By all appearances, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is feeling the heat. His activities were first put under the microscope earlier this year when it was revealed that he had facilitated a large hush money payment for Donald Trump to adult film star Stormy Daniels covering an affair she had with the man who is now president.
In the time since, Cohen’s troubles have ballooned into an array of very real legal challenges including lawsuits from Daniels made with the help of her attorney Michael Avenatti and a criminal investigation into his activities launched by the government. Thursday night, Cohen made a desperate attempt to relieve some of the pressure on him, but that attempt has failed.
What he tried to do was get a judge to order Avenatti to stop talking to the press. The lawyer has carried on with a high profile and consistent string of media appearances that have at times come in conjunction to some very acutely relevant information that he’s shared. For instance, it’s Avenatti who brought well paid “consulting” work that Cohen did for companies like AT&T and Novartis into the spotlight. That work has earned both Cohen and the companies he worked with scrutiny.
Cohen, however, was unable to prove to the judge in the case’s satisfaction that he would actually face some additional damage to his case should Avenatti continue his relationship with the media. U.S. District Judge James Otero wrote in his Friday ruling that Cohen had “not demonstrated in the Application that immediate, irreparable injury would occur in the absence of” the order that the Trump lawyer wanted handed down.
Avenatti shared a copy of the judge’s ruling on Twitter.
Here is the Order the Court just issued denying Mr. Cohen emergency relief as it relates to trying to gag me. The Court found he and Mr. Blakely failed to show any need for immediate relief. #Basta pic.twitter.com/S5lSaG2uvq
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) June 15, 2018
He had previously spoken out against Cohen’s aims to get him silenced on Twitter, writing Thursday night:
‘The motion for a gag order is a complete joke and baseless. Mr. Cohen and Brent Blakely can’t deal with the truth, the facts, and the law, so they have to resort to unethical, meritless motions.’
The original motion Cohen filed Thursday alleged that Stormy Daniels’ lawyer’s appearances in the media are “mainly driven by his seemingly unquenchable thirst for publicity,” adding a claim that the string of appearances could “turn what should be a solemn federal court proceeding into a media circus.”
Cohen learned the hard way this week, however, that the court system is not there to protect his feelings from being hurt by Michael Avenatti maintaining a relationship with the media.
The court’s response to Cohen’s request for a restraining order barring Avenatti from talking to the media contains a brisk footnote reading, in part:
‘The parties are reminded that the initial standing order of this Court clearly states that “[e]x parte applications are solely for extraordinary relief and are discouraged.”‘
The reason for this discouragement, the footnote explains, is because applications of the sort Cohen submitted force the court to deal with them right away, upsetting the balance of the legal environment that the Trump lawyer seems supposedly so committed to. In seeking to use the court system as his personal butler, Cohen takes after the man he worked for throughout recent years, who while in office as president has attracted numerous allegations of obstruction of justice.
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