Breaking News Emails
Porn star Stormy Daniels and her attorney Michael Avenatti on Wednesday excoriated President Donald Trump's former longtime attorney for backing out of public testimony before the House Oversight Committee out of fear for his family.
"Are you f---ing serious, Mikey?!" Daniels tweeted. "What about MY family? You gave zero sh--- about my baby. In all serious though, this is WHY you shouldn't back down! This is your chance to be a hero! I'll loan you some of my balls, hold your hand, or whatever else you need to do the right thing."
Avenatti tweeted that it was "ludicrous" that Cohen and his legal adviser, Lanny Davis, sought to "sell Cohen’s refusal to testify as him looking out for his family."
"We have all received numerous threats, especially @StormyDaniels (largely due to Cohen btw)," Avenatti wrote. "It doesn't stop us from doing what is right."
In a Wednesday statement, Davis that Cohen would delay the planned testimony — which was scheduled for Feb. 7 — "due to ongoing threats against his family" from Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
"This is a time where Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first," Davis said.
A source close to Cohen told NBC News that his wife and father-in-law were particularly scared of him testifying before Congress, having felt directly targeted by Trump. "The threats are real," the source said. "Trump knows what he’s doing."
Trump and Giuliani have targeted both relatives in recent weeks.
In a Fox News interview last month, Trump asked if Cohen made "a deal to keep his father-in-law out [of legal trouble]?"
"Did he make a deal to keep his wife, who supposedly, maybe I’m wrong, but you can check it, did he make keep — make a deal to keep his wife out of trouble?"
On CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Giuliani claimed Cohen's father-in-law, Fima Shusterman, may have ties to organized crime and that he was involved criminal activity with Cohen.
Responding to the announcement, Trump told reporters that Cohen was "threatened by the truth."
House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff issued a statement after Cohen's announcement. The two Democrats said they understood Cohen's family members "fear for their safety after these attacks."
But "not appearing before Congress was never an option," they said. We expect Mr. Cohen to appear before both Committees, and we remain engaged with his counsel about his upcoming appearances."
In December, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for what a Manhattan federal court judge called a "veritable smorgasbord" of criminal conduct, including making secret payments to women — including Daniels — who claimed they had affairs with Trump, lying to Congress about the president's business dealings with Russia and failing to report millions of dollars in income.
Trump has denied any affairs and said Cohen is a liar.