The presidential plans of Michael Avenatti suffered a setback Thursday, as the anti-Trump lawyer-turned-self-aggrandizing sideshow was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for attempting to extort $20 million from Nike. When the sentence was handed down, the tough guy, who’s facing additional time on additional charges, cried.
Thirty months in prison sounds like a lot—it is a lot—but prosecutors wanted eight years and, quite frankly, an eight-year vacation from Michael Avenatti would be good for America. He is a charlatan, a scammer, a cheat, a rip-off artist, a fumbling legal loser who wrapped his self-promotion and grift in the sanctimony of a freedom fighter. He not only didn’t help, he made things worse. But have we learned our lesson?
We first got to know Michael Avenatti when he announced in March 2018 that he would be representing former adult film actress Stormy Daniels in a lawsuit against then-President Trump. Daniels wanted out of an NDA and hush money payment that barred her from speaking about an affair she allegedly had with Trump back when Trump’s wife Melania would have been postpartum with Trump’s youngest son Barron. Every detail of the story is gross, even before we get to the part about Avenatti stealing from his clients and leaving visible bruises on a girlfriend.