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Michael Avenatti to court: Michael Cohen “has presented no evidence” that I received or distributed SAR info

Michael Avenatti to court: Michael Cohen “has presented no evidence” that I received or distributed SAR info

Curiously worded non-denial could lead court to compel Avenatti to disclose what info he received and distributed regarding Cohen.

Michael Avenatti has been described by the NY Times at the “ringmaster” in the Michael Cohen circus.

The fight going on in the SDNY over Avenatti’s request for permission to appear in the case certainly is turning into a circus, with the Judge likely to stop the show early next week.

For background on the case and the role Avenatti is playing, see these prior posts:

The short version is that Cohen’s lawyers and Avenatti are in a pissing match over whether and to what extent Avenatti can be trusted in a case in which Cohen seeks to preserve the confidentiality of the records the feds seized from his law office and home. The argument is that Avenatti’s past conduct in revealing bank information regarding Cohen renders Avenatti unfit for special admission to the court, even though in most cases such special admissions are routine. Avenatti argues that Cohen is just flinging mud, and the normal procedures should be filed.

The court ordered Cohen’s lawyers to file a supplemental memo of law with legal authorities for excluding Avenatti, and on Friday, May 18, Cohen’s lawyers filed that Memo of Law (pdf.) full embed at bottom of post.

The argument by Cohen’s lawyers is summarized as follows:

We represent plaintiff Michael D. Cohen (“Mr. Cohen”) in the above-referenced matter. We write in response to the Court’s order, dated May 16, 2018, permitting Mr. Cohen to respond to Mr. Avenatti’s letter and motion for admission pro hac vice. ECF 50. Mr. Avenatti’s motion should be denied. While we recognize that pro hac vice motions are routinely granted, this is an exceptional case, and Mr. Avenatti’s actions warrant a denial, particularly given his tangential relationship to this case. Mr. Avenatti appears to have violated the Local Rules of this Court, as well as the ethical rules applicable to lawyers practicing in this District.

* * *

As noted in our opening brief, on May 8, 2018, Mr. Avenatti published inaccurate statements regarding Mr. Cohen. Second, Mr. Avenatti also published, at the same time, factually accurate information regarding Mr. Cohen’s banking transactions that had no lawful source, and we requested that the Court inquire as to how he obtained the information. Third, Mr. Avenatti made further inaccurate statements to the public, all with the purpose of prejudicing Mr. Cohen in the proceedings in which Mr. Avenatti now seeks admission….

* * *

Since the submission of our letter on May 9, seemingly authoritative press accounts have also detailed that a federal law enforcement official apparently intentionally disclosed to Mr. Avenatti directly or indirectly certain suspicious activity reports (SARs) reports regarding Mr. Cohen.

While not every press report is credible or without error, the New Yorker story published by Ronan Farrow on May 16, 2018, quoted the law enforcement official who disclosed the information as being “terrified” about the legal consequences to him for the intentional act of disclosure. The law enforcement official is quoted as follows: “To say I am terrified right now would be an understatement.” Ronan Farrow, Missing Files Motivated the Leak of Michael Cohen’s Financial Records, New Yorker (May 16, 2018), available at
financial-records. There is virtually no question that any government official who leaked the information did so with the knowledge that such action was illegal. Despite the unlawful method of disclosure, Mr. Avenatti was the person who published the confidential nonpublic information. See Anderson Cooper 360°, Michael Avenatti Full Interview With Anderson Cooper, YouTube (May 8, 2018), available at

As we demonstrate in this letter, the rules of this Court and professional responsibility requirements governing attorneys in New York suggest that Mr. Avenatti should not be admitted by this Court pro hac vice….

Avenatti submitted a Supplemental Affidavit (pdf.)(full embed at bottom of post) in which he denies any wrongdoing or violation of ethical rules.

On the issue of the banking records, however, Avenatti plays it cute — he doesn’t deny getting and distributing the records, he just says Cohen hasn’t proven it (emphasis added):

7. Mr. Cohen has presented no evidence that I received any information from the whistleblower identified in the New Yorker article referenced by Mr. Cohen (which is also not competent evidence). There is also no evidence that any of my actions caused the whistleblower to feel “terrified.” In fact, the article suggests the exact opposite.

8. Mr. Cohen has presented no evidence that I ever had access to any suspicious activity reports relating to Mr. Cohen.

9. Mr. Cohen has presented no evidence that I ever purposely released any information contained within any suspicious activity report related to Mr. Cohen.

