- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer accused Michael Avenatti in a court filing Wednesday of making false statements and of unlawfully obtaining bank records.

The filing by Michael Cohen, according to CNN, asks that the court disqualify Mr. Avenatti from the case, in which he is representing porn star Stormy Daniels.

The filing accuses Mr. Avenatti of attributing to Mr. Cohen in social-media posts earlier this week payments made to a different Michael Cohen.

The filing also cries foul about the seven-page report Mr. Avenatti released Tuesday, saying there is no way he could have the needed bank records legally and implying they were provided by special counsel Robert Mueller.

“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,” the filing reads.

“We have no reason to believe Mr. Avenatti is in lawful possession of these bank records” because, among other reasons, the clients who had given Mr. Cohen money had not been publicly reported and had no obvious relevance to the lawsuit filed by Mr. Avenatti’s client, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

SEE ALSO: Michael Avenatti suggests Russians reimbursed Trump lawyer for Stormy Daniels payment

At a minimum, the Cohen filing says, Mr. Avenatti should “be required to explain to this Court how he came to possess and release this information.”

Within minutes of the filing being reported on CNN, Mr. Avenatti dismissed it as groundless — on Twitter.

“Mr. Ryan’s submission on behalf of Mr. Cohen is baseless, improper and sanctionable,” he wrote.

The lawyer went on to defend his memo as still almost wholly accurate even stipulating Mr. Cohen’s charges of mistakes.

“They fail to address, let alone contradict, 99% of the statements in what we released. Among other things, they effectively concede the receipt of the $500,000 from those with Russian ties,” Mr. Avenatti posted.

Among others, AT&T, Columbus Nova and Novartis all confirmed Tuesday or Wednesday that they had paid Mr. Cohen the amounts claimed in the report.

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