Wait, didn’t he say that Trump paid him back?
Courtesy of CNN:
Michael Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants, filed a status report Friday evening agreeing to tear up the original 2016 agreement with adult film star Stormy Daniels, in which Cohen arranged to pay her $130,000 to stay silent about her alleged affair with President Donald Trump.
This so-called “hush agreement” has been at the root of some of Cohen’s legal troubles and scrutinized in the criminal investigation that ultimately led to his plea last month. Cohen was Trump’s personal lawyer for years. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels.
“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, Cohen’s lawyer. “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.”
As a part of the status report, Essential Consultants — the shell company Cohen set up to make the payment to Daniels — requested that she pay back the $130,000 she received.
Apparently, the thinking is that since Daniels and her attorney Avanatti have been talking about this deal all over the media that the original deal is no longer valid.
However, I am not sure what gives Cohen’s shell company standing in demanding that money back since they were already reimbursed by the Trump Organization:
Last year, Mr. Weisselberg arranged for the Trump Organization to reimburse Mr. Cohen, who had in October 2016 made a $130,000 payment to Stephanie Clifford, a former adult-film actress who claimed she had sex with Mr. Trump a decade earlier, in exchange for her silence about the alleged affair. A person familiar with Mr. Weisselberg’s thinking said he didn’t know that money was intended to pay Ms. Clifford, who goes professionally by Stormy Daniels, when he agreed in January 2017 to a $35,000 monthly retainer for Mr. Cohen.
That month, according to charging documents filed Tuesday, Mr. Cohen gave executives at the Trump Organization a copy of the bank statement from his bank account for Essential Consultants LLC, the company he used to pay Ms. Clifford the previous fall. The statement reflected Mr. Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Ms. Clifford, as well as an additional $50,000 that Mr. Cohen added in handwriting was for “tech services.”
So if the shell company was reimbursed how could they demand the money back?
The way I see it is that the Trump Administration might have an argument to make, but I am not sure that they really want to get into a courtroom with Avanatti.
Speaking of Michael Avanatii he has a theory as to what is happening here:
“What they’re trying to do is they don’t want me to get a chance to depose Michael Cohen and Donald Trump,” he added. “This is a hail Mary to try and avoid that, that’s my first guess.”
Well, I guess that actually makes more sense, however, it does not appear that Avanatti is ready to let that happen.
Let me be clear – my client and I will never settle the cases absent full disclosure and accountability. We are committed to the truth. And we are committed to delivering it to the American people. #Basta
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 8, 2018
So is Michael Cohen now working with the feds, or is he still working to protect his former boss?