Last month, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to 8 counts. They included tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and making a campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign. The last charge refers to the hush money paid to Donald Trump's lovers, including Stormy Daniels.
Now that he will be paying the time, Cohen has decided he needs a refund for the hush money he paid to Stormy.
To keep Stormy Daniels from talking about her affair with Donald Trump, Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, set up a shell company called Essential Consultants.
In 2016, just before the presidential election, Essential Consultants paid Stormy Daniels (legally Stephanie Clifford) $130,000 to keep her mouth shut.
The payment was made in service of Trump's campaign, causing it to be considered an excessive campaign contribution and a key element in Cohen's August court case.
It is speculated that Cohen has decided to rescind the agreement because he no longer benefits from her silence. Furthermore, Daniels has already spoken out about the affair numerous times. Her alleged violation of the deal was going to result in a $20 million lawsuit, but Essential Consultants has since offered to drop it.
Brent Blakely, Cohen's lawyer, released the following statement.
"Today, Essential Consultants LLC and Michael Cohen have effectively put an end to the lawsuits filed against them by Stephanie Clifford aka Stormy Daniels. 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."
Stormy Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, was on-air with Chris Cuomo during Cuomo Prime Time moments after he, himself, learned of the abrogation. Cuomo had just gotten wind of the story and asked Avenatti for his initial thought. After telling Cuomo that he hadn't "had a chance to digest it", Avenatti said,
"What they're trying to do is they don't want me to get a chance to depose Michael Cohen and Donald Trump. This is a hail Mary to try and avoid that, that's my first guess."
Once he had proper time to digest the news, Avenatti took to Twitter to share his view of the situation.
Michael Cohen is back to playing games and trying to protect Donald Trump. He is now pulling a legal stunt to try a… https://t.co/Fij8hXnJG1— Michael Avenatti (@Michael Avenatti)1536371869.0
Let me be clear - my client and I will never settle the cases absent full disclosure and accountability. We are com… https://t.co/Oman4GgaCq— Michael Avenatti (@Michael Avenatti)1536377242.0
He concluded by saying that he and his client (Daniels) won't settle without deposing Michael Cohen and Donald Trump. He said,
"We are committed to the truth. And we are committed to delivering it to the American people. #Basta"
"Basta" means "enough" in Italian.
Twitter agrees that there has been enough corruption in this case, and in the whole administration for that matter.
@MichaelAvenatti What we really need ASAP is a senior WH official to step forward and become THE WHISTLEBLOWER rega… https://t.co/bfyTpY9UYf— BG - Chairman/CEO 😎 (@BG - Chairman/CEO 😎)1536371884.0
So Now Michael Cohen wants the hush money back from Stormy Daniels... You know the hush money that he said initiall… https://t.co/Ru6LTlGVe3— John Melendez (@John Melendez)1536415319.0
Many are thankful for Avenatti's commitment to truth.
@MichaelAvenatti That is EXACTLY what he is doing. THE CON men never rest. Michael, I see that you read/see right… https://t.co/7FLk8qFTJX— Chico and JC (@Chico and JC)1536406666.0
@MichaelAvenatti Thank you!— 🌊 Tommy J 🚀 (@🌊 Tommy J 🚀)1536377254.0
@MichaelAvenatti #basta https://t.co/nDgynI6YyO— WildCatSally (@WildCatSally)1536384435.0
Others find it hilarious that Cohen thinks he'll see a dime of that money.
@latimes He's broke! 😂😂😂 @MichaelCohen212 you can't take that money back.— JayP 😷 (@JayP 😷)1536434552.0
As an attorney, I'm going to venture that Cohen is SOL. The point of the deal was for Daniels to stay silent before… https://t.co/n6xOTGDiBL— Eugene V. Belitsky (@Eugene V. Belitsky)1536406447.0
He'll need the money in prison to buy Moon Pies, Peanut Butter Crakcers, etc. --- Michael Cohen Wants A Refund On… https://t.co/3PTXowPzJF— Cletus (@Cletus)1536434178.0
@thehill No refunds @MichaelCohen212 Suck it up treason weasel 😎— Trump Crisis (@Trump Crisis)1536424074.0
Avenatti later tweeted that the time has now come to fight Trump's corruption with fire.
I know some may disagree but I firmly believe that the only way we will overcome this disaster of a presidency is t… https://t.co/2c3w7nq7GK— Michael Avenatti (@Michael Avenatti)1536414746.0
I, for one, am ready for Avenatti to unleash his inner Hephaestus.