Michael Cohen and Michael Avenatti bumped into each other at a swanky Manhattan restaurant, and Avenatti said it was ‘random and productive’

  • President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer and the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels bumped into each other at dinner this week.
  • Vanity Fair reported that the two men, Michael Cohen and Michael Avenatti, “exchanged a cordial hello.”
  • Avenatti told the publication that the exchange was “random and productive.”

President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer and the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels bumped into each other at dinner on Monday, Vanity Fair reported.

The two happened to be dining at Scalinatella, a restaurant in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighbourhood.

As Vanity Fair reported Wednesday, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was wrapping up dinner when he noticed that Michael Avenatti, Daniels’s attorney, was seated at a nearby table. The two “exchanged a cordial hello,” the publication wrote.

Cohen and Avenatti did not respond to requests for comment from Business Insider. Avenatti told Vanity Fair the exchange was “both random and productive.”

Cohen currently finds himself at the center of a federal criminal investigation taking place in the Southern District of New York, where investigators are probing whether he committed campaign-finance violations, bank fraud, wire fraud,illegal lobbying, or other crimes. The FBI raided his home, office, and hotel room in April, seizing roughly 4 million documents.

In recent weeks, Cohen has split from Trump. During an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that was published earlier this month, Cohen said his family “and this country” have his “first loyalty.”

The same night he bumped into Avenatti, Cohen highlighted some of his remarks to Stephanopoulos in response to Trump’s widely-panned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.During a press conference alongside Putin following an hours-long private meeting between the two leaders on Monday, Trump cast doubt on the US intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election. He also attacked his Democratic opponents and the FBI, and said he held both countries accountable for their state of relations.

“As I said to @ABC @GStephanopoulos, ‘I respect our nation’s intelligence agencies who determined that Russia, had in fact, interfered or meddled in our democratic process. I repudiate Russia’s effort…and call on all Americans to do the same,'” Cohen tweeted.

Avenatti’s client, meanwhile, was paid $US130,000 by Cohen prior to the 2016 presidential election to stay quiet about her allegation of a 2006 affair with Trump, an allegation that Trump has denied. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing Cohen and Trump in California to get out of the nondisclosure agreement, though that lawsuit has stalled after a judge placed a stay on it while the criminal probe involving Cohen proceeds.