This is the man considered by many Democrats to be a potential candidate for president in 2020?
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represented Stormy Daniels in her suit against Donald Trump, was indicted on 36 counts of tax fraud, bribery, and embezzlement.
One of the accusations against Avenatti alleges he hid $4 million of settlement money from a mentally ill, paraplegic client, Geoffrey Ernest Johnson.
Ladies and gentlemen, the next Democratic Party nominee for president of the United States.
The indictment, handed down by a federal grand jury in California, adds to Avenatti’s mounting legal problems. He was indicted in California and New York on March 25 on extortion and embezzlement charges. He is accused of attempting to shake down Nike, the sports apparel company, to the tune of $20 million.
In the latest indictment, Avenatti is accused of scamming five separate clients, including Johnson. He also allegedly withheld a $2.75 million settlement payout from another client in 2017. Avenatti allegedly spent $2.5 million of those funds to purchase a private jet.
Yes, but his heart is in the right place and he supports the #MeToo movement.
The way this guy operates, he’d make a perfect Democratic candidate for president.
Avenatti represented Johnson in a case against Los Angeles County. Johnson injured himself after jumping from an upper floor of the Twin Towers Correction Facility. He alleged the county, which administers the jail, was negligent because he was suicidal.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Johnson’s settlement payout was wired to Avenatti in January 2015. Avenatti did not inform Johnson of the settlement. Instead, he deposited the money in several bank accounts, including one for his race-car team, GB Autosport, LLC, and Global Baristas US, a coffee company that Avenatti owned.
The indictment alleges Avenatti had spent most of the money within five months of receiving it. He doled out only $124,000 to Johnson over the next several years. Avenatti paid Johnson in installments between $1,000 and $1,900, and covered some rent payments for the assisted living facility where Johnson lives.
Avenatti, who gained fame for representing porn star Stormy Daniels, told Johnson that the payments were advances on a settlement that had yet to be paid out, the indictment claims.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen! There was a time when Democrats were actually excited about Avenatti running for president. The porn lawyer spoke at the Wing Ding Dinner, a Democratic fundraiser in Iowa that has long been a key stop for those eyeing a presidential bid. He formed an exploratory committee. He spent heavily on building a campaign operation.
The more he talked about running for president, the more Democrats took his candidacy seriously. He was the “Democrats’ Trump,” according to The Atlantic.
Alas, those dreams have now been dashed and Avenatti has been revealed to be a lying, chiseling, stealing, cheating, lout of a man who could be sentenced to 355 years in prison for his crimes.
Too bad. An Avenatti-Trump contest would have been one for the ages.