Loudmouth lawyer Michael Avenatti has held the nation’s gaze captive ever since he strutted into public life arm in arm with Stormy Daniels back in March. With his chiselled jawline and no-nonsense tone, it wasn’t long before speculation began about his outsider chances for the Presidency. ‘If at the end of that, you decide that that makes sense for me, I’ll do it,’ Avenatti told Bill Maher as early as April.
The lawyer then seized on comments made by Steve Bannon in the same chair in September, where the former White House strategist told Maher he valued Avenatti’s ‘fearlessness’ which meant he could ‘go through a lot of that field, if he decides to stick with it, like a scythe through grass.’
Alas, it seems as though his trips to Iowa and South Carolina were a waste of air miles. Sen. Chuck Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee has referred the lawyer and his Kavanaugh-accusing client Julie Swetnick to the Department of Justice and the FBI, ‘for materially false statements they made to the Committee during the course of the Committee’s investigation.’ Even the most capable lawyer would struggle to balance the twin time commitments of a presidential campaign and a potential federal criminal trial. And no-one has ever argued that Michael Avenatti is the most capable lawyer.
For his part, Avenatti welcomed the fight, tweeting ‘it is ironic that Senator Grassley now is interested in investigations. He didn’t care when it came to putting a man on the SCOTUS for life. We welcome the investigation as now we can finally get to the bottom of Judge Kavanaugh’s lies and conduct. Let the truth be known.’
Avenatti’s role as the bane of the Democratic party was established during the hearings. A Democratic aide told Vanity Fair that the lawyer was ‘toxic and counterproductive and should go away.’ For his part, Bannon ratcheted back his enthusiasm for Avenatti in an interview with Spectator USA:
Avenatti is a political suicide bomber: ‘He’ll take out five or six,’ of the major Democratic candidates, Bannon says, before flaming out himself.
In a TIME magazine interview published today, Avenatti said he thought the Democratic nominee ‘better be a white male.’
He hastens to add that he wishes it weren’t so, but it’s undeniable that people listen to white men more than they do others; it’s why he’s been successful representing Daniels and immigrant mothers, he says. ‘When you have a white male making the arguments, they carry more weight,’ he says. “Should they carry more weight? Absolutely not. But do they? Yes.
White men thought to be in contention for 2020 include former vice president Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Secretary of State John Kerry, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Gov. Steve Bullock and Rep. John Delaney. But something tells me these guys aren’t who Avenatti had in mind.