Once upon a time, not that long ago, lawyer Michael Avenatti had his sights set on turning his cable news fame and legal war on President Trump into a campaign for the presidency. One of the most frequent CNN/MSNBC guests in cable news history, the lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels believed that he, and he alone, had what it took to defeat Trump in 2020.
But while the final Democratic primary debate was happening on CNN Tuesday night, Avenatti – his star having fallen as fast as it had risen – was being taken into custody by federal agents in Los Angeles.
While appearing before the State Bar Court for a disciplinary hearing relating to Avenatti’s use of a doctored document to scam a client out of more than $800,000, the embattled attorney was taken into custody by agents working on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. During a break in the court’s testimony, members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office conferred with Avenatti’s lawyers and arrested the man who used to declare himself Trump’s worst enemy.
To say that Avenatti has committed a few crimes would be the understatement of the century. The laundry list of charges awaiting him on both coasts is so long that it might be more expeditious to list the ones Avenatti is NOT being charged with. In both New York and Los Angeles, Avenatti has been indicted on everything from extortion, theft, and tax evasion to perjury, fraud, and domestic abuse.
Apparently unsatisfied with this list – which could come with enough prison time to put Avenatti away until he is a very old man, indeed – Avenatti allegedly committed additional crimes while out on bail.
“Court documents unsealed Wednesday claim that last May, while free on bail, Avenatti fraudulently transferred most of a $1 million payment to his law firm to hide that payment from creditors to whom he owes more than $10 millon, including a former law partner, a client, his second wife, and Washington state tax officials,” reported CNBC.
In a filing with the court this week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Los Angeles said, “The fact that [Avenatti] continued to engage in criminal conduct after he had been indicted in this case and while on bond demonstrates that defendant remains a substantial economic danger to the community.”
In other words: Enough.
Or, as Avenatti himself used to love to write on Twitter: Basta!