The man who will forever live in infamy as “Creepy Porn Lawyer” (well, as long as people will remember him at all, that is) is going away for a while. Michael Avenatti, who rose to fame as lawyer for Stormy Daniels at that quaint moment in time where America cared about that scandal, was supposed to be the Democratic Party’s Great White Hope for 2020. Though he had no political experience, Avenatti promised to turn his newfound notoriety (and his endless – ENDLESS – appearances on cable news) into a wrecking ball that would smash Donald Trump out of the White House forever.
But instead of mounting a campaign for the Democratic nomination this year, Avenatti is fighting for his freedom. And judging by the jury’s decision in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan this week, that fight isn’t going so well.
“Today a unanimous jury found Michael Avenatti guilty of misusing his client’s information in an effort to extort tens of millions of dollars from the athletic apparel company Nike,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. “While the defendant may have tried to hide behind legal terms and a suit and tie, the jury clearly saw the defendant’s scheme for what it was — an old-fashioned shakedown.”
Avenatti could face up to 42 years in prison for his role in the scheme, which is only one of several criminal cases currently pending against him. By the time the courts are through picking apart the bones, Avenatti may need several lifetimes if he wants to fully serve his time behind bars.
Avenatti has spent a good deal of his social media time mocking and taunting President Trump and his family over the last few years, and Donald Trump Jr. couldn’t resist a little payback after the verdict came in.
“I look forward to Michael’s witty twitter retorts to the jury that just found him guilty in all counts. Though I’m told he is still doing well amongst the Democrat primary contenders. #basta,” he wrote, using the signature hashtag Avenatti used to close all his tweets with. “MAGA: Michael Avenatti Going Away.”
The media – particularly CNN and MSNBC – have much to be ashamed of in light of Avenatti’s spectacular fall from grace. Throughout 2017 and 2018, they gave this grifter nearly-unlimited amounts of airtime, which he used to spread unsubstantiated rumors and predictions about the criminal charges waiting to fall upon the Trump empire.
On Friday, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin acknowledged that he’d been “snookered” by Avenatti.
“I remember once at the peak of all of this, we went to lunch in midtown, when our offices were in midtown, and we walked back together to CNN, and it was like walking with a major, major celebrity,” Toobin recalled, wistfully.
Uh yeah, that’s because your network turned him into one.
Alas, if we held our breath every time an opportunity arose for CNN to learn a lesson, we would have died of asphyxia a long time ago.