President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, escalated his battle with the attorney for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti, on Friday.
President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, on Friday escalated his battle with Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.
Avenatti had challenged Giuliani to a head-to-head debate earlier this week.
"It would be very helpful for the public to witness a discussion between Mr. Giuliani and me concerning the facts of the case, etc," Avenatti tweeted Tuesday. "I am willing to participate on any network provided both sides are provided a fair shake. I am also willing to do it on 12-hrs notice."
During a phone interview with Business Insider, Giuliani said he wouldn't debate Avenatti because the lawyer is "pimping for money."
"I don't get involved with pimps," he said of the lawyer. "The media loves to give him room because he makes these roundabout charges and they turn out to mean nothing. I think he's going to get himself in serious trouble."
Avenatti, a cable news mainstay, made waves this week with the revelation of some Michael Cohen's financial dealings after the 2016 presidential election. Cohen, the longtime lawyer to Trump, accepted payments from AT&T, pharmaceutical company Novartis, Korea Aerospace Industries, and Russian-tied investment firm Columbus Nova.
Those companies paid Cohen in excess of $1.2 million through the shell company, Essential Consultants LLC, that he set up to facilitate the $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels, who alleges she had an affair in 2006 with Trump. Cohen and White House aides denied the affair took place, though Giuliani made extensive headlines last week when he said Trump reimbursed Cohen for the payment.
Cohen is under criminal investigation in the Southern District of New York for possible campaign finance violations and bank fraud. He has not been charged with a crime.
Avenatti did not make clear how he obtained the banking records, and experts were left guessing just how he came upon them. The Treasury Department's inspector general opened an investigation this week into whether Suspicious Activity Reports were leaked to Avenatti, who did not immediately return a request for comment from Business Insider.
"I think he's got a lot of explaining to do," Giuliani said, noting that he did not know how Avenatti would come upon those records.
"I wouldn't debate him, because it wouldn't be fair," the former New York City mayor and US attorney continued.
"I debate like really intelligent skilled people," he added, pointing to famed attorney and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.
"I know Alan Dershowitz," Giuliani said. "He's no Alan Dershowitz."