If you’ve kept an eye on cable news over the last several months, you’ve probably seen plenty of appearances by Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing former porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump and Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen.
But those numerous media appearances may be coming to a swift end soon, as the lawyer representing Cohen in the suit has asked a judge to implement a “gag order” on Avenatti as the case proceeds.
Time to keep his mouth shut
ABC News reported that Cohen’s attorney, Brent Blakely, asked a federal judge on Thursday for the gag order against Avenatti that would prevent him from discussing the case with reporters or releasing information to the public via social media.
Blakely argued in a Los Angeles court that Avenatti has been engaged in a “publicity tour” that has involved more than 100 appearances on TV.
He stated that Avenatti was “mainly driven by his seemingly unquenchable thirst for publicity,” and criticized his near-daily tweets against Cohen, which Blakely viewed as “unethical,” and said had turned the case into a “media circus.”
Blakely asked that a restraining order between Avenatti and the media be put in place because the “malicious attacks on Mr. Cohen must be stopped in its tracks.”
Avenatti represents Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in a lawsuit against Cohen and Trump that seeks to remove her from a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) she signed with Cohen in 2016.
That NDA was in regard to an alleged affair that Daniels claimed occurred with then-businessman Trump in 2006, an affair she had previously denied and which Trump himself continues to deny.
Avenatti has been front and center among the media for the past several months, discussing the case and smearing Cohen and Trump at every turn. He even proceeded to smear Blakely as well, after the gag order to silence him had been requested.
“The only unethical lawyers in this case are Mr. Cohen and his lawyer Mr. Blakely,” Avenatti told the Associated Press. “They want to hide the truth from the American people because Mr. Cohen and Mr. Blakely believe that conspiracy and cover-up are acceptable. They want the cover-up to continue.”
Avenatti doesn’t want to be silenced because, as noted by Blakely, he seems to thoroughly enjoy his time in the spotlight with the adoring anti-Trump media.
But Avenatti’s incessant tweeting about Cohen and plethora of media interviews discussing Trump’s ex-lawyer pose a significant threat to Cohen’s ability to receive a fair trail among a potentially tainted public jury pool, a consideration that should be weighed heavily by the judge in this case as they decide on whether to gag Avenatti or not.