After Rapid Rise, Michael Avenatti Sees Inevitable Fall

Last week, federal prosecutors released a 61-page indictment against attorney Michael Avenatti, who allegedly bilked his own clients to bankroll his lavish lifestyle. Last month, federal prosecutors in New York charged him with trying to extort millions from Nike.

Avenatti says he is not guilty, and he is entitled to a presumption of innocence on criminal charges. Still, his rise and fall presents an apt moment to ask how such a feral figure was so quickly elevated in the public eye, before what seems to be an inevitable fall.

It’s not a long story. In 2016, porn actress Stormy Daniels accepted $130,000 in hush money meant to keep her quiet about what she says was a 2006 tryst with now-President Donald Trump, which he incredibly denies.

Around 2018, Daniels came up with a dubious excuse to break the contract, even though she already had pocketed the money — Trump never actually signed the document in which he and Daniels were identified under phony names.

That’s not the sort of case on which most lawyers would want to hang their reputations. But then Daniels found Avenatti, who excelled at lending a pseudo-forensic gloss to what essentially was a money-grubbing enterprise.

 Read more at Real Clear Politics

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