The “Mr. Cohen has presented no evidence” verbiage could backfire on Avenatti because it’s not a denial. Who Avenatti received information from and what he did with it are within Avenatti’s knowledge, not Cohen’s. Indeed, the whole point of Cohen’s motion is to have the court force Avenatti to reveal that information.

If I were the judge, the non-denial by Avenatti raises a red flag that might, in itself, lead the court to require Avenatti to take a position on what he did or didn’t do.

If it turns out that Avenatti did in fact receive banking records from the whistelblower, have access to suspicious activity reports, or release such information, then Avenatti’s carefully worded non-denial may be interpreted as an attempt to mislead the court.

Expect a ruling from the Judge early next week.


Cohen v. USA – Cohen Memo of Law in Opposition to Michael Avenatti Pro Hac Vice by Legal Insurrection on Scribd


Cohen v. USA – Michael Avenatti Pro Hac Vice Supplemental Affidavit by Legal Insurrection on Scribd


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This game playing by mueller and avenatti reeks of pettifoggery. The never-Trumpers beclown themselves with every unseemly trick.

    Tom Servo in reply to bear. | May 20, 2018 at 8:02 am

    “Michael Cohen has presented no evidence…” Is Michael Cohen a detective, does he have subpoena and warrant powers? Of course not, Michael Cohen has presented a very credible allegation of a very serious criminal nature. Which means that this is the point at which the actual detectives, who DO have the power to use warrants and other tools, should begin digging into this to ascertain if admissible evidence can be found.


Treachery and corruption.

They think they can shoot at the King, miss, and just return to their private lives as if this was all just a game.

JohnSmith100 | May 19, 2018 at 9:11 pm

I am wondering if all of Stormy’s tax records are up to snuff?

What exactly is the end game of this shyster/hack, Avenatti? Is he trying to defend the “honor” of a woman who has sex, on camera, for distribution? Does anyone with more than a functioning brain stem think that this whore (both attorney and client) is really seeking virtue?

    Tom Servo in reply to Romey. | May 20, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Just by watching his public actions, it’s fairly easy to see that Avenatti is a self-promoting egomaniac, and his actions in this case have very little to with his client (or clients, if you include the DNC and allies) and everything to do with him casting himself as the lead role in his own real time play of self glorification.

    I strongly suspect that everyone who is putting their faith in him is going to regret it soon, much like those who put their faith in Schneiderman. Funny, I think it’s the same group of people in both cases.

Given the progressive tendencies of NY courts and the fact that admitting Avenatti is an attack on Trump, I fully expect Avenatti to be admitted without having to make any disclosures.

I don’t know. I don’t think judges appreciate it when a lawyer gets cute and attempts to mainupulate the court.

Remember that character from Absence of Malice?

If I were the judge, the non-denial by Avenatti raises a red flag that might, in itself, lead the court to require Avenatti to take a position on what he did or didn’t do.

Unfortunately, Kimba Wood is the judge.

As we’ve seen in the last week the deep state is real, powerful, dangerous, and protects its own. The media is clearly an arm or an auxiliary of the deep state. One hundred sixty plus hours on the mainstream media for a lying whore’s lawyer? Nothing else was happening? No exposure of a decades long deep state spy ring going back to Reagan? No north Korea, no volcanoes in Hawaii, no progress in Syria, attacks on Israel, no disturbed people fed by the media on mass shootings?

No, apparently we have a whore and her slimy lawyer who once might or might not have (willingly) slept with a man ten years ago. No rape, no flying bimbo squad, no media cover ups for nude parties at the white house, none of that, just a whore and her dirty lawyer.

It’s so important to CNN, NBC, etc they willingly throw their money away on this. They give it more play than a space alien landing on the front lawn off the white house. Tell me how the swamp isn’t real, remind me of who’s been feeding the crocodiles.

Avenatti, a former Democrat political operative, impresses me as an attorney who knows his days practicing law are numbered. (There is a serious and credible State Bar complaint pending in his home state). The obvious question of who is paying the Stormy Daniels legal fees aside, I wonder what future employer he is auditioning for (or being paid by).

All of this bootstrapping by Avenatti is headed to one purpose only. The court ordered release of Mr Trump’s tax records. They couldn’t get them during the campaign (primaries and general) so they are trying a backdoor method. There is nothing more the left would like is to look at Trump’s personal finances.