Tag Archives: Stormy Daniels

‘Don’t call me a celebrity?’ Sorry, bub … you are one!

Michael Avenatti cracks me up.

The lawyer who is pondering a run for the presidency in 2020 has scolded the media for calling him a “celebrity.” He bristled at the idea of the media labeling him something he most certainly has become.

Avenatti represents Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, the porn actor who alleges she and the future president of the United States, Donald Trump, had a fling in a hotel room years ago. The president paid her hush money to keep her quiet, but denies the tryst occurred … go figure.

Avenatti has stepped into the public spotlight by being everywhere, seemingly at once. That, by my definition, makes him a celebrity.

Oh, no, he answers. He is a lawyer with an 18-year career. He has represented “Davids against Goliaths.”

I guess this means that if decides to run for president, he’ll tell us he isn’t a politician.

He then will fit the definition of two terms he doesn’t like.

Too bad, counselor/celebrity and maybe — politician.

I mean, if the shoe fits …

Wanting a presidential candidate with policy chops

I just watched a snippet of Michael Avenatti delivering a sort of campaign stump speech to some listeners in Iowa.

The high-profile lawyer is considering a run for the presidency. His only claim to fame/notoriety to date has been that he represents Stormy Daniels, the porn star who says she and the future president, Donald Trump, had a fling in a hotel room back in 2006 — and that the president paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about it.

Avenatti is her mouthpiece. He also is a blowhard, a celebrity who’s trying to parlay his celebrity status into something that requires a lot more of those who seek high public office.

Does that remind you of anyone else? Of course it does!

I’m a bit old-fashioned. I want presidents to have some public service experience. I want them to demonstrate a commitment to the public. I want them to be well-versed, well-spoken and well-educated on policy and on the nuance of government. I do not want some showboat to prance onto the political stage and bellow, “Vote for me because I am not a politician!”

The 2020 election will feature, more than likely, a large field of Democratic candidates, the size of which of might rival the number of 2016 Republican candidates who sought to succeed Barack Obama as president.

Given the electoral success that Donald Trump experienced in 2016, I am pretty certain that the opening-day field of Democratic contenders will include its fair share of carnival barkers, goofballs and unqualified showboats.

That is how I consider Michael Avenatti, who well might be a great lawyer, but who is about as qualified to serve as president as the guy who’s in the office now. Which is to say he is patently unqualified.

My hope is that Democrats can produce a newcomer, someone who isn’t much of a presence at this moment on the political horizon.

That all said, I hope Avenatti sticks to lawyering and clears the field for candidates who actually know what they would do were they to get elected president.

‘President Avenatti?’ For real?

Say it ain’t so, counselor.

Michael Avenatti, whose only claim to national notoriety rests with his legal representation of a porn star who alleges she had a one-night stand with a future president of the United States, says he is considering a run for — gulp! — the presidency of the United States.

Oh … my … goodness!

Do you know what this tells me? It tells me that Donald J. Trump’s election as president in 2016 cements the notion that anyone can be be elected to the highest office in the land. Prior qualifications don’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether they have prior public service experience. Nor does it matter if they understand fully the complicated machinery that constitutes the federal system of government.

Avenatti was, shall we say, on no one’s radar prior to emerging as Stormy Daniels’s lawyer.

“I’m exploring a run for the presidency of the United States, and I wanted to come to Iowa and listen to people and learn about some issues that are facing the citizens of Iowa and do my homework,” Avenatti told the Des Moines Register.

As the saying goes: Only in America.

Hey, did POTUS break a law?

History may be about to repeat itself. I put the emphasis on “may be,” as in “maybe.”

The FBI seized papers and other material from former Donald Trump lawyer/friend Michael Cohen and then discovered a recorded evidence that he and Trump discussed payments to a former Playboy model who has contended she and Trump had an yearlong affair before Trump became president.

How is history repeating itself?

Follow the bouncing ball  …

The U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton in 1998 for committing perjury to a federal grand jury, which asked him about an affair the president was having with a White House intern; Clinton lied when he denied the relationship.

