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Michael Cohen lawyers ask court to require Michael Avenatti to reveal source of bank records (Updated)

Michael Cohen lawyers ask court to require Michael Avenatti to reveal source of bank records (Updated)

“If Mr. Avenatti wishes to be admitted pro hac vice before this Court, he should be required to explain to this Court how he came to possess and release this information.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=156Zo3pirU0

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, is a fixture on CNN and also appears to be weaponized by someone to fight battles against Trump on a broader scale with the Stormy Daniels dispute the excuse, not the reason, Avenatti is involved.

Most notably, Avenatti recently published what appear, at least in part, to be bank records relating to Michael Cohen. There were problems, including the misidentification of payments to the wrong Michael Cohens (in addition to the right Michael Cohen).

The release of bank records raises serious questions as to who is feeding Avenatti information. The bank records are private and the release potentially is a breach of the privacy laws.

The Treasury Department Inspector General is investigating:

The Treasury Department has opened an investigation into whether bank records belonging to President Trump’s private lawyer were illegally leaked to a lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Those records show that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen took payments from corporations — including telecom giant AT&T and drug-maker Novartis — seeking to curry favor with President Trump.

Rich Delmar, the general counsel for the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General, said Wednesday that investigators want to know if the disclosures violated the Bank Secrecy Act.

That law allows the Treasury Department to collect information on suspicious bank transfers, subject to strict privacy provisions….

Avenatti won’t say where he received the information on Cohen’s bank history. But on Twitter, Avenatti challenged reporters to seek out the suspicious activity reports collected by the Treasury Department.

“Why is no media outlet doing a story on the refusal of the Treasury Department to release to the public the 3 Suspicious Activity Reports that were filed concerning Essential Consultants, LLC’s bank account?” Avenatti wrote. “This deserves immediate attention. The SARs should be released now.”

As part of his crusade against Trump via Cohen, Avenatti is seeking to enter an appearance “pro hac vice” as counsel for Stormy Daniels in the court case in the SDNY involving the search warrants executed on Cohen’s law office and home. Pro Hac Vice means that a lawyer who is not a member of the Bar of a court seeks special permission to appear in an action in the court. Such applications are routine, and not usually the subject of objection assuming the attorney is in good standing in another jurisdiction.

The application for Avenatti to appear as counsel is in connection with Daniels’ request to intervene in the case involving the seizure of Cohen’s records by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

On May 9, 2018, Cohen filed an objection (pdf.)(full embed at botton of post) to Avenatti appearing in the case unless and until he reveals his source for the bank records (emphasis added):

… The Court has not issued an order with a briefing schedule for the motion to intervene or Mr. Avenatti’s pro hac vice application, but we now submit this opposition to Mr. Avenatti’s pro hac vice application for the following reasons: (1) yesterday Mr. Avenatti published numerous incorrect statements regarding Mr. Cohen while his pro hac vice motion is pending before the Court; (2) Mr. Avenatti is apparently in possession of and has published information from some
of Mr. Cohen’s actual bank records, and Mr. Cohen is concerned that Mr. Avenatti has no lawful basis to possess those materials; and (3) Mr. Avenatti has made numerous incorrect statements to the public in an apparent attempt to prejudice and discredit Mr. Cohen on this matter for which he seeks admission….

While Mr. Avenatti has published numerous incorrect statements regarding Mr. Cohen, he appears to be in possession of some information from Mr. Cohen’s actual bank records. Mr. Avenatti has published information from these records, such as the identities of and payments made by Mr. Cohen’s business clients, such as AT&T and Novartis. Ex. A at 3-4. These business clients have not been previously identified in public. We understand that the Government now possesses these records as a result of the seizures executed on April 9, 2018, and prior seizures, but we are not aware of any lawful attempts by Mr. Avenatti to obtain these records. We note that prior to this submission, the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Treasury initiated an investigation into whether these bank records were “improperly disseminated.”….

