Michael Avenatti, frog-marched away!


For mimicking Stormy Daniels:
Is Michael Avenatti guilty of the newest array of crimes with which he's now been charged in two separate federal cases?

We have no way of knowing. That said, with headline included, here's the New York Times account of his recent arrest for extortion:
Michael Avenatti Is Accused in Nike Extortion Attempt

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer best known for representing the pornographic film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuits against President Trump, arrived in New York on Monday for a negotiating session with Nike executives that he believed could net him millions of dollars.

Armed with sensitive information, Mr. Avenatti approached the meeting as though he had the upper hand. He left in the custody of F.B.I. agents.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan filed charges accusing him of trying to extort millions of dollars from the apparel giant in exchange for evidence he said he had of misconduct by company employees in the recruitment of college basketball players.

The arrest of Mr. Avenatti, who in a separate case was charged by federal prosecutors in California with bank and wire fraud, was the latest development in a spectacular fall by a lawyer who is known for orbiting and representing an array of celebrities and who has been central to some of the most salacious headlines about Mr. Trump.
According to prosecutors, Avenatti told Nike that, if he wasn't given money, he would hold a press conference and accuse the company of misconduct. As a result, he was arrested and charged with extortion!

This raises a possible question. How does this differ from what Stormy Daniels did?

Daniels approached Candidate Trump and said that, if she wasn't given money, she would hold a press conference and accuse Trump of misconduct. But instead of getting arrested and charged, she was hailed as a "feminist hero" and as a "feminist icon."

Why wasn't Daniels charged with extortion? Given the way the game is played, we liberals are unlikely to see such questions asked.

Such questions have been asked at Fox. Forgive us for saying this, but this seems like an obvious question—except within the sub-rational realm where it's narrative all the way down.

Why didn't Daniels get charged with extortion? Frankly, we have no idea.

As heard by The Others: Here's part of the way Daniels' conduct has been limned at Fox:
CARLSON (12/10/18): Is it unfair to describe this scenario as extortion? I say I know something about your sex life. I know a secret about you that you want to keep that's non-criminal, but that you want to keep hidden. And unless you pay me money, I'm going to reveal it.

That seems like textbook extortion to me. Why is it not?

DERSHOWITZ: It is absolutely textbook extortion. And there ought to be a prosecution of any person, man or woman, who approaches any candidate or anybody else and says, "Unless you pay me money, I'm going to reveal a sex act that occurred."

That is absolute classic extortion...
The gentlemen went on from there. But in what way was their analysis wrong?

In what way was Dershowitz wrong? We'll admit we have no idea.


  1. "In what way was Dershowitz wrong? We'll admit we have no idea."

    But of course you do know Bob, don't be coy. It's because Donald J Trump is - ta-da! - E-V-I-L...

    1. Meh. Trump is nothing special. Like the rest of the standard-issue Reagan Republicans, Trump gets off on cruelty towards, and the suffering of, the most vulnerable.

  2. It is odd because Mr. Trump goes after everyone. You'd think he would "send the Feds" after Daniels if that were possible.

  3. “Daniels approached Candidate Trump and said that, if she wasn't given money, she would hold a press conference and accuse Trump of misconduct.”

    That’s quite damning. Funny though, this doesn’t seem to be mentioned in any of the factual material about this affair. Would Somerby care to cite a source for this?

    1. I would love that site too. My memory of this is that she tried to sell her story to the press, not Trump.

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