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Michael Avenatti tells haters ‘better luck next time,’ takes victory lap



Attorney Michael Avenatti took a victory lap following the release of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s and the Southern District of New York’s sentencing recommendations for Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, on Friday.

“Over the weeks and months that followed our early March filing, we endured death threats, insults, and numerous attacks on our character, which have continued to this day,” Avenatti said in a statement. “We sat and listened while many ‘expert pundits’ criticized our approach, including our constant media push, failing to recognize that we were playing the ‘long game’ and had a strategy.”

“Today is yet more evidence that our efforts have brought us closer toward realizing our goal,” Avenatti said. “But we are not done. To our supporters — THANK YOU! To the others — better luck next time.”

Avenatti represents adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had an affair with Trump and was paid $130,000 by Cohen to keep silent. Cohen initially admitted he personally made the payment to Daniels with his own money, but denied that Trump or his campaign was involved in the transaction.

The payment was made a month before the 2016 presidential election and raised suspicions that it served as a hush-money payment.

Michael Cohen.
Yana Paskova/Getty; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

Read more: Trump says he’s ‘totally’ cleared after bombshell court filings related to Michael Cohen and his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort

But Cohen’s previous statements contradicted his testimony to prosecutors, according to the sentencing memo for his numerous financial crimes and lies to Congress.

In the court filing, Cohen was said to have “played a central role in two similar schemes to purchase the rights to stories” from two women who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. The two women are suspected to be Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Cohen admitted to making the payments “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump, making his testimony a corroboration of Daniels’ claim and providing evidence that Trump may have violated campaign finance laws. Cohen’s actions, which was described as an “intent to influence the 2016 presidential election,” was “coordinated … with one or more members of the campaign,” prosecutors added.

Avenatti took a shot at Cohen, who prosecutors said should receive a “substantial” sentence for his crimes.

“We are happy to see Michael Cohen is in a lot of trouble [regarding] sentencing,” Avenatti said in a tweet. “We agree with the [government] that he should serve a substantial term of imprisonment. He lied to my client, the American people and investigators for years. He is a thug and deserves to be severely punished.”

Avenatti also had a terse message for Trump, who is referred to as “Individual-1” in the court filings.

“I have to give you credit where credit is due,” Avenatti tweeted. “You always have said you were No.1.”

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