October 15, 2018

2020: Michael Avenatti vs. Trump

“The only thing I dread more than the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for president again is speculation about who else might be seeking the Democratic nomination in 2020, which, in case you’re wondering, is still two years away.

This is the case in spite of the fact that I have engaged in such speculation myself and am about to do so again. Will Bernie Sanders give it another shot? Will Joe Biden try to recapture some of the Obama-era moderate magic? Or will it be someone like Kamala Harris who could split the difference between the party’s neoliberal and progressive factions?

One more potential name is Michael Avenatti, the tough-talking lawyer who represented the porn star and first-time author Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump. From the beginning, Avenatti has done more than just represent Daniels, on whose behalf he successfully negotiated a release from the non-disclosure agreement that was supposed to have prevented her from discussing her alleged dalliance with the president, establishing himself as a kind of all-around anti-Trump crusader. In June, he leaked video to MSNBC showing the inside of a federal detention facility for immigrant children. More recently he has claimed that he is representing women who have additional allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s embattled Supreme Court nominee. His intervention here is on its face somewhat suspect and his handling of the supposed accusations has not been helpful, least of all to those attempting to make the case against Kavanaugh.”

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