We have no reason to believe that Mr. Avenatti is in lawful possession of these bank records. If Mr. Avenatti wishes to be admitted pro hac vice before this Court, he should be required to explain to this Court how he came to possess and release this information. The details of when Mr. Cohen was paid by these business clients – whose names had not previously been made public – have no relation to the litigation in which he represents Ms. Clifford or any purported reasons he may have to appear before this Court.

Given that appearing pro hac vice is not a right, and the public release of confidential bank records by Avenatti raises questions, I would expect the court to seriously consider the request to require Avenatti to disclose where he obtained the record. After all, Avenatti wants to appear in a case involving disputes as to the confidentiality of law office and other records, but has shown a willingness to disseminate arguably confidential bank records.

UPDATE 5-11-2018

The Court has ordered that if Avenetti wants to be heard at an upcoming May 24 conference, he will have to file a formal motion for admission pro hac vice by May 17. That would bring the objections Cohen has raised before the court pretty quickly.

——————————-

Cohen v. USA – Cohen Letter to Court Re Michael Avenatti May 9 2018 by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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Comments

That FBI ‘taint team’ is hard at work searching for and leaking anything that could possibly taint Cohen.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Olinser. | May 10, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    The FBI taint team has been tainted.

    Mac45 in reply to Olinser. | May 10, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    No, this is more than likely from the SC. It would not be difficult to obtain these records under the Title I FISA warrant which was still in effect as late as August of 2017. And, both AT&T and Novartis have stated that they were contacted by Mueller’s team about the payments to Cohen.

    Look no further than the Mueller SC cadre for the leak.

Help a non-lawyer out. If I hire a hooker, does her lawyer then have a right to involve himself in a matter unrelated to his client? Also, If I paid her a buck thirty for discretion and some strange some years ago (but mostly for discretion), why am I not making her life a legal hell for disclosing that which must not be disclosed? Shouldn’t I legally have the right to a refund, a penalty, and any proceeds she has or ever will accumulate for eternity as a result of her violation of the NDA?

Avenatti is now boasting of having emails between Michael Cohen and Daniels’ attorney at the time the 130k deal was signed and is publicly disclosing the contents thereof.

I’m not even going to try guessing if anything will happen to him as a result.

    Tom Servo in reply to JBourque. | May 10, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    2 possibilities:

    1) he’s lying. I lean towards that.

    2) he’s telling the truth, in which case there is only one place those could have come from, and by leaking them someone on the inside has now compromised the entire case, not to mention jeopardizing their own careers once the source is identified. And if this is true, it will be identified – too few people had access.

    Ragspierre in reply to JBourque. | May 10, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    Nothing will happen.

    Attorney client privilege belongs solely to the client. Her former attorney holds no privilege, and is ethically mandated to turn over her ENTIRE file at her request (there is mixed authority over the use of an “attorney lien”, but no implication of that here), sometimes to include even the attorney’s notes for his own use alone.

    ANY communicative, or records thereof, involving her prior attorney belongs to her.

Near as I can tell, Mr. Avenatti is a member of the Bar of CNN.

“…public release of confidential bank records by Avenatti raises questions…”

And strikes me as an incredible stupid unforced error on Avenatti’s part. Unless of course, the hope is for the forenseic accountants of the world to unearth a smoking payolla gun to point at Cohen and implicate Trump while Avenatti takes one for the team.

I’m so bored with this circus.

The Friendly Grizzly | May 10, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Remember: it’s not the guilt or innocense. It’s the seriousness of the charge! /s

“Technically, their *was* a Michael Cohen who travelled to Russia. Heh heh. Checkmate, drumpfers.” – CNN

It seems to me that this Avenatti guy is to the legal profession what Stormy Daniels is to film making.

I’m just wondering out loud here.

Given none of this has anything tobdobwith Stormy Daniel’s it seems more likely that CNN, which had Cohen’s banking details from an informant sent the information to the latest so he could “report” on it that would then enable CNN to report on the leak.

    rdmdawg in reply to mailman. | May 10, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    We still don’t know who is paying this Avenatti guy. Stormy herself denies paying him anything. Perhaps CNN is?

