Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer, and Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, happened to bump into each other at a swanky Upper East Side restaurant in Manhattan last week.
And it could be the beginning of an unlikely partnership.
When Avenatti appeared on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, host George Stephanopoulos pressed him on his “evolving” relationship with Cohen.
“I ran into Michael Cohen at a restaurant in New York City on Monday. We had a conversation, I thought it was very fruitful,” Avenatti said. “And we’ve continued to have a dialogue.”
Avenatti said Cohen has recently shifted from Trump’s “fixer” to preparing a defense of his own that signals he “is ready to tell the truth”.
“I think that ultimately, George, Michael Cohen is going to assist us in our search for the truth and disclosure of what happened here. I think you have seen an evolution by Michael Cohen over the last month or so with the retention of Lanny Davis and others. I think he is ready to tell the truth,” Avenatti said, referring to the recent addition of a member of former President Bill Clinton’s special counsel to Cohen’s legal team.
He added: “Ultimately, I think he is going to cooperate with us as it relates for our search for the truth.”
The FBI raided Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room in April, seizing roughly 4 million documents. Cohen has since become the subject of federal criminal investigation in the Southern District of New York, concerning campaign-finance violations, bank fraud, wire fraud, and illegal lobbying, or other crimes.
Recently, Cohen has made a concerted effort to distance himself from Trump. In an interview Stephanopoulos earlier this month, Cohen said his family “and this country” have his “first loyalty.”
Cohen and Avenatti didn’t respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment on the restaurant encounter on Thursday.
Reverend Al Sharpton, who says he’s known Cohen for nearly 20 years, appeared on MSNBC Friday after meeting with Cohen and said Cohen told him he feels “abandoned” by Trump.