said they identified at least 20 instances in which Daniels violated the agreement. Each violation carries a penalty of $1 million.
Time will tell what happens next in the case, but the judge absolutely humiliated Avenatti for his antics.
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