A few short months ago, Michael Avenatti was considering running for president. Now he’s facing serious charges of fraud — and the government’s evidence against him reads like something out of a gangster crime movie.
Avenatti, as you probably know, is the high-powered attorney who previously represented adult film star Stormy Daniels during her attempt to take on Donald Trump. While her case fell apart, Avenatti has continued to position himself as a major opponent to the president, even briefly considering a 2020 run for the White House.
Instead, it’s the jailhouse he’s should be more concerned with. On Monday, federal authorities arrested the Democrat-aligned celebrity attorney on charges of extortion, based on allegations that he tried to extort millions of dollars from famous footwear company Nike.
Separate charges of wire and bank fraud have also been filed against Avenatti. Those stem from claims that he embezzled money from a client and used falsified tax returns to commit fraud against a bank.
“As alleged, Michael Avenatti approached Nike last week with a list of financial demands in exchange for covering up allegations of misconduct on behalf of the company,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney Jr. said.
“The lofty price tag included a $1.5 million payoff for Avenatti’s client and upwards of tens of millions of dollars for the legal services of his firm — services Nike never requested. This is nothing more than a straightforward case of extortion,” the top FBI official continued.
Warning: The following tweet and linked documents in this story contain strong language that may be offensive to some readers.
Documents connected to the case have now been released online, and sure enough, transcripts of the audio and video evidence which authorities claim to have against Avenatti seem lifted right out of a mob film.
fuller Avenatti quote from later in the complaint pic.twitter.com/icCO1V8Tip
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) March 25, 2019
“I’ll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap … I’m not f—ing around,” the disgraced lawyer allegedly said to Nike. This was apparently a threat to damage the company’s stock value unless they paid up.
Further quotes, which the court documents indicate are backed up by recordings which will no doubt emerge as the case goes forward, make it seem clear that Avenatti was essentially trying to blackmail Nike to pay millions of dollars under the table.
In one particularly crass exchange, for example, he boasted about holding Nike by the “balls,” once again threatening to wipe out billions of dollars in stock market cap with a no-holds-barred press conference unless they paid what he demanded.
“(T)he company will die,” Avenatti threatened. “Not die, but they are going to incur cut after cut after cut after cut, and that’s what’s going to happen as soon as this thing becomes public.”
“This thing” is a reference to the liberal lawyer’s claim to have information about a scandal, in which the footwear and apparel company was improperly paying student athletes. However, that claim has not been substantiated, and instead of cooperating with Avenatti, Nike instead went to the FBI.
You can read more of the quotes within the court documents here, but suffice it to say, they’re riddled with threats, arrogance, and gangster-like language.
Even former porn star Stormy Daniels, perhaps Avenatti’s most famous client, spoke out against him on Monday. “Knowing what I know now about Michael Avenatti, I am saddened but not shocked by news reports that he has been criminally charged today,” Daniels said, according to Fox News.
It just keeps happening: Over and over, angry and arrogant liberals come out swinging against Donald Trump, smugly assured that they’ll be able to take down the president. And over and over, those same figures — from James Comey to Michael Avenatti — end up making absolute fools out of themselves.
While this case is not directly connected to the Oval Office, it’s a stunning reminder that the left holds no high ground when it comes to corruption. The fact that Avenatti was cheered by many Democrats just a few short months ago and held up as a possible 2020 contender should speak volumes about the disastrous state of the liberal party.
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