On the 30th of May 2018, there was a court hearing in the US Southern District Court of New York (SDNY) in Manhattan where the republican President Donald Trump’s personal attorney/ fixer/ consigiliere Michael Cohen was present along with his attorneys and the US prosecutors. The attorney Michael Avenatti who represents Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who has filed a suit against the president was present due to their ancillary case.
Mr. Avenatti had filed a request to be able to participate in future hearings but the judge advised him that he would have to give up all his TV appearances. Consequently, he has withdrawn his request.
What is confusing to me, is that not a lot was discussed in the courtroom regarding all the audio tapes where Mr. Cohen has recorded conversations but which are in the possession of his attorneys, under lock and key. The FBI also has a copies of these tapes. Mr. Avenatti has stated for the record that the president is on at least one of these recordings.
The other interesting tidbit is that there are shredded documents that the FBI are trying to piece together. The question for me is why were the documents being shredded?
Here’s the rest of the story…
On May 30, 2018, Tom Winter, Charlie Gile and Adam Edelman of NBC News penned the following report, “Prosecutors in Michael Cohen case piecing together shredded documents from raid” (“Cohen’s lawyers have received most of the materials seized during the FBI raid on his hotel and office, except for the contents of a shredder.”)
“Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Daniels who was present at the hearing, told reporters afterward that it was disclosed at the hearing that Cohen had been making audio recordings of Trump for years and that some of those recordings related to Daniels.”
“There was a shocking admission that was made in court today. Namely, that just like the Nixon tapes years ago, we now have, what I will refer to as the Trump tapes,” Avenatti said outside the courtroom.”
“Avenatti had written the court earlier this month asking to be made a party to the case, saying, “We have reason to believe that plaintiff Michael Cohen, or members of his team, have begun to leak select audio recordings to the media that were seized in the FBI raids.”
“Cohen’s attorney Stephen Ryan said at the hearing that if any recordings were to exist, they would be under lock and key and that he was not aware of anyone leaking them to the press. Ryan also argued that Avenatti shouldn’t be admitted to speak in the case.”
“I’ve never seen an attorney conduct himself the way Mr. Avenatti conducted himself,” Ryan told the court.
Wood suspended Avenatti’s request, explaining that granting it would mean Avenatti, who has spoken about the case to the media often, would have to submit to local court rules which would prohibit him from making certain public statements.
Following the hearing, Avenatti withdrew his request to intervene in the case.