Michael Avenatti berates President Trump on national TV, but who is cutting his checks?
The lawyer representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels against President Trump answers to no one but himself
Stormy Daniels' lawyer Micahel Avenatti is riding the high horse on mainstream media passing judgments and is very close to securing a perch on national television, where he hopes to spread his narrative against President Donald Trump.
Thanks to Mark Penn, an opinion contributor for The Hill and erstwhile adviser to President Clinton, legitimate questions are now being raised about the lawyer who gained popularity in the studio rooms of multiple TV outlets and "revealing" secret financial documents that could otherwise only be accessed by the Treasury Department.
So how did this guy come about? Who is paying him? Is he a campaign operative, a journalist, an opposition researcher? Because he definitely isn't just a personal attorney with everything that he throws around.
As Penn asserts, if Avenatti is genuinely concerned about his client, he must come forward on principle with information as to who is financing him, where he gets his classified banking information from, and whether he is more than just a lawyer representing an adult film actress, serving a larger purpose for vested interests.
While Avenatti wants to make the whole discussion about Trump's women and how his personal attorney, Michael Cohen gets his money, no one seems to care about Avenatti's background.
According to the Hill article, Daniels' previous attorney had strongly advised her to stick to her agreements and not make a big show about it.
However, Avenatti arrived as her knight in shining armor, giving her the heads up to violate her non-disclosure agreement by talking about her alleged affair with Trump on CNN's "60 Minutes" with Anderson Cooper.
Considering the fact that she already has a binding arbitration against her, and her Twitter admission saying that she is not paying for Avenatti's services herself, the question arises as to who is doing that?
Did Avenatti guarantee her against the millions of dollars in penalties she faces for violating the said agreements?
As previously revealed, an elaborate attempt to smear the president failed miserably when it became public that the Fusion GPS dossier was in fact paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, the Washington Post reported.
However, the exposé came in too late and the damage had already been done in terms of national perception.
The British spy, Christopher Steele, who compiled the dossier, made it look like its contents had been verified, which was blatantly untrue. According to Penn, the Stormy Daniels 'affair' is unfolding in a similar fashion, with the tabloid attorney evading accountability and creating a mishmash of half-truths.
Avenatti released a report this week detailing consulting payments to Cohen. Bigwigs like Novartis and AT&T acknowledged that they had consulted Cohen to understand the leanings and policies of the incoming Trump administration.
However, Avenatti's claim that the Russians were behind payments to Cohen is reckless due to the fact that if Mueller, who had investigated all of this months ago, found anything close to such a connection, he would not have transferred the Stormy investigation to U.S. attorneys in New York.
But the point to be taken from this is that Avenatti had access to detailed financial information which cannot be availed by surfing on Google. The in-depth nature of the documents presented by the lawyer can only be accessed by banks, prosecutors, or the Treasury Department.
So how far-reaching is the influence of this statuesque defender? Are there political donors who are backing this guy like they did for Fusion GPS? It is common sense that a lawyer cannot be fighting his client's case trafficking illegally obtained information to the court.
Viewers should be allowed to evaluate the source of the pornstar's attorney especially in a high-stakes case such as this one. Representing Daniels while being funded by unknown sources definitely does not qualify as genuine disclosure.
Penn rather accurately writes that Avenatti "is now being given deference as though he is a journalist interested in protecting unverified sources while he makes headline-grabbing pronouncements."
According to Penn, lawyers need to disclose the source of their evidence.
"I have no idea if Cohen was on the up-and-up or was playing fast and loose. I wouldn’t want my lawyer selling “insights” on me. But now we have gone from Trump-Russia collusion in the election to the Russians supposedly paying $130,000 after the election, a sum that Trump definitely wasn’t in need of, yet this has spun hours of cable commentary," he writes.
"If this is all a paid donor strategy to discredit Trump, it is backfiring. The more Avenatti, Daniels and Cohen blot out the Democratic message and the president is seen as making peace with North Korea, the latest polls show the Republicans are surging and Trump’s image rising as well."