Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz and Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels squared off in a heated argument Friday night over whether it was ethical for Avenatti to speak with President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, without the permission of Cohen's own attorney.
The argument started after Avenatti declared during an interview on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" that he knows Cohen, who disclosed the president knew beforehand about a meeting at Trump Tower between his oldest son and Russians saying they had dirt on Hillary Clinton, has more information to share.
"This information on the Trump Tower meeting, that's not the best information Michael Cohen has," Avenatti said. "I can assure you of that."
Dershowitz, who tweeted Thursday he wonders how Avenatti came across his information Cohen has more tapes, noted Avenatti had met with Cohen at a restuarant.
"That raises some questions because, you know, you're not allowed to speak to somebody who is counseled, who has a lawyer, and ask him 'do you want to work together to hurt Trump,'" Dershowitz said. "So, I don't know whether that occurred. But if it did occur, I think Michael has to do some explaining."
Avenatti retorted: "You keep saying you don't want the get personal with me, and you keep getting personal with me, including on Fox the other night. I'm going to tell you, I don't appreciate it. I'm willing to put up my track record over the last six months in this case up against yours any day of the week."
Avenatti said he has been "very accurate" in his predictions and his statements, which Dershowitz denied.
"You did guarantee the American public back in May that President Trump would resign," Dershowitz said. "We're watching our watches and waiting to see if that prediction comes true. That's the one prediction that you really staked your reputation on. So, your reputation will turn on whether he does resign or not."
Avenatti responded: "I'm going to determine what my reputation turns on, not you. I've made many predictions that have turned out to be true. And we have two years left in this president's term. Despite the fact he thinks you write a great books, we're going to see what happens."
Avenatti, however, said he would not tell how he knows Cohen has further tapes, and Dershowitz told him he would have to explain to an ethics committee how he had a conversation with a man without his lawyer's permission, "and his lawyer is now evidently complaining about that."
"Alan, Alan, you really need to start talking only about things that you know about, as opposed to things that you have no knowledge about," Avenatti said. "You have no knowledge of the communications that went on between me and Michael Cohen's representatives long before that . . . long before that restaurant meeting. You have no idea about the communications that went on relating to a particular or proposed level of cooperation."
"You need to go back and concentrate on what invites you're getting on Martha's Vineyard, since that appears to be what you're really good at," Avenatti added, in a slam at Dershowitz's complaints on being shunned at the enclave because of his words of support for Trump.
"Well, I'm about to head off to a party, so I have to leave in a minute," Dershowitz replied, before doubling back to ask Avenatti if he had specific permission from Cohen's attorney.
"You know what I want to know?" Avenatti said. "I want to know about the relationship between you and Donald Trump. I think you ought to disclose the extent of the relationship. How did you get that positive book review?
Dershowitz responded: "I've met him three times in my life, all three times dealing with the Middle East. I have no relationship with him."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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