Politics

Former Stormy Lawyer Michael Avenatti Talking To Trump Legal Team: Report

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


Imprisoned former attorney Michael Avenatti, who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in an unsuccessful lawsuit against Donald Trump, is reportedly in talks with the former president’s legal team in his hush money trial and has even offered to serve as a witness for the defense, a report on Friday noted.

The New York Post reported that Avenatti, who was convicted of defrauding Daniels out of book advance money and attempting to extort fashion giant Nike, said Trump’s legal team “has contacted me,” adding that he has been talking to Trump’s attorneys for months.

“I’d be more than happy to testify, I don’t know that I will be called to testify, but I have been in touch with Trump’s defense for the better part of year,” he told The Post in a phone call from Terminal Island, a minimum-security federal prison in Los Angeles where he is currently serving a 19-year sentence for extortion, tax evasion, fraud, embezzlement and other federal crimes.

The Post went on to say that Avenatti would not disclose any further details about his alleged conversations.

The former litigator was once a major opponent of Trump during the latter’s presidency, even calling for him to be indicted in 2018. But these days, Avenatti has been singing a different tune, even defending the former president.

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“There’s no question [the trial] is politically motivated because they’re concerned that he may be reelected,” Avenatti told The Post. “If the defendant was anyone other than Donald Trump, this case would not have been brought at this time, and for the government to attempt to bring this case and convict him in an effort to prevent tens of millions of people from voting for him, I think it’s just flat out wrong, and atrocious.

“I’m really bothered by the fact that Trump, in my view, has been targeted. Four cases is just over the top and I think there’s a significant chance that this is going to all backfire and is going to propel him to the White House,” he added. “Depending on what happens, this could constitute pouring jet fuel on his campaign.”

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Regarding Daniels, Avenatti suggested she could commit perjury if she were called to the witness stand to testify in Trump’s hush money trial, which begins Monday.

“Stormy Daniels is going to say whatever she believes is going to assist Stormy Daniels and putting more money in her pocket,” Avenatti said. “If Stormy Daniels’s lips are moving, she’s lying for money.”

Avenatti suggested that she would not be a reliable witness in the upcoming trial, pointing to her history of making claims about communicating with deceased people and her possession of a purportedly “haunted” doll named Susan.

“I don’t know how you can possibly put someone who makes those claims on the witness stand and use them as a star witness in a case against a former president United States who’s running for president. That is just absolutely ludicrous to me.”

Avenatti denied he is seeking clemency from Trump in a second term and said his change of heart “was not motivated by the former president’s famous susceptibility to flattery,” The Post reported.

“I’m not saying any of this because I’m seeking a pardon,” Avenatti said, adding he would never have come out against Trump if he had realized that Daniels wasn’t being honest with him.

Last week, Avenatti made headlines following a phone interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber regarding his take on Trump’s hush money case.

“You know, I think the case has a lot of problems. Now that– I don’t mean to suggest that means that Trump will not be convicted because I think he will be convicted,” he said.

“I don’t think that he can get a fair trial in New York. And to the people who claim that in fact, he can get a fair trial in New York with a New York jury, I would ask them, if they were to go to sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow and find out that the case had been moved to Mississippi or Alabama, would they still think the trial was going to be fair?” Avenatti said.

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