Avenatti for the defense

At FOX News Tucker Carlson dubbed attorney Michael Avenatti Creepy Porn Lawyer. CNN and MSBNC couldn’t get enough of Avenatti trashing Trump. They treated him as a valued guest and highly credible critic of President Trump. Indeed, they all but invited to run for president. He fit right in to their nonstop Trump hatefest. Carlson has proved himself a better journalist and judge of character than everyone at CNN and MSNBC combined.

David Rutz, then of the the Washington Free Beacon, thought to tote up the amount of airtime CNN and MSNBC devoted to Avenatti. As of May 2018, Rutz found that Avenatti had appeared 108 times and received nearly $175 million in free media during his appearances on the networks over the previous two months. The excitement was palpable.

Avenatti has now been charged with crimes of dishonesty in courts from New York to California. Last year he was convicted on charges of attempted extortion and defrauding his client. He was sentenced to over two years on those convictions. Last year, however, Avenatti secured the dismissal of criminal charges that he cheated clients of millions of dollars. The judge held that the government improperly withheld relevant evidence.

Avenatti is now on trial in the Southern District of New York on charges of fraud and identity theft resulting in the transfer of part of a book advance owed to his client Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford). Yesterday Avenatti was granted permission to take over his own defense. The AP covers that development here.

During yesterday’s proceeding Avenatti “gently cross examin[ed] Judy Regnier, his former longtime paralegal and office manager. Avenatti drew dozens of objections from prosecutors concerned he was coloring her testimony in his favor with lengthy questions meant to show how much work he’d done for Daniels in the year he represented her.” The AP story gives this example:

“Do you have a recollection of me stating in 2018 to you and others at the firm that we had to be certain that anything that we put out publicly for Ms. Daniels, any filings that were made had to be perfect or near perfect because there were so many eyes watching everything we did?” Avenatti asked.

“Objection. Hearsay,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Sobelman said.

“Overruled,” the judge said.

Regnier said: “I don’t know if you made exactly that statement, but it’s similar to something you probably would have said.”

That is a classically nonresponsive answer to which objection should have been made, but the AP leaves us hanging.

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