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Michael Avenatti Burns Rival Lawyer for Abandoning Michael Cohen with ‘Tail Between Legs’


Michael Cohen Michael Avenatti thuggish threats Stormy Daniels Donald Trump cease and desist

Stormy Daniels‘ attorney Michael Avenatti tore into Michael Cohen’s reportedly former attorney Stephen Ryan for abandoning his client with “his tail between his legs” as federal prosecutors turn up the heat.

It was on Twitter where Avenatti went after Ryan.

“So after Mr. Ryan makes false accusations against me in fed court, he now abandons Mr. Cohen, withdraws, tucks his tail between his legs, & goes home?” he said.

The two have sparred before. When Avenatti refers to “false accusations” he’s likely talking about Ryan’s mention of a bankruptcy judgment against the firm Eagan Avenatti, LLP, which has not represented Daniels.

Previously, Avenatti told Law&Crime it is Avenatti & Associates, APC that represents Daniels. The docket of a filing from March in California shows this.

ABC News reported that Ryan and Todd Harrison of the law firm McDermott, Will & Emery LLP are “not expected to represent him going forward” and that replacements for them haven’t been identified. It’s also important to note that Cohen cooperating with authorities was deemed “likely.”

Ryan and Harrison were representing Cohen during a legal battle regarding the seizure of Cohen’s files in FBI raids of his home, hotel room, and office. Cohen’s team is in the process of going through millions of documents to sift out privileged materials, but with a deadline for this approaching on Friday, the firm will reportedly not be involved beyond that.

Then Avenatti took a shot at another attorney who has represented Cohen, David Schwartz. You may recall that Schwartz went on CNN and talked about the nondisclosure agreement Cohen made to keep Stormy Daniels from talking. Schwartz insisted said Trump had nothing to do with the agreement, and that Cohen negotiated it without telling Trump about it.

Current Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani later contradicted that by saying Trump did know and reimbursed Cohen. Giuliani walked that back and Trump promised he’d “get his facts straight.”

Avenatti told Law&Crime that Cohen’s lawyer turnover spells bad news for both him and Donald Trump.

“ABC’s reporting is consistent with our understanding. Mr. Ryan’s abandonment of his client is a disaster for Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump,” he said.

Law&Crime asked national security lawyer Bradley P. Moss, who reacted to the Cohen news on Twitter by saying “Game Over,” about the implications for Cohen. He said that this is a serious development for both Cohen and the future of Donald Trump’s presidency.

“If in fact Michael Cohen is going to cooperate with the Feds, then with the exception of information that is properly protected by privilege it will be ‘open kimono’ with respect to every shady and possibly illegal thing he did as the President’s personal ‘fixer,'” he said.

“Mr. Cohen, more so than anyone else in the President’s inner circle other than his wife and children, knows where all the proverbial bodies are buried. He handled the hush money payments in the context of the campaign,” he added. “He was trying to negotiate a deal in Moscow in the context of the campaign. The list goes on and on. Mr. Cohen flipping on the President could very well spell the end of this presidency.”

In recent days, Trump allies have whispered that they regard Cohen’s legal woes and the possibility he might flip on the president as something that’s “at least as ominous as” the obstruction investigation. 

Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.

[Images via Mark Wilson/Getty Images and CBS News screengrab]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.