Michael Avenatti defends Trump as a 'victim of the system' in hush money scandal, says he's being targeted

EXCLUSIVE- Michael Avenatti, Donald Trump's former 'most dangerous enemy' who liberals hoped would bring down his presidency, believes the hush money case against him in New York is flawed, politically motivated and part of 'a broader anti-democratic effort aimed at taking 2024 out of voters' hands.

And to prove his point, consider the source, Avenatti told Fox News Digital in a phone interview from federal prison.

“I certainly see him as a victim of the system,” he said. “And that's something I never thought I would say. So if Michael Avenatti comes to his defense, and I was one of his staunchest opponents for a very significant period of time, that should say something to the public. people.”

Stormy Daniels' disgraced former lawyer, who once flirted with a White House president before his multiple criminal convictions, believes the four separate criminal cases Trump faces as he runs for president in 2024 are an “absolute exaggeration” and an effort to maintain power. Americans have no say between him and President Biden.


Michael Avenatti photographed

Michael Avenatti told Fox News Digital that he believes politically motivated prosecutors are trying to take the 2024 election decision out of voters' hands. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, file)

“There is a group of individuals in the United States who have decided that they know best who the next president should be, and they have decided that they do not want to stop to quote the little guy: close quote” , he said of the various cases against Trump. “So they are going to take matters into their own hands to prevent these people from being heard, and I am deeply disturbed and disgusted by that.”

If you believe in democracy, he said, “this should be settled at the ballot box.” Trump also faces charges of interfering in the Georgia election, interfering in the federal election and mishandling classified documents.

“There's no question that these prosecutors are trying to make a name for themselves. Every one of them wants to be governor or president or both at some point,” Avenatti said, calling Georgia's Fani Willis mainstream in his eyes. “I mean, it's ridiculous. And the fact that so many people on the left are OK with it because the accused is Donald Trump really makes me sick to my stomach.”

Avenatti, an inmate at the minimum-security Terminal Island federal prison in California, has been in contact with Trump's defense team about possible testimony in the New York case and said he would say the truth if he were called to the stand. A source close to Trump's legal team confirmed these conversations to Fox News Digital.

Trump's historic trial began last week, where he faces 34 counts of first-degree falsification of business records. The case revolves around an accusation that he improperly repaid former lawyer Michael Cohen $130,000 in 2016 to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep silent about an alleged affair with Trump, which Trump denies.

“If the defendant were anyone other than Donald Trump, this stale case would not be brought right now,” Avenatti told Fox News Digital. “He was definitely targeted…There’s no question that these prosecutors are trying to make a name for themselves.”

Michael Avenatti calls for harsh prison sentences because he is Trump's 'most dangerous enemy'

Michael Avenatti spoke to Fox News Digital from prison in California.

Trump is the first former president to face criminal charges, and he called the case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, “political persecution.” The crime alleged in this case is not a hush-money payment, but rather that Trump knowingly made campaign expenditures well in excess of legal limits that were not properly reported.

Avenatti burst onto the national scene when he took on Daniels as a client in 2018; they sued Trump in an attempt to overturn the nondisclosure agreement she signed about the alleged affair. That year, Avenatti became a constant presence on cable news, doing hundreds of interviews and constantly pushing Trump on social media.

He often predicted that Trump would not complete his first term, and he and Daniels became media stars, at one point posing for a photo shoot in Vogue. Avenatti has been a guest co-host on ABC's “The View,” interviewed Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher and considered running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

But as quickly as the veteran lawyer rose to national fame, his life unraveled in a sea of ​​scandals and criminal charges starting in 2019. He is currently serving 19 years in prison for various financial crimes, including attempting to extort $25 million from Nike, stealing millions from several customers, preventing the IRS from collecting taxes, and stealing $300,000 from a book advance from Daniels.

Various prosecutors called Avenatti a “serial fraudster” and a “corrupt lawyer who pretended to fight for the little guy.”

Former President Donald Trump waits for the start of proceedings during the second day of jury selection at Manhattan Criminal Court.

Former President Donald Trump waits for the start of proceedings during the second day of jury selection at Manhattan Criminal Court, Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in New York. Donald Trump returned to the courtroom Tuesday as a judge works to find a panel of jurors who will decide whether the former president is guilty of criminal charges alleging he falsified business records to conceal a sex scandal during the 2016 campaign. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, swimming pool)

To say that Daniels and her former attorney have grown bitter with each other since their 2018 partnership and public praise of each other is an understatement. Daniels said he used his powers for “evil” and that she never trusted him, only hiring him because he was the only lawyer capable of taking on a movie star's case for adults.

Avenatti in turn told Fox News Digital that Daniels fabricated many facets of his claims about the Trump campaign's hush-money payment. In an affidavit obtained by Fox News Digital that he wrote but was never filed with the court in 2023 — the case involved Trump's representation by a separate attorney — he described Daniels as erratic, temperamental and unstable.

“If Stormy Daniels stood in a convent on a pile of Bibles with her tongue notarized and said the earth was round, I wouldn't believe it,” he said, later claiming he abandoned her as customer in 2019 instead of the other way around.

Daniels' attorney, Clark Brewster, said in a statement that Avenatti was hardly a reliable source, pointing to his imprisonment for stealing from his own clients, including her.

Trump calls Hush Money trial an 'assault on America' as case officially begins

“Mr. Avenatti's representation was terminated by Ms. Daniels after she consulted with me and I discovered that he had falsified her name and misappropriated her funds,” he told Fox News Digital . “Before terminating Mr. Avenatti's services, he publicly praised Ms. Daniel's courage, honesty and consistency. He currently presents himself as a three-time convicted felon for fraud, repeated acts of dishonesty and extortion . His recent desperate attempts shouted from prison to seek some relevance are truly pathetic.

Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti at a press conference.

Stormy Daniels was aggressively represented by Michael Avenatti in 2018, but their working relationship quickly deteriorated. Avenatti was later convicted of stealing $300,000 from her book advance. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file)

When asked what prompted him to testify in his recent media interviews, Avenatti claimed he saw the injustice of the “system” with his own eyes – he said in another interview recently that his own harsh sentence for his crimes was due to the fact that he was an enemy of Trump. Even though he said he disagreed with Trump on almost everything, that didn't mean he wasn't entitled to due process, and he criticized the gag order issued against Trump in New York by Judge Juan Merchan.


“I know what it feels like when the government comes to your rescue,” he told Fox News Digital. “Regardless of your intelligence or your resources, you have little or no hope of prevailing, even if you are a former president of the United States. And I think what is happening to Trump right now is bad, and that is outrageous. And that is far more important to me than whether or not I agree with someone on their political views, or whether they are a Republican or a Democrat.


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