    4th armored div in reply to mailman. | May 10, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    now that cnn and the ugly american decides what they can release.
    i am sure that ALL the bank records of cnn top ‘talent’ and exec may also be released – it’s for the children;s ‘right to know’.

Turns out Avennati is a crook.
https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/05/why_isnt_michael_avenatti_in_jail.html
In a complaint submitted to the California State Bar Association — and cc’d to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle — Bellevue attorney David Nold asserts Avenatti carried out an illegal “pump and dump” scheme through his Washington state-registered Tully’s ownership firm, Global Baristas US, LLC.
Nold’s complaint contends that while Avenatti ran the company, he fleeced nearly $6 million in federal and state tax withholdings — money meant to be held in trust for payment of quarterly taxes — from the paychecks of Tully’s employees.

The complaint also claims Avenatti fraudulently transferred $100,000 from the Tully’s operation last year to retain lawyers for his California law firm’s unrelated bankruptcy.”

    Barry in reply to puhiawa. | May 10, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    “Turns out Avennati is a crook.”

    Nah, couldn’t be. Another lawyer posting on the board holds him in the highest of regards. Just like stormy the fabulous producer and director.

      4th armored div in reply to Barry. | May 10, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      fabulous —> fabuler,
      FIFY

      Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | May 10, 2018 at 9:51 pm

      You prove…again…that their is just no stupid lie your nuttery will not concoct and post here.

        Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2018 at 12:03 am

        Oh, you’ll always prove, again, that you will deny you did, when you did.

        You just love stormy and her lawyer.

        TDS

          Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | May 11, 2018 at 12:16 am

          Nope. I have no love for anyone here.

          I don’t love the liar Duh Donald, who’s been caught in multiple lies over this sordid affair. He could have ended this LOOOOOONG ago. I don’t know anything…and I haven’t said anything…about Avenatti other than he has a reputation for being an effective trial attorney.

          You just lie like the Bolshevik you are.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | May 11, 2018 at 12:36 am

          “Clifford is a successful writer (!), producer (!), and director (!) of porn.”

          https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/05/the-stormy-daniels-story-trump-cant-shake/#comment-842739

          “She has a VERY good lawyer, as you’re about to discover.”

          https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/05/the-stormy-daniels-story-trump-cant-shake/#comment-842752

          You just love stormy and her VERY good lawyer.

          Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | May 11, 2018 at 7:24 am

          Yep. lying piece shit that you are.

          I’ll tell you someone else in this tale of rank corruption starring Duh Donald; Cohen. What an AMAZING character!

          Who the hell needs a “fixer”…??? Well, the same sleaze who employed mob attorney Roy Cohn for decades, that’s who.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | May 11, 2018 at 12:29 pm

          “I’ll tell you someone else in this tale of rank corruption starring Duh Donald…”

          How about stormy the hooker / porn star / extortionist?

          How about the corrupt crooked sleazy lawyer representing her?

          You’re the typical hypocrite we always see from the progs.

          Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | May 11, 2018 at 9:12 pm

          You mean to say that Avenatii and Danials have not been called names all up and down this thread, you lying SOS?

          But nobody BUT ME mentioned the author and propagator of this debacle, AND his crooked “fixer” Cohen. BOTH of whom are demonstrated liars.

          Now why is that…???

          You’re so enthralled by your religion, you are quite insane.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | May 11, 2018 at 9:53 pm

          “You mean to say…”

          Nope. Said what I meant. You praise stormy and her crooked lawyer, and have no words regarding their morality.

          Man of character.

          Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | May 11, 2018 at 10:33 pm

          Your religious zealotry drives you to make lying statements constantly, and forbids you looking at the whole picture.

          I’ve never “praised” anyone here. I’ve stated bald facts. You can’t deal with them. You ALSO can’t deal with the truth that Mr. Establishment does stuff, lies about it, and employs a “fixer” to contain what he knows will be damaging information about his conduct…all for crass political purposes.

