Michael Cohen’s attorneys claimed Wednesday that information disclosed by Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti regarding Cohen’s business transactions contained numerous inaccuracies, including payments made to individuals who are not their client but have the same name.
In a court filing in New York district court, the legal team argued that Avenatti made “numerous incorrect statements” about Cohen when he published a document on Tuesday laying out detailed claims about Cohen’s financial history.
The New York Times confirmed some of the contents of Avenatti’s document Tuesday, including that Cohen had set up a shell company where he received money from AT&T, Swiss drug company Novartis and an American company linked to a Russian oligarch with ties to the Kremlin.
Cohen’s attorneys acknowledged that some of the information Avenatti released is accurate, including the payments from AT&T and Novartis, but said other elements of the report are mistaken:
In one instance, they argue that Avenatti actually cited a wire transfer involving a Canadian citizen named Michael Cohen.
“Mr. Avenatti’s conduct in somehow obtaining random bank records and publishing them without proper concern for their accuracy is extremely troubling for the parties in this case, the Court, and the public,” Cohen’s attorneys wrote.
Cohen’s legal counsel also alleged that Avenatti obtained Cohen’s financial records illegally:
“We are not aware of any lawful attempts by Mr. Avenatti to obtain these records,” Cohen’s attorneys said.
Avenatti responded via Twitter, saying the attorneys’ claims were “baseless, improper and sanctionable”:
"They fail to address, let alone contradict, 99% of the statements in what we released," Avenatti tweeted. He called for the release of Cohen's bank records for full transparency.