To borrow a phrase from the Russiagate-obsessed media, it appears that the walls are closing in on anti-Trump attorney Michael Avenatti, who famously (or infamously) represented former porn star Stormy Daniels in her legal battle against the president. Earlier this year, the F.B.I. arrested the lawyer on various charges.
Federal officials announced that they are indicting Avenatti on fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. He is alleged to have committed a number of illegal acts, including perjury, failure to pay taxes, and embezzlement, just to name a few.
Stealing from Stormy?
Among the crimes of which Avenatti is being accused is stealing money from Stormy Daniels, his former client. According to the authorities, the attorney used a fraudulent document bearing Daniels’ name and signature to persuade her literary agent to allocate money from book sales to Avenatti’s bank account. He supposedly used these funds for business and personal purposes.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated that the lawyer “abused and violated the core duty of an attorney – the duty to his client. As alleged, he used his position of trust to steal an advance on the client’s book deal. As alleged, he blatantly lied to and stole from his client to maintain his extravagant lifestyle, including to pay for, among other things, a monthly car payment on a Ferrari. Far from zealously representing his client, Avenatti, as alleged, instead engaged in outright deception and theft, victimizing rather than advocating for his client.”
The U.S. Attorney’s office claims that he concealed his actions from Daniels by telling her that the publisher was refusing to pay the literary agent. Ms. Daniels sure knows how to pick ‘em, doesn’t she?
But Avenatti’s alleged illegalities were even more ambitious than stealing from a former adult film actress; he is also accused of going after one of the largest apparel companies in the world. The attorney was also indicted for attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike, Inc by threatening to damage the company’s reputation through his contacts with the media. One of his clients claimed that the company paid high school basketball players to support their product.
Avenatti allegedly used his client’s accusations to extract payments from the retail giant, telling the company’s lawyers that “they are going to incur cut after cut after cut after cut, and that’s what’s going to happen as soon as this thing becomes public.”
Out of the overwhelming generosity of his heart, the former attorney tried to give them an offer they couldn’t refuse: “full confidentiality” for the low price of just $22 million.
Unfortunately, Avenatti made these threats over the phone, not knowing that F.B.I. agents were on the other end listening, and possibly laughing, intently.
The End of Creepy Porn Lawyer?
If found guilty, Avenatti will not be the only lawyer to be convicted of such crimes. But what makes this particular story more significant is the fact that the progressive left propped him up when he represented Stormy Daniels, whose alleged affair with the president was sure to cause a gargantuan level of damage to the Trump administration. Indeed, some even supported the idea that he should run for president.
But it appears Mr. Avenatti became too big for his britches. Even Vanity Fair had to concede that the lawyer’s conduct resembled that of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and plummeted to his demise. While this story might not become breaking news on CNN, ABC, The New York Times, and all of the other usual suspects, it is clear that the left is not very good at selecting their champions. What will happen to Avenatti? It’s impossible to tell, but one thing is clear: We probably won’t be seeing #Basta on social media again anytime soon.
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