Avenatti, Disgraced and Under Indictment, Is Still Thinking of Running for President


On Dec. 4, 2018. Michael Avenatti — the lawyer who rose to fame as Stormy Daniels’ media-hungry attorney — announced that he wasn’t going through with his quixotic, self-serving bid to become president.

On March 20, 2019, Avenatti was arrested and charged with a $20 million extortion scheme against athletic-wear giant Nike. There were also bank fraud and embezzlement charges in the mix, and there was more where that came from.

The intervening months have seen plenty of other humiliations for Avenatti, legal and otherwise. Even Stormy Daniels has disavowed him. That’s how you know things are really bad.

So, on Aug. 2, days after the second round of Democrat debates, Avenatti announced — again — he was considering a run for the presidency. Apparently, getting charged with felonies and failing at virtually everything makes you a natural for the already-crowded Democrat field.

“Never say never,” Avenatti told CNBC when asked about whether he would enter the race. “The Dems need a non-traditional fighter. They have a lot of talent but not a lot of fighters.”

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“I am increasingly concerned that the Dems don’t have the right fighter to go toe to toe with Trump,” he added. “And the future of the republic and our way of life is on the line. He is a brawler who has no bounds. The Dems need a guy who can match him punch for punch. I may be that guy.”

“I don’t think I need to make a final decision for a number of months. I have the name ID and everyone knows I’m one of the few effective fighters that the Dems have,” he said.

Avenatti told CNBC the chances of him entering the race were 50/50.

There are several thoughts I have here. The first is the obvious: Oh please, please, please let this happen.

Do you think Michael Avenatti should run for president?

Aside from that whole “dark psychic energy” remark, Marianne Williamson was almost, like, serious during the second debate. Where is America going to get its comic relief during the endless hours of promises that fall under what Montana Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock rightly called “wishlist economics” during the next round of debates? Everyone’s favorite stoat-like creepy porn lawyer, of course. Actually, I’m being kind of harsh on porn stars here; even Stormy Daniels won’t have anything to do with him now, considering he’s been charged with stealing $300,000 from her.

Aside from my own personal wishes, why on earth would Michael Avenatti believe this is a good idea? Why does he think that there’s going to be any sort of traction for — well, what’s his campaign going to be based on, anyhow? That he’s “a non-traditional fighter?” Yeah — one who’s fighting several felony counts. One who America got tired of months ago. What will his slogan be? “Avenatti 2020: He’s still technically not guilty.” “Michael Avenatti: As seen on CNN. And MSNBC. And QVC.”

And how is he going to get his message out, whatever it may be? All right, he has name ID. So does Bernard Madoff. So, too, do most of the members of the Democrat field — and the thing is, they’re not under indictment.

As for having a few months to decide, he still has to qualify for the debates, which means he has to meet increasingly rigorous donor and polling requirements. How does he expect to hit those goals? Or is he just going to take the other candidates on outside of the debate arena in bareknuckled action?

Then again, perhaps this is less about running for president than getting ahold of some money, something that’s become more difficult for Avenatti these days. When the creepy porn lawyer was sort of in consideration for president, his political action committee didn’t, ahem, particularly seem aboveboard.

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“Avenatti launched his PAC, the Fight PAC, last summer as he was contemplating a presidential run to help Democratic candidates with ‘the size and presence to really fight back and advocate for a position of strength as opposed to weakness,’” The Washington Free Beacon reported in March.

“From the committee’s launch in late August 2018 to Dec. 31, 2018, Avenatti’s PAC hauled in $113,000 in total contributions. During this time, the Fight PAC reported $101,000 worth of operating expenditures — much of which were reimbursements for Avenatti’s jet-setting ways and stays at lavish hotels.”

The amount of money spent on Democratic candidates, which is what the PAC was supposed to be doing? A whopping $0.

Yet remember, it wasn’t too long ago that this man wasn’t just talking about running for president, he was being taken at least somewhat seriously as a potential candidate. This wasn’t just something like the candidacy of the aforementioned Marianne Williamson.

“You look at the field of Democrats right now, and Avenatti’s the one who stands out. He’s the one who’s not a politician,” Philip Rucker, The Washington Post’s White House bureau chief, said during an MSNBC panel last August.

“If he gives the base what they’re looking for and shows he can go toe-to-toe with Trump, he’d have a chance.”

There were plenty of people, it seems, that Avenatti was able to con. I’m not talking about any of his criminal cases, mind you. I’m talking about everyone in the media.

For months and months, Avenatti was omnipresent on TV. People believed he wasn’t just capable of taking down Donald Trump via representing Stormy Daniels, they thought he could take down the president at the ballot box.

Now, Avenatti appears in court — in his own defense, not representing his clients — about as often as he appears on TV. He has no political cred. He’s not going to take down Donald Trump in any way, shape or form.

The chances he ends up in prison are probably 50/50 at best. The chances he runs for president shouldn’t be anywhere close to that. Why is the media letting him con them yet again? He should be laughed out of the studio, not indulged.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture