Less Than 2 Weeks After Hiring Avenatti, Protester Who Climbed Statue of Liberty Found Guilty


If you’ve landed in the legal soup and you’re fixing to get yourself some attention from the cable news networks, I’ve got just the lawyer for you:

Michael Avenatti. He’s great for that.

This is the guy who practically slept on a cot in the CNN newsroom to get some publicity for his client, porn star Stormy Daniels, and himself (well, mostly himself). He was even being touted as a presidential candidate before that whole alleged domestic abuse unpleasantness hit the headlines. He’s the kind of guy who can spin anything, including his own eviction and a huge divorce bill.

Just don’t expect him to do actually do any lawyerly stuff. Like, you know, winning cases.

Less than two weeks ago, Therese “Patricia” Okoumou — the Congolese woman who gained infamy by climbing the Statue of Liberty to protest Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy — hired Avenatti to act as an adviser to her defense team.

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“Patricia and I are both passionate advocates of mothers, fathers and children separated at our southern border as a result of the draconian policies of Donald Trump and his cronies. I look forward to assisting in her defense and cause,” Avenatti said in a tweet, according to a New York Post report from Dec. 6. (The tweet has since been deleted.)

Avenatti would act as an adviser for her legal team, which was trying to get her off on charges stemming from a Fourth of July incident that ended with Liberty Island being evacuated and Okoumou being hauled down from the foot of Lady Liberty.

So, how did that go for her?

Well, let’s consult with the fine people at the The Associated Press: “A woman who climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty on July 4 to protest the separation of families at the Mexican border was convicted Monday of misdemeanor charges by a judge who said a person’s viewpoint can’t be a factor in whether laws are enforced,” the AP reported.

Do you think that the Statue of Liberty protester should go to jail?

“The verdict by U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein came two hours after Therese Okoumou got choked up as she testified, saying images from the U.S.-Mexican border of children being torn from their parents gave her nightmares.”

Good defense. Solid stuff. Great job all around.

In all fairness, it’s worth pointing out that the verdict was not particularly surprising. Okoumou’s other lawyer, Ron Kuby, said that she wanted to go to trial despite the fact that the “likelihood of her conviction today was close to 100 percent.”

Okoumou testified that she was spurred on by the image of “children in cages,” according to the AP.

“I have had nightmares. I just couldn’t live with it,” she said.

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Well, apparently Okoumou, who immigrated to the United States in 1994, could live with it if someone else was in office. She immigrated to the United States in 1994, according to The New York Times, and the most famous images of “children in cages” were taken during the Obama administration. But I digress.

“We stand on the right side of history,” Okoumou said outside the court, with Avenatti and Kuby flanking her. “I am not a bit discouraged today.”

Considering she faces up to 18 months behind bars when she’s sentenced on March 5, she should probably feel slightly discouraged.

Of course, this was more or less a lost cause before Okoumou stepped into the courtroom, but it probably didn’t help to have one of America’s most notorious publicity-grabbers standing by her side both in the courtroom and on the courthouse steps.

Okoumou forced over 4,000 individuals to be evacuated from the Statue of Liberty so that she could make her feeble point; she also had to be rescued by the NYPD and the U.S. Park Police, two entities which I’m sure she held in high regard before they saved her from her own stupidity.

Alas, that stupidity didn’t seem to end this past July. After all, she hired Michael Avenatti, didn’t she?

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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