- Screenshot/Fox News
- President Donald Trump’s outside attorney Rudy Giuliani is battling with Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels.
- Giuliani tried to take a victory lap after Avenatti’s day before US District Judge Kimba Wood didn’t go as planned.
- Avenatti fired back moments later.
Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday traded blows with Michael Avenatti, the attorney for the porn star known as Stormy Daniels, after Avenatti experienced a rough day in federal court during proceedings for his client’s case..
Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s outside attorney, fired the first shots, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity on his Wednesday night program that US District Judge Kimba Wood “threw” Avenatti “out of court” during a Wednesday hearing in the Southern District of New York.
Giuliani claimed Wood suggested that Avenatti “doesn’t belong in a New York court” and was “not ethical enough” to appear before her.”
“You want to know why?” Giuliani asked. “Because he’s a big liar. And he wanted to debate me. Like heck he’s going to debate me. He should go debate in some gin mill.”
What went down in Wood’s courtroom
Giuliani’s recounting of Avenatti’s day in court served as his extrapolated interpretation of the events. But Wednesday did not go as planned for the porn star’s lawyer.
The dramatic proceeding was highlighted by the battle between Avenatti and the lawyers for both Cohen and Trump. Avenatti ended up withdrawing his petition to appear before the court as part of the case.
Cohen is the focus of a criminal investigation in the Southern District of New York into whether he violated campaign-finance laws or committed bank fraud.
Avenatti’s client, Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing Cohen and Trump in California, seeking to get out of a nondisclosure agreement that paid her $130,000 for her silence about an alleged 2006 affair with Trump. Cohen facilitated that agreement just prior to the 2016 presidential election, and Trump recently admitted to reimbursing Cohen for that expenditure.
During the Wednesday hearing, Wood needled Avenatti for his “publicity tour,” saying Avenatti’s frequent press appearances would have to end if Cohen faces a criminal trial and Avenatti is allowed to appear before the court because of its potential effect on a jury pool.
She said that would mean no more document dumps from Avenatti – such as when he released information on Cohen’s financial dealings – and no opinions on Cohen’s abilities.
In concluding the proceedings, Wood put Avenatti’s motion to appear on hold.
“Until you are admitted here, I don’t expect you to stand and be heard here,” she said.
Wood did not throw Avenatti out of the courtroom, however, and she did not express judgment about his ethics.
After his appearance in court, Avenatti withdrew his petition to appear, saying he’d refile the motion “if necessary, at a later time.” Daniels has a separate motion in the case to become an intervenor, and that motion is on hold.
Avenatti blasts Giuliani in response
Avenatti responded to Giuliani’s attack just moments later. While appearing on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell, Avenatti called Giuliani “pathetic” and expressed shock that he was “the best lawyer” Trump could find to represent him.
“This guy is a known liar, he can’t keep his facts straight, he contradicts himself, he’s an absolute buffoon on television,” Avenatti said. “This is the lawyer that represents the president of the United States? It’s an absolute joke.”
And on Giuliani’s comment about Avenatti’s suggestion that the two hold a one-on-one debate, Avenatti said it’s “clear as day” why Trump’s attorney won’t argue with him on TV.
“It’s because he can’t handle it,” he said. “He would be absolutely destroyed. He knows it, the president knows it, and anyone with any common sense knows it.”
The two have been going at it for the last month
“I don’t get involved with pimps,” Giuliani said. “The media loves to give him room because he makes these roundabout charges and they turn out to mean nothing. I think he’s going to get himself in serious trouble.”
Avenatti fired back at Giuliani on Twitter, posting a 2000 video of Giuliani dressed in drag with Trump performing a skit for the then-mayor’s Inner Circle Press Roast.
That filing claimed the president and Giuliani have made public comments that allow her case against Trump to proceed without Cohen.
Giuliani told Business Insider he thought that argument made “no sense.”
“I think they’re shooting all around the place for something to land,” Giuliani said of Avenatti’s and Daniels’s strategy. “And so far it hasn’t.”
Asked about Giuliani’s comments, Avenatti told Business Insider in an email that Giuliani “is clueless.”
“Next time, maybe he should review the motion and the law before speaking,” he said.