Bill Maher began the latest edition of his HBO program Real Time with an unfortunate jab at Michael Cohen, Trump’s embattled fixer/attorney who’s admitted to paying porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money to silence her over an alleged 2011 affair with President Trump.
“The guy who’s really sweating it out these days is Michael Cohen, Trump’s criminal lawyer—and when I say ‘criminal lawyer’ I mean lawyer who’s a criminal,” joked Maher during his monologue. “He’s the one who famously said ‘I’d take a bullet for Donald Trump.’ Well, now that he’s looking at prison time, we’ll see if he’s willing to take a dick.”
After that ill-advised rape joke landed with a thud, Maher brought out Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, who’s been doing an expert job advising his client through the Trump crucible—including recently baiting the president into responding to a sketch of a man who allegedly threatened Daniels on Trump’s behalf.
Maher introduced Avenatti as “Donald Trump’s worst nightmare,” and the TV-friendly lawyer received not only a roar of applause but a big standing ovation, which even seemed to catch the comedian by surprise.
While the two didn’t address Daniels’ plan to sue President Trump for defamation, they did discuss their intention of deposing Trump in front of a federal judge, with Avenatti saying that he thinks Trump will agree to be deposed and if he refuses, it would “set off a constitutional crisis.”
Then they focused their attention on Michael Cohen, whose office was recently raided by the FBI over his payments to two purported paid-off Trump paramours: Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. When it came to Cohen, Avenatti didn’t mince words.
“I think that Michael Cohen knows where almost all the bodies are buried, and I think that he’s going to sing like a canary,” said Avenatti. “I know he’s going to fold, because here’s the problem, when you have a fixer, you need two things at least: you need a guy who is tough, and you need a guy that is smart. This guy is neither tough nor smart. I think he’s a zero.”
It was also revealed that one of Cohen’s clients is none other than Fox News personality—and Trump’s rumored unofficial chief of staff—Sean Hannity. While Hannity has repeatedly denied that he’s an official client of Cohen’s, claiming that he merely advised him on a vague real-estate query, Avenatti isn’t so certain.
“Here’s what I think: I think that when the documents actually come out, and there are documents—there’s no question in my mind, there are documents with Sean Hannity’s name on them—the extent of that relationship, I think, will be very embarrassing to Sean Hannity,” he said.
As for Cohen, who was being surveilled by the U.S. government even prior to the FBI raid, Avenatti offered: “Ultimately, the American people will learn that the basis for the warrants was the fact that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office had reason to believe that Michael Cohen was undertaking efforts to destroy documents. I think that’s what’s going to come out.”
When Maher questioned whether the Daniels-Trump affair is taking away from the “real issues,” Avenatti didn’t budge: “I think the cover-up—and lying to the American people—is always a real issue.”