This Guy Avenatti
Scott McKay
by

If you haven’t been paying attention this week, you missed a heck of a show involving the rather sordid individual representing the unmitigatedly sordid stripper and porn star who has covered the media like a missing Malaysian jetliner over the past several weeks.

Namely, Michael Avenatti, the former Rahm Emanuel-employed opposition researcher and race car driver whose peripatetic professional path has carried him from celebrity lawsuits to a cable news darling courtesy of his representation of Daniels in a lawsuit seeking to void a $130,000 hush-money agreement she concluded with Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen in October 2016.

By now there is little point in reciting the merits, or lack thereof, of the Daniels matter. Polls indicate the public really doesn’t care. That has hardly stopped the legacy media from pouring coverage of it on the American people as from a fire hose, and Avenatti has been eager to capitalize on as much media attention as he could wrap his oleaginous fingers around.

But Avenatti’s history, which was poorly vetted by the legacy media before trotting him out as some sort of honest broker despite the shameless quality of the lawsuit against Trump he filed earlier this year, has come back to bite him a little thanks to some actual journalism by the Daily Caller.

If you haven’t seen the Sunday exposé on Avenatti’s business dealings at that site, you’re in for a treat. It turns out that Avenatti convinced actor Patrick Dempsey to go in with him on an investment in which the two would buy a Seattle-based coffee shop chain called Tully’s, which was in bankruptcy at the time. But the partnership didn’t last two months before Dempsey sued Avenatti, and the affidavit filed in conjunction with the suit is more than a little uncomplimentary of the latter’s credibility…

“My decision to become a member and manager of Global Baristas was based, in part, on Michael Avenatti’s representation that he would provide both the capital to fund the entire Tully’s acquisition and sufficient working capital to allow Global Baristas to operate the Tully’s Coffee stores once the acquisition was completed,” Dempsey said in an August 20, 2013 affidavit.

“Michael Avenatti never notified me that he intended to have or caused Global Baristas to borrow $2,000,000 for working capital, nor did he notify me that he planned to have or caused the company to pledge substantially all, if not all, of its assets to secure any loan.”

It doesn’t get a lot better for Avenatti’s foray into the coffee business…

David Nold, a Seattle attorney representing several Tully’s vendors, filed a complaint against Avenatti with the California State Bar on March 26, accusing him of fraud.

“In essence, he bought a company out of bankruptcy and then used it for a ‘pump and dump’ scheme to deprive federal and state taxing authorities of millions of dollars,” Nold claimed.

And then there was a dust-up on Twitter last week from a supplier of the coffee company named David Morris, who accused Avenatti of stiffing Morris’ company for some $160,000 in unpaid invoices. Morris later deleted the tweet making the accusation, explaining that he’d “worked out an arrangement” with Avenatti. This, after the lawyer had categorically denied owing anything to the Daily Caller.

The DC piece was explosive enough, but things got much better after it was published. We’ll let Breitbart pick up the story

In the wake of a well-reported story detailing what the Daily Caller described as Avenatti’s “questionable history,” the far-left partisan emailed a threat to the Daily Caller.

“Let me be clear. If you and your colleagues do not stop with the hit pieces that are full of lies and defamatory statements, I will have no choice but to sue each of you and your publication for defamation. During that process, we will expose your publication for what it truly is. We will also recover significant damages against each of you that participated personally. So if I were you, I would tell Mr. Trump to find someone else to fabricate things about me.

“If you think I’m kidding, you really don’t know anything about me. This is the last warning.”

That threat is hilarious, and it brings to mind an unanswered question first asked about Avenatti’s most recent client — namely whether it’s literally possible to defame him.

Another question we have in light of the nonstop rather comic efforts at finding a basis for Trump’s impeachment which has led them from Russian hackers to porn stars: is there anyone left in the Democrat Party or the crowd it touts and supports who isn’t an imbecile, troglodyte, or maniac?

You don’t have to answer that one right away. It might take some research.

Did you see the New York Daily News’ “Daddy’s Little Ghoul” front cover of Tuesday’s paper featuring Ivanka Trump? Absolutely despicable.