          Daniels DOES have a successful career in porn. In just about every facet of porn. Avenatti DOES have a reputation as an effective, successful trial attorney. So did John O’Quinn, who I despised. But the man had talent, and that cannot be denied.

          Calling her names and him names is just crap borne out of your religious zeal. T-rump messed with her, pursued her for about a year, and was finally rebuffed. But he’s above criticism with you, as is Cohen.

          As I noted LONG ago, T-rump could have ended all this by simply NOT lying.

          He cannot.

        Hey bully boy: you seem indignant in false moral outrage that Trump has lied and lied. Tell ya what, amigo, get back to me when Trump is caught lying under oath. Apparently, you hold the President to a higher standard than previous presidents Clinton and Obama, or the wretched Hillary. I don’t know about the rest of the folks here, but in November I was in NC voting for a flawed, imperfect candidate. I wasn’t in Vatican City electing some Pope.

          Ragspierre in reply to Redneck Law. | May 11, 2018 at 9:02 am

          No, stupid lying nutter. Unlike you and your T-rump sucking cohort, I hold Duh Donald to the same standards I’ve held every POTUS.

          You don’t.

          I’m NOT a moral relativist in service of a man whose character is a series of dirty words.

          You are.

          You call me a “bully”. How fun! All I have is persuasion and the objective facts. What a sad snowflake…!!! Hie thee to your crying closet!

          Like I said, Rags-P, “false moral outrage”.

          Rags: “You call me a bully. How fun! All I have is persuasion and the objective facts”

          What objective facts did you employ when you danced all over my Father’s grave? I wasn’t even talking to you, just sharing an amusing anecdote with everyone re how starstruck he was first time he argued before SCOTUS. Then you turned it into something tasteless.

          Stop pretending you are some virtuous character. I’ll be here forever to shut you down.

          Ragspierre in reply to Redneck Law. | May 11, 2018 at 9:45 am

          Well, THERE’s a groundless exhibit of pure ego…!!!

          What load of crap.

        Fen in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2018 at 9:31 am

        Says the guy who confuses semi with automatic.

          Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | May 11, 2018 at 9:46 am

          ANOTHER outright lie. From the “killer” who doesn’t know an automatic firearm from a chain-gun!

    Ragspierre in reply to puhiawa. | May 10, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Contrary to what a lot of people believe, the IRS or any other agency of the Federal government will “put you in jail” over unpaid taxes, with one HUGE exception…failure to pay withholding taxes.

    They WILL prosecute you for that.

    Plus, that obligation cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

    The use of those records poses some serious ethical issues, BUT they could have been developed via discovery.

      There has been no discovery in this case, besides that is information that even a half-witted attorney would file under a “Protective order”. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 26(C)

        Ragspierre in reply to gbm. | May 11, 2018 at 7:46 am

        My point was not that they were a product of discovery. It was that they were discoverable, which sort of takes all the gas out of all the “criminal” bullshit being flung around here.

        Which is not to say that everything here is innocent, either. Just some #reality.

          No the banking information would not be discoverable, as it would have no bearing on the lawsuit, only the record of the payment would be discoverable, the amount of the retainer or attorney fees would be covered by attorney client confidentiality and only disclosed if the prevailing side with attorney fees being awarded. Please review FRCP26, discovery is not an open-ended fishing expedition–ie please disclose all transactions, documents, electronic records involving or pertaining to Stormy Daniels not disclose every record document you have in your procession. The witless mr. Avenatti is facing serous rule 11 sanctions if not criminal charges.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2018 at 10:59 am

          That’s simplistic bullshit.

          First, it’s an open question as to whether Duh Donald and Cohen HAD any attorney/client relationship. This is made muddy by the several lies told.

          I know the rules of discovery pretty stinking well, and there are a lot of areas of potential discovery here that are unusual, to say the least.

          In this case, LOTS of documents would be discoverable, and would include where monies came from, for what purpose were they received, and how were they disposed.

          A client contract is NOT privileged. It’s a mistake I see a lot of attorneys make. Legal fees are NOT privileged. In fact, if you are going to plead them, you have to prove them on the record.

