Judge 'probably not going to issue' Cohen requested gag order against Stormy Daniels' attorney

Michael Cohen wants to have Michael Avenatti muzzled, but a federal judge said Friday he’s not inclined to agree.

At a hearing in Los Angeles, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero said he was aware Avenatti has called President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer a “moron” and a “screw-up” in public comments.

Still, the judge said he’s “probably not going to issue” the gag order requested by Cohen amid his ongoing legal war with Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims she had sex with Trump in 2006.

“The irony of all this does not escape me,” Otero deadpanned after Avenatti, who represents Daniels, pointed out that President Trump and Rudy Giuliani have both also trash-talked Cohen in recent public comments.

“My court has to make sure it doesn’t make an order that chills First Amendment rights going forward. That’s the most sacred of rights,” Otero told Cohen’s lawyer Brent Blakely.

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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 20: Michael Avenatti attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for MTV)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 20: Michael Avenatti attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for MTV)
Michael Avenatti, lawyer of adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. Avenatti discussed the allegations against President Donald Trump. Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 28: Michael Avenatti is seen on July 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stormy Daniels, is pictured outside the Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, New York, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, speaks to media along with lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) outside federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
Michael Avenatti (C), lawyer for adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, speaks to the media outside the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California after a hearing regarding Clifford's case against Donald J. Trump in Los Angeles, California, April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Michael Avenatti, lawyer for adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, leaves with a film crew film as he departs the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California after a hearing regarding Clifford's case against Donald J. Trump in Los Angeles, California, April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Michael Avenatti, lawyer for adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, speaks to the media outside the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California after a hearing regarding Clifford's case against Donald J. Trump in Los Angeles, California, April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti leaves federal court surrounded by news media in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018.
Michael Avenatti (R), attorney for Stormy Daniels, is pictured outside the Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, New York, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
THE VIEW - On Tuesday, April 17, Stormy Daniels sits down with the co-hosts of The View (11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT) for her first live television interview. Daniels will be joined in studio by her attorney Michael Avenatti. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) JOY BEHAR, STORMY DANIELS, MICHAEL AVANETTI
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti are seen outside federal court in downtown Manhattan on April 16, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Adult film actress Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti arrives at Federal Court for the hearing at the United States District Court Southern District of New York related to Michael Cohen, President Trump's longtime personal attorney and confidante, April 16, 2018 in New York City. Cohen and lawyers representing President Trump are asking the court to block Justice Department officials from reading documents and materials related to his Cohen's relationship with President Trump that they believe should be protected by attorney-client privilege. Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences last week. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
Attorney for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti (R), arrives for a court hearing at the US Courthouse in New York on April 16, 2018. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. / AFP PHOTO / Hector RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 12: Gayle King, Michael Avenatti, Don Lemon and Sean Hannity attend the 2018 The Hollywood Reporter's 35 Most Powerful People In Media at The Pool on April 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stormy Daniels, speaks to reporters following a court proceeding regarding the search warrants served on President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, at the United States District Court Southern District of New York, April 13, 2018 in New York City. Cohen and his lawyers are asking the court to block Justice Department officials from reading documents and materials related to his relationship with President Donald Trump that they believe should be protected by attorney-client privilege. Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences earlier in the week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti is the guest today, Monday, 3/26/18 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) MEGHAN MCCAIN, SARA HAINES, MICHAEL AVANATTI, JOY BEHAR, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, SUNNY HOSTIN
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In arguments Friday morning, Blakely called Avenatti’s public criticism of Cohen “unprecedented.” He said without an order prohibiting Avenatti from further public comments, Cohen would be deprived of his right to a fair trial.

“If there’s an expedited trial with (Daniels) asking for jurors, those jurors (could be) the people going up to my client on the street and saying, ‘You’re a horrible person. You’re going to jail for the rest of your life,’ ” Blakely said.

But the judge was unmoved

“I’m not sure you really appreciate the significance of the order you’re asking this court to issue,” Otero replied.

The judge then scolded Blakely for saying in a court brief that Avenatti was like a “small-town carnival magician” who attempts to confuse people by “pulling the First Amendment out of his tiny bag of tricks.”

“The Constitution is the highest law of the land,” Otero said. “It’s neither a trick nor an illusion.”

In his own argument Friday, Avenatti questioned why the gag order pursued by Cohen is limited to him when Giuliani, who’s now acting as one of Trump’s lawyers, went on CNN Thursday and called Cohen a “pathological liar.”

“In the unlikely event the court (issues the gag order), it should extend to Rudy Giuliani,” Avenatti argued.

The judge also heard arguments on Cohen’s request to extend his temporary freeze of the legal battle for another 90 days. He took both matters under submission and is expected to rule in the coming days.

Avenatti argued against the stay saying, “We need to get this show on the road.”

Daniels’ lawyer said his understanding of the criminal investigation now pending against Cohen in the Southern District of New York does not involve his client.

“My client has not received any subpoena,” he said in court. “I have reason to believe that investigation has nothing to do with the $130,000 payment to my client.”

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, sued Cohen and Trump earlier this year to sidestep arbitration and invalidate the deal she signed to keep quiet about the alleged affair in exchange for the hush money.

Cohen brokered the deal using an alias for Trump. His New York residences and offices were raided in April as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Cohen won an initial 90-day stay in Daniels’ case by saying he would be forced to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if her lawsuit moved ahead.

Avenatti has relentlessly blasted Cohen in media interviews and on social media.

The lawyer dropped another bombshell Thursday night when he said he’s representing three more women who claim they were paid for their silence by President Trump’s team.

Speaking outside the court on Friday, Avenatti declined to identify the women.

“As soon as those clients green-light me to release information and details related to their respective cases, I will release that information, he said.

Avenatti said he felt confident the judge would deny the gag order.

“Americans deserve to know the truth about their elected leaders — what they knew, when they knew it and how they covered it up. And what you witnessed today was a continued effort by the President of the United States and Michael Cohen to silence me and to prevent the truth from being exposed,” he said.

Charles Harder, another of the President’s lawyers, attended the hearing Friday but declined to speak with the media.

Avenatti, meanwhile, said he’s not going to stop talking and tweeting about the case. He also took another swipe at Giuliani.

“This guy is an absolute train wreck of a lawyer,” he quipped to the Daily News. "In fact, I think he’s the best lawyer that we have working for us in the case.”

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