In a hearing before U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan, Cohen attorney Stephen Ryan also called the alleged leak by Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, “reckless,” “malicious” and “intentional.”
Avenatti responded, “We did not do anything improper relating to the release of any information concerning Mr. Cohen.”
Cohen, who attended the hearing, is under investigation by federal prosecutors regarding his business dealings. He has not been charged with any crime.
Cohen has asked Wood to deny Avenatti permission to appear before the court, saying Daniels’ lawyer violated court rules by making what he characterized as false statements about Cohen in frequent news media appearances.
A lawyer for Trump, Joanna Hendon, told Wood “we endorse fully” Ryan’s arguments on whether Avenatti should be admitted to the court.
Wood did not immediately rule on whether Avenatti would have a formal role in the case.
But she made clear she would not give Avenatti an open platform in her courtroom “where you’re free to denigrate Mr. Cohen and, I believe, potentially, deprive him of a fair trial by tainting a jury pool” if criminal charges were ever brought against Cohen.
Reporting by Brendan Pierson and Jonathan Stempel in New York; writing by Jonathan Oatis; editing by Chizu Nomiyama