          So all you have is “pounding the table”, PLEASE leave out the gutter/sailor language Thanks.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2018 at 9:04 pm

          I made several points on the law and on my experience as an attorney, including in bankruptcies, several of which involved the IRS.

          You responded with doily-clutching.

      rdmdawg in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Can confirm. I have a lawyer friend who says “File for every deduction you can find, everything. The worst the IRS can do is say ‘no, you can’t file for that deduction’. It’s unreported income that gets people thrown in jail.”

        Ragspierre in reply to rdmdawg. | May 11, 2018 at 9:16 am

        Well, no. Fraud in any form…on either end of the income/out-go equation can get you in trouble. But usually THAT has to be positively false, known statements of fact. Filing for things you might think you’re entitled to but are not is not fraud.

        People don’t get prosecuted for simple things, like failing to even file. There have been some few notable exceptions, like Irwin Shiff (spelling dubious) who was a notorious tax rebel. Generally, the IRS has LOTS of power to go after you outside of anything criminal.

        Some IRS debt IS dischargable in bankruptcy.

        But there is no question that dicking with withholding taxes will get you prosecuted. And not just by the Feds. States, too.

regulus arcturus | May 10, 2018 at 8:52 pm

After all, Avenatti wants to appear in a case involving disputes as to the confidentiality of law office and other records, but has shown a willingness to disseminate arguably confidential bank records.

There’s nothing arguable about it – bank records are confidential, nonpublic informantion, and legally protected by bank secrecy laws.

Likewise, Avenatti has made multiple errant statements about releasing SARs (Suspicious Activity Reports) filed at Treasury by financial institutions, which are also confidential and protected by the Bank Secrecy Act.

Whoever in .gov leaked that info to Avenatti committed a crime –

https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/whoever-disclosed-cohens-bank-records-to-avenatti-could-be-in-some-serious-legal-trouble/

The big story, which is not being widely circulated, is that the a federal judge has just ordered Mueller to surrender all of his evidence against the 13 indicted Russians. So, now, does he do it? Or does he drop the cases and request the indictments be quashed by the court?

Stay tuned for the continuing soap opera.

    txvet2 in reply to Mac45. | May 11, 2018 at 12:43 am

    I heard a report on the radio today that the case will reconvene in July, after Mueller’s request for a continuance was denied.

    Discovery is a wonderful thing. Back when Mueller *knew* the Russians would never show up in court, he had the freedom to claim just about anything, while knowing he never had to show his cards.

    Surprise!

Being that Avenatti published records showing banking records of the wrong Michael Cohen, it would seem to indicate that he obtained his information from someplace other than a Mueller investigation leak. Why would Michael Cohen have in his possession any banking records from other people that share his name that Mueller could have gotten in the infamous raid? The leak, if it originated from the Mueller investigation, would indicate that Mueller got his banking information from another source and never checked to ensure it was the correct Cohen for whom they had records. Would Mueller be this amateurish? Not likely. More likely, Avenatti got the banking records from someone else who did a quick search of some database and then published the results without checking into their validity due the the rushed nature of this effort.

    Mac45 in reply to Cleetus. | May 11, 2018 at 11:43 am

    The Cohen financial information from the Treasury was not obtained through a raid on Cohen. Mueller’s team interviewed AT&T and Novaris, late last year [2017], before that occurred. Also, Mueller’s team had to present the SDNYUSA with some evidence which would justify the action against Cohen. When the information seized in the Cohen raid was stonewalled by the court, some other avenue had to be found to get the info to Avenatti. If it came from the SC investigation, then it is very likely that inaccurate information would also be included to make it look as though this came from another source which had not already parsed it. The Mueller team is already under intense scrutiny about other leaks, which most likely originated from that investigation.

      regulus arcturus in reply to Mac45. | May 11, 2018 at 11:45 am

      Correct.

      SARs are AML/OFAC docs maintained by Treasury. Someone in government leaked them to Avenatti, criminally.

      Treasury IG is looking into this.

Source of funding for Stormy Daniels’ case: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stormy/

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