Maher then produced a letter sent by Cooley's Balber to Real Time's Los Angeles studios that was accompanied by a copy of Trump's short-form birth certificate.
"Attached hereto is a copy of Mr. Trump's birth certificate, demonstrating that he is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan," Balber wrote in a portion of the letter Maher displayed on air. ( Click here for a closer look at a copy of Trump's birth certificate and the text of Balber's letter, in which the lawyer asks that Maher remit the promised $5 million in equal amounts to five charities: Hurricane Sandy Victims, The Police Athletic League, The American Cancer Society, The March of Dimes, and The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.)
Amid laughter from the audience, Maher wondered aloud whether "these morons even know it's impossible for people and apes to produce offspring?" before focusing his attention on Balber's signature at the bottom of the letter.
"Look at the lawyer's signatureit just kind of trails off, as if to say, 'I'm too embarrassed to even finish this,'" Maher said. "So I ignored the letter like I ignore all letters I get from crazy people, and I forgot about the whole thing until this week when Trump and his lawyer, pictured here, [Maher displayed a photo of a monkey next to a telephone]when they actually sued me for the $5 million."
Maher went on to note that rather than base the suit on a libel claim, Trump aims to break new legal ground.
"They seem to be trying to set a bold new precedent that jokes on late night talk shows are now legally binding agreements between the comedian and the person they're making fun of," Maher said. "Yes, I'm sure this will go all the way to the Supreme Court.
"The legal system in this country is not a joke, it's not a toy for rich idiots to play with," Maher continued. "And frankly, Mr. Balber, what you released raises more questions than it answers. At least it does to a growing chorus of patriotic Americans who call ourselves 'Apers.' "
Maher followed the tongue-in-cheek reference to those who question the circumstances surrounding the president's birth by asking whether Trump's Cooley lawyers had actually provided a legitimate copy of their client's birth certificate.
"Where's the original long-form certificate?" Maher asked. "A short-form copy of a birth certificate unsigned by an attending physician isn't proof of anythingyou know who I learned that from? I learned that from Donald 'But I'm White' Trump!" (Trump once said he would not accept a similar document provided by the Obama administration as proof that the president was in fact born in Hawaii in 1961.)
Balber and a trio of Cooley press representatives did not respond to requests for comment about Maher's Friday diatribe. (The other Cooley lawyers named on the complaint are New Yorkbased special counsel Jonathan Cross and national litigation department chair Michael Rhodes, who is based in San Francisco and San Diego.)