The House then learned about that infamous blue dress. The Republican majority then had its cause for impeachment: The president took an oath to follow the law; he didn’t when he lied to the grand jury. Thus, the impeachment.

Special counsel Robert Mueller now has all the evidence seized in that FBI raid of Cohen’s office. He recorded conversations with the president over the payment to the Playboy model, Karen McDougal.

Did the president, then, possibly violate campaign finance laws when he paid off the model, perhaps to keep her quiet, just as he paid the hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels? Did he break the law by failing to disclose the payment as required by law of those who are running for president?

Is there another law broken here? Are there, um, grounds for impeachment? It might sound specious to those who think the Mueller investigation is a “witch hunt.” Then again, there were those on the other side who said the same thing about the Kenneth Starr examination into President Clinton’s behavior.

To be sure, the GOP majority in the House isn’t likely to go along with an impeachment resolution. Democrats most certainly would, which then makes the upcoming congressional election all the more critical. Do you get my drift? Of course you do!

Conviction, quite clearly, is another matter — as the GOP found out in 1998 and as Democrats could learn in, say, 2019.

Another campaign kicks off? Seriously?

“Our troops didn’t die in Yorktown, didn’t take Normandy beach, didn’t rebuild Europe and secure the postwar peace that you are now destroying, Mr. President, for you to live as a Manchurian candidate in our White House.”

Who do you suppose made this statement today?

OK, I’ll give it up. It came from Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represents Stormy Daniels/Stephanie Clifford, the porn star who alleges she took a one-night tumble in a hotel room about a dozen years ago with Donald J. Trump Sr.

Why do I even mention this? Why devote any blog space to this guy?

Because he annoys me. That’s why.

Avenatti is becoming the ubiquitous lawyer who seems to my way of thinking to be more interested in promoting his own interests than in protecting the interests of his most famous client.

Avenatti delivered some kind of speech today in front of the White House in which he called Trump a “Manchurian candidate.”

I need some help on many matters. One of them involves whether the content of Avenatti’s speech has anything to do with Daniels/Clifford’s beef with Donald Trump.

Yes, Trump deserves criticism. I’ve delivered my share of it from this forum. Yes, Avenatti also is entitled to criticize the president as well. His public celebrity status, though, is due to his legal representation of a woman who received a hush-money payment from a guy who once was the president’s lawyer/Mr. Fix It.

I am believing now that Michael Avenatti is branching out.

Is there another political career in the making before our eyes?

I’m tired of this guy already.

Strange legal bedfellows?

This is weird.

Lanny Davis, one of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s better friends, is now representing Michael Cohen, who until just recently was supposedly a friend of and legal adviser to Donald J. Trump … although I am unclear just how many “friends” the president actually has.

Cohen is now declaring some form of independence from Trump, the guy he used to work for as a “fixer” and, oh yes, for whom he wrote that $130,000 check to keep the porn star Stormy Daniels quiet about the tryst she had years ago with the man who would become president of the United States.

As The Hill reported: Cohen, who previously worked for Trump, told (ABC News’s George) Stephanopoulos last week that his “first loyalty” lies with his family, not the president. 

I don’t know about you, but this is looking to me as though Cohen is about to unleash all he knows about Trump’s behavior. I am pretty sure the special counsel, Robert Mueller, is going to be all ears.

What about Cohen’s relationship with Lanny Davis? I guess there’s something to be said about strange bedfellows, yes?

Connecting some dots inside the White House

I feel like connecting a few dots. So … here goes.

The 2016 Republican Party presidential nominee was revealed in a decade-old recording boasting about how he could grab women by their “pu***” because his status as a “star” gave him license.

The nominee, Donald John Trump, was elected president.

He declares war on media outlets that he finds disagreeable. He calls them “fake news” and then submits to interviews almost exclusively with Fox News, which was run by the late Roger Ailes.

Ailes, meanwhile, gets hit with complaints of sexual harassment by a number of high-profile female journalists; Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson are two of them.

