Michael Cohen is claiming that Stormy Daniels’ lawyer may be using illegally obtained bank documents to create “a toxic mix of misinformation” about him.
Cohen said in court papers filed Wednesday that Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Daniels, “published numerous incorrect statements” about him in a document that linked the Trump fixer to payments from a drug company and a company controlled by a Russian oligarch.
The statements were based on bank documents — some of which are Cohen’s — that Avenatti “has no lawful basis to possess,” Cohen’s lawyer told Manhattan federal Judge Kimba Wood.
“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,” the lawyers complained.
“Mr. Avenatti has also deliberately distorted information from the records which appear to be in his possession for the purpose of creating a toxic mix of misinformation,” his lawyers complained.
For example, Avenatti claimed that Cohen received a wire “from Actuarial Partners Consulting SDN BHD to an account in Toronto,” Cohen’s lawyers said.
“However, the Michael Cohen who apparently received this wire is a Canadian citizen who has conducted foreign aid work for Actuarial Partners in Tanzania – not the plaintiff Michael D. Cohen in this case,” they said.
Cohen’s lawyers wrote the angry missive Wednesday in an effort to bar Avenatti from joining the effort to review documents seized by the FBI in a raid on Cohen’s hotel and office.
Cohen’s lawyers claim the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege and therefore are off limits to the feds. A “special master” has been appointed to resolve the matter.
Avenatti has asked to be a party to Cohen’s legal action because, he says, Cohen might have access to Daniels’ protected information after her last lawyer gave it to Cohen without Daniels’ permission.
The Treasury Department’s inspector general is investigating whether Cohen’s confidential banking information was leaked. Avenatti declined to reveal how he got the information.
“The source or sources of our information is our work product, and nobody’s business,” Avenatti told the Washington Post.
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