Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of April 12, 2018

What does Stormy Daniels have to do with developer Gregg Singer? An attorney representing Donald Trump’s lawyer regarding a nondisclosure agreement between the president and Daniels that the porn star is challenging is also representing Singer, the perennially embattled East Village developer. Many would also call “obscene” Singer’s efforts to develop an alleged “dorm for hire” in the old P.S. 64. Photo by Glenn Francis of www.PacificProDigital.com

Stormy weather and Singer: It’s been fun watching Long Island “super lawyer” David Schwartz making the rounds on cable TV in defense of Donald Trump’s embattled attorney Michael Cohen and his role in the Stormy Daniels affair.

Schwartz, locals here may recall, is the same attorney who paid actors to rally for developer Gregg Singer’s long-stymied dorm conversion plan for the old P.S. 64 school building on E. Ninth St. at Avenue B. He then admitted to lying to the media about hiring those actors.

Which makes us wonder what he’s doing for Trump and Cohen on the Daniels case.

A longtime buddy of Cohen (who is also from Long Island), Schwartz was dispatched to defend Cohen’s role in drafting the now-infamous nondisclosure agreement between Trump and Daniels — and to push back on claims that Cohen threatened Daniels to keep quiet about the affair.

Appearing on CNN and “Today,” Schwartz had no qualms about making the rather preposterous claim that Cohen drafted the agreement without Trump’s knowledge whatsoever — or that Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 of his own money to keep quiet about the affair.

“What lawyer does that?” asked CNN commentator Jeffrey Toobin, rolling his eyes.

Later, Schwartz roused open laughter from the “Today” audience when host Megyn Kelly asked him about past threats Cohen had made to herself and other journalists.

Schwartz tried to brush off some of Cohen’s less than lawyerly threats to “mess up” journalists’ lives, portraying him as a street fighter who is deeply loyal to Trump.

“Everybody should want an employee like that, who would be so loyal to their boss that they will protect that person,” Schwartz maintained as Kelly and the audience guffawed.

“He did it out of love, and he did it out of loyalty,” Schwartz said of the Daniels payoff.

But Schwartz’s two-week media blitz on Cohen’s behalf may well have backfired.

On Monday, the F.B.I. raided Cohen’s offices and hotel room, and now Schwartz has been sidelined, as Cohen’s other attorney Stephen Ryan takes over to defend Cohen against possible charges of bank fraud and campaign finance violations pertaining to the Daniels payoff, which was made just days before the 2016 election.

As the Washington Post noted, Schwartz’s line that Trump didn’t know about the payoff may have only imperiled Cohen further — by undermining his ability to claim attorney-client privilege.

(If Trump wasn’t aware of the agreement, then there’s no attorney-client privilege to hide behind.)

We’ll see how well Schwartz’s lawyering goes for Singer. Schwartz’s firm, Gotham Government Relations, is currently suing the city on behalf of Singer.

They’re arguing that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration unfairly conspired with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, former Councilmember Rosie Mendez and her successor, Carlina Rivera, as well as East Village hedge-funder Aaron Sosnick, to block Singer’s dorm plans from being approved by the Department of Buildings. Schwartz tells us he’s still waiting for the city to respond to the allegations in the suit, which was filed in January.

Stay tuned… .

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