Lawyers for Michael Cohen on Wednesday disputed several claims made by Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti in an unsourced document Tuesday, but admitted some of Avenatti’s information appeared to be accurate.
Avenatti alleged in the document Tuesday that the shell company Cohen had established to pay Daniels $130,000 in hush money, Essential Consultants, had received millions of dollars from a variety of entities. Several large companies, including AT&T and drugmaker Novartis, confirmed that they had had agreements with Cohen.
“While Mr. Avenatti has published numerous incorrect statements regarding Mr. Cohen, he appears to be in possession of some information from Mr. Cohen’s actual bank records,” Cohen’s lawyers said in the filing, naming AT&T and Novartis specifically. (Read the full filing below.)
“If Mr. Avenatti wishes to be admitted pro hac vice before this Court, he should be required to explain to this Court how he came to possess and release this information,” they added.
The filing also pointed to several of what it identified as mistakes in Avenatti’s filing, such as two instances where it claimed Avenatti incorrectly identified other Michael Cohens — namely, one Michael Cohen in Toronto and one in Israel — as their client.
“We are not going to list every incorrect statement” contained in Avenatti’s document, they say at one point.
The letter concluded by naming the Russian oligarch at the center of the much of the attention paid to Avenatti’s document, Viktor Vekselberg. Though the American affililate, Columbus Nova, of Vekselberg’s company Renova did confirm the payments Avenatti identified, both Columbus Nova and Renova have denied any involvement from Vekselberg.
“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,” Cohen’s lawyers said in the filing.
“For example,” they added later, “Mr. Avenatti stated that ‘Mr. [Viktor] Vekselberg and his cousin Mr. Andrew Intrater routed eight payments to Mr. Cohen through a company named Columbus Nova LLC (‘Columbus’) beginning in January 2017 and continuing until at least August 2017.’ Ex. A at 3. Mr. Avenatti’s statements are incorrect, as can be seen from the public response of Columbus Nova” denying Vekselberg’s involvement.
Avenatti, responding to the filing, said Cohen’s lawyers “fail to address, let alone contradict, 99% of the statements in what we released.”
Mr. Ryan’s submission on behalf of Mr. Cohen is baseless, improper and sanctionable. 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.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 9, 2018
Read the Cohen’s lawyers’ filing below:
- Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
- Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism