Michael Cohen wants his money back.
The former Trump attorney’s shell company, Essential Consultants, filed a status report on Friday night seeking to tear up the original 2016 agreement with Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. Stormy Daniels to stay silent about an affair she claims to have had with President Trump over a decade ago.
“Today, Essential Consultants LLC and Michael Cohen have effectively put an end to the lawsuits filed against them by Stephanie Clifford aka Stormy Daniels,” said Brent Blakely, a lawyer for Cohen. “The rescission of the Confidential Settlement Agreement will result in Ms. Clifford returning to Essential Consultants the $130,000 she received in consideration, as required by California law.”
According to CNN, the logic behind the move is that since Cohen no longer benefits from Clifford remaining silent since her “coming out” over the alleged affair, he is entitled to a refund.
Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time on Friday night that he only heard about the filing before going on air and hasn’t had a chance to mull it over.
“I haven’t had a chance to digest it, I just saw it on my email literally right before I came on,” Avenatti said, adding “What they’re trying to do is they don’t want me to get a chance to depose Michael Cohen and Donald Trump… This is a hail Mary to try and avoid that, that’s my first guess.”
Avenatti then suggested that Cohen is trying to get back into Trump’s good graces, and that the only way Daniels would pay back the money is in exchange for Cohen and Trump’s depositions.
“Michael Cohen is playing a game in an attempt to avoid his deposition and that of Mr. Trump,” Avenatti said. “He is back to doing Trump’s bidding and acting as a fixer.“
Cohen has found himself on the wrong side of the law after the FBI raided his office, hotel room and home in April as a part of the Southern District of New York’s investigation.
Cohen admitted in August to arranging a nondisclosure agreement with Daniels to buy her silence about her alleged affair with Trump. Cohen pleaded guilty to making an excessive campaign contribution, since the $130,000 payment was made in service of the campaign and exceeded the $2,700 federal limit for campaign donations.
Cohen has recently told friends he feels isolated from the President and told ABC News in July that his first loyalty is to the country and his family, not Trump. –CNN
Cohen operated in Trump’s inner circle for around a decade, both before and after the 2016 US election. At one point he said he was so loyal to the President that he would take a bullet for him – however he has since changed his tune.
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