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As Cohen Tries to Tear Up NDA, Stormy Daniels' Attorney Claims He's "Back to Doing Trump's Bidding"

Michael Avenatti says he believes "Cohen is playing a game in an attempt to avoid his deposition and that of Mr. Trump." 

Cuomo, Avenatti

Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti appeared on CNN late Friday to discuss a request from Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former fixer, that she return a hush-money payment that Cohen facilitated prior to the 2016 election. (Photo: CNN)

Michael Avenatti, the attorney of adult film star Stormy Daniels—who was paid hush money ahead of the 2016 election to keep quiet about an alleged affair with then-candidate Donald Trump—is claiming that longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who recently pleaded guilty to arranging the payment, "is back to doing Trump's bidding and acting as a fixer."

CNN revealed Friday that Essential Consultants, the shell company that Cohen set up to pay off Daniels (whose real name is Stephanie Clifford), had filed a status report "agreeing to tear up the original 2016 which Cohen arranged to pay her $130,000 to stay silent," and requested that Daniels return the money.

Avenatti, who has become a regular on cable news because of the lawsuits for which he is representing Daniels, discussed the development on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" Friday evening, and posited that "Cohen is playing a game in an attempt to avoid his deposition and that of Mr. Trump."

In a pair of tweets after the interview, Avenatti called Cohen's move "a political stunt," and vowed that he and Daniels "will never settle the cases absent full disclosure and accountability."

Cohen provoked ire from Trump last month when he pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts and implicated the president—admitting in federal court that he violated campaign finance law "at the direction" of then-candidate Trump "for the principal purpose of influencing the election." The campaign finance violations relate to Cohen facilitating hush-money payments to Daniels as well as former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also says she had an affair with Trump.

Cohen, who told ABC News in July that his loyalty is to "family and country" over Trump, also has been sharply ridiculed for a GoFundMe page called the "Michael Cohen Truth Fund," which was set up by his lawyer Lanny Davis after Cohen's plea, in hopes of covering his legal fees.

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