Michael Avenatti has proven himself thoroughly capable of one thing: getting people to talk about Michael Avenatti. His fame came from being a lawyer for sex performer Stormy Daniels and exposing her 2006 liaison with Donald Trump, when he managed to turn a payoff to a porn star into a political cause célèbre. Now he wants to replace Trump as President of the United States.
Once beloved for his anti-Trump body blows, the talk amongst Democrats about Mr. Avenatti may be changing, due to his uncharacteristically careless actions surrounding Justice Kavanaugh’s recent confirmation.
Stormy’s Lawyer Goes to Washington
Given the thin gruel of the Stormy Daniels legal case, Avenatti, in league with his co-dependent partners at CNN, MSNBC, etc. managed to make quite a bit of political hay out of it.
Daniels sought to free herself from a confidentiality agreement in order to sell her story of sex with Trump. She has now made millions doing just that. On the night in question, she had no way of knowing Trump would be president and that she could one day sell her story for a fortune – her lottery ticket of $130,000 earned simply for agreeing not to speak of a night’s dalliance became an income restriction device that she was desperate to shed. So it’s no surprise that she had sour grapes and wanted out of the confidentiality deal.
It would now appear that Avenatti wasn’t in it for money, however, but to use Stormy Daniels as a weapon to attack Trump from the start. Much like our president, Avenatti uses Twitter to communicate directly with the public, delivering his message of anti-Trump invective and scorn.
Kavanaugh as Gang Rapist
Mr. Avenatti caught everyone’s attention on September 26, when he tweeted Julie Swetnick’s name and allegations that SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh participated in multiple gang rapes as a teenager. Swetnick and Aventatti were aided and handicapped by a media so hungry for anti-Kavanaugh material that they ran with a story like it was exactly the catnip they craved. Too bad for them, it couldn’t be substantiated. If there were any verifiable truth or evidence beyond Ms. Swetnick’s own testimony, Kavanaugh’s nomination would surely be kaput. But what if these allegations actually helped the judge?
If our legacy media cared about sourcing, vetting, and doing a professional job, more than they do about the glory of running a breaking allegation, no matter how wild, or how little there is to back it up – well, let’s just stop there. Even though not a single person would corroborate Ms. Swetnick’s story, NBC news gave her a primetime slot to air her wild, completely unsubstantiated charges anyway!
To give some idea just how unsupported the Swetnick allegations were, keep this in mind: Avenatti gave NBC the names of four people who would corroborate some or all of the charges. Not a single one did, and one of the two people who actually responded said they did not know a Julie Swetnick! That level of detail is important for two reasons – it shows us how reckless Avenatti is with the facts and his own credibility when a damaging blow to Donald Trump might be delivered.
Contrast the Swetnick debacle to the media’s reaction when Juanita Broaddrick was reluctantly exposed along with her credible claims of rape against Bill Clinton. NBC buried Broaddrick’s story and waited 35 days to run it, until after Clinton’s impeachment and removal proceedings were over. For Avenatti and Swetnick – they interviewed her and ran it in two days – there was a vote to affect.
While NBC was comfortable giving Swetnick airtime, Democrat leaders were not so generous. Perhaps, being experienced political actors, they understood just how derailing Swetnick’s tales of pornographic horror were. Avenatti and Swetnick gave the entire enterprise of creating a monster in Brett Kavanaugh a circus-like feel that cast more doubt on the other, less fantastic, allegations against him.
The Fallout and Damage Control
Michael Avenatti has spent his time since Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation defending his actions and Ms. Swetnick’s allegations. He has also put much of his effort into and condemning the idea that his behavior aided the judge’s success. Regarding his own influence on the nomination, he tweeted:
“… I had NO BEARING on the final outcome. Any claim otherwise is bogus and part of a political smear campaign based on the fact that people on both sides of the aisle are threatened.”
Asked by Fox News’ Martha MacCallum if the Swetnick allegations were a turning point in the nomination process, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley (R-IA) said Avenatti’s porn lawyer reputation has more of an effect. Avenatti, like Trump, hits back twice as hard when criticized. He responded via Twitter:
Am I correct that @ChuckGrassley never attended law school? How is it possible that the Senate Judiciary Comm Chairman has no legal experience? No wonder he doesn’t understand issues like “perjury,” FBI investigations, and which clients I have represented over the last 18 yrs.
Will it be Enough?
We’re only six months or so away from the first debates of the Democrat 2020 Presidential Primary Elections. But does this political outsider and Trump hater have a real chance to live out his ambitious dream of becoming the most powerful man in the nation?
If it first seemed unlikely, and even ridiculous, that Avenatti’s political goals would be taken seriously, then observers may find that the tide is slowly turning. The presidential wannabe was recently the beneficiary of a heartfelt, soft-focus piece in Vanity Fair, where he discussed his newly launched Fight PAC and an upcoming announcement about his decision regarding the 2020 presidential race. “Sometimes it’s bigger than yourself,” he told the magazine, adding that, “You’re not going to beat Donald Trump through a message of universal love.” Certainly, Avenatti would be a perfect candidate for sometimes serious “celebrity is everything” culture drivers like Vanity Fair.
On the other hand, previously supportive leftists have taken Kavanaugh’s successful confirmation to heart, blaming Avenatti for muddying the waters with his over-the-top allegations. Lambasted on Twitter and television programs including The View, the former anti-Trump hero is now in the bad books for many Democrats.
I submit, if there were ever an audience who could forgive an erroneous but politically damaging gang-rape allegation against a conservative white man, it’s the Democrat primary electorate. For much of the Democrat base, I predict Avenatti’s candidacy will be so much like the catnip of the Swetnick allegation. Too good to resist, in spite of its deleterious effect.