In fact, the legacy media’s coverage of the events in Israel on the occasion of the American embassy in Jerusalem’s opening has been despicable.

Essentially, here is the media narrative the solons of American media — the same ones who inflict Avenatti and Daniels on us practically 24/7 — would have us believe: that it was a mistake for the United States to place its embassy in the capital of a nation which has been one of our closest allies because to do so would anger a horde of barbarians in Gaza and the West Bank governed by Hamas, a cat’s paw of our sworn enemy Iran. And when the embassy opened and Hamas set loose the horde in an attempted hostile invasion of Israel from Gaza — an invasion sorely lacking in the military firepower which would make it something other than a suicide mission — and the Israelis responded with military force to repel it, it’s Israel and America who are at fault for the bloodshed.

And this appears to be the position of the American Left, other than perhaps Sen. Chuck Schumer who congratulated Trump upon the embassy’s opening. Schumer, who is Jewish and makes at least a pretense of friendship to Israel although he didn’t bother to attend the embassy’s opening (neither did any other Democrats, unsurprisingly enough), knows where his political bread is buttered and managed to shut up.

But because Ivanka Trump was with her husband Jared Kushner representing the administration at the opening she’s Daddy’s Little Ghoul when the Palestinians send their own people to die for a publicity stunt?

The New York Daily News is the worst newspaper in the country, but this is feeding from the deep bottom even for that publication.

Billions is the best show on television, and it gets better every week. There is a scene in the most recent episode when Paul Giamatti’s character lowers the boom on what turns out to be an ex-employee, and it’s one of the best couple of TV minutes, ever.

If you’re looking for a summer binge and you haven’t seen any of Billions, well… you’re welcome.

Before we wrap this up, an update on last week’s column about John Bel Edwards, the Democrat governor of Louisiana who made national news by threatening to evict senior citizens from the state’s nursing homes in response to Republican attempts to balance the state’s budget without raising taxes.

There isn’t polling data backing this yet, but it’s quite obvious Edwards’ scare tactics were a major blunder. On Friday the state Senate took up the budget in its Finance Committee, replaced the cuts to the Louisiana Department of Health Edwards was complaining about and paid for them by slicing most of the rest of the state agencies by some 24 percent, and then passed it to the floor. This brought Edwards’ Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne to the committee’s witness table to whine about the effect of the cuts, whereupon Dardenne was set upon by several Republican members of it for his attempts at lecturing them.

Edwards’ position had been that the state’s budget was so hopelessly cruel that the Senate, which has been mostly under his control despite its 25-14 Republican majority (the RINO quotient in the Louisiana Senate would make Connecticut or Massachusetts Republicans blush), should refuse to move it forward and simply dissolve this year’s regular session. He wanted this eventuality because by Louisiana law there can be no tax increases passed in regular legislative sessions of even-numbered years, and thus he’d need a special session to put “revenue” on the table.

So when the budget moved to the Senate floor, the administration was apoplectic — as that was an unmistakable signal Edwards had lost the loyalty of the Senate in the wake of those nursing home scare tactics. And on Tuesday developments became even more sour for Edwards when the budget passed the whole Senate by a 27-10 vote.

Edwards issued a call for a special session which includes practically every type of tax imaginable. And it’s likely he’ll get something — a small increase in the state sales tax, most likely — out of that special session. But he’s doing so at a Pyrrhic cost politically, because Louisiana is buzzing over the disastrous misstep of the nursing home threats, and the rumblings about potential Republican opponents in next year’s gubernatorial election are becoming louder by the hour.

Which is fine. The 2019 election in Louisiana will likely be something like a political Armageddon, with Democrats desperate to keep their toe-hold in the Deep South and Republicans viewing the removal of Edwards and replacement of his agenda with pro-business policy as a last gasp for the state’s competitiveness after Louisiana posted the worst economic performance in the country last year; if it’s going to be Armageddon a crippled opponent is probably the best one to have.

Scott McKay
Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics.
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