Ailes gets the boot. But his No. 2 man, Bill Shine, stands with him and allegedly covers up for the boss.

Then, just this week, Shine — who left Fox News — has been named deputy White House chief of staff in charge of communications.

So, we have the president — who has a history of sexual harassment complaints leveled against him by many women — hires a guy with a sexual harassment history of his own. The White House underling is now director of communications for the administration.

It’s fair to wonder about Trump’s values. He never rails against accusations of sexual harassment. He defends those against whom these complaints are leveled; he called former Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly — who also faced such accusations — a “good man.”

Trump reportedly takes a dim view of the “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” movements, believing that the women who make accusations against powerful men are off base.

Oh, and then his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money to keep quiet about a tryst that Trump says never happened.

What do you suppose is the common denominator here? Let’s see. I think it’s boorish behavior toward women, which appears to have Donald Trump’s fingerprints all over it.

Stormy’s lawyer talks too much

Allow me a brief moment to say something critical about the lawyer who represents the woman who has said that she and Donald Trump had a one-night sexual encounter in 2006.

Michael Avenatti is Stormy Daniels’s lawyer. Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — is the porn star who alleges the tryst with the man who would become president of the United States. She also received $130,000 in hush money to keep her quiet about the encounter, which Trump — believe it or not — denies ever occurred.

As for Avenatti, he talks too much. He is becoming an annoyance, at least to me. He shows up on late-night talk shows, on Sunday morning news shows, during the week, day and night. He is everywhere.

He yaps, yammers and yowls about Trump, about his “Mr. Fix It,” lawyer Michael Cohen.

I know how this works. Lawyers who get hired to represent high-profile clients often see their entry onto the public stage as their ticket to legal prominence. They end up becoming celebrities all by themselves.

It helps, as it does in Avenatti’s case, that they’re media friendly. He’s on a first-name basis with every interview who asks to talk to them. George, Chuck, Chris, Margaret, Rachel, Lawrence, Anderson, Don … you name ’em, Avenatti is their “best friend” while chatting it up about Stormy/Stephanie’s case against Trump.

Don’t misunderstand me. I believe Daniels’s account of what happened. I also believe that she got the money to keep quiet. I also disbelieve the president’s denials. I came to those conclusions not long after this story broke.

The porn star’s lawyer doesn’t need to persuade me of anything.

I just wish he’d shut his trap and do his job, whatever it entails, behind the scenes … and away from the spotlight.

It’s not really our business, however …

Donald J. Trump’s lawyer of the moment, Rudy Giuliani, has decided to speak about the first lady’s view of one of her husband’s, um, episodes involving other women.

Giuliani said Melania Trump “believes” the president when he says he didn’t have a tryst with a pornographic film actress, Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, in a hotel room back in 2006.

So, how does the former New York City mayor come to that conclusion? Do you think he asked Mrs. Trump directly? Did he ask the president himself? Or is he just making a conclusion based on nothing at all?

None of this in reality is anyone’s business. However, since one of the principals involved in this idiocy happens to be the president of the United States, it sort of morphs itself into the public domain.

I have difficulty accepting that Mrs. Trump would even answer such a question, even if it comes from the man who’s now representing her husband in his myriad battles to fend off investigations of all sorts. They include this matter involving Clifford/Daniels … allegedly.

I still circle back to the one aspect of that tryst that makes it all so very believable. It’s the payment of 130 grand in real American money that another lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to Daniels to keep her quiet. One must ask: If there was no sexual encounter, why would he have to pay the hush money?

As for whether Giuliani is relying on Donald Trump’s assertion that his (third) wife believes his denials about a one-night stand with Daniels — sigh! — I only can fall back on the many lies Trump has told since he began his political career in 2015.

If it were me — and I am so glad that it isn’t — I wouldn’t believe a single word that flies out of the president’s mouth.

What became of America’s Mayor?

Rudolph Giuliani used to be a revered public figure. He stood tall amid the rubble of Ground Zero in lower Manhattan and rallied a stricken city in the wake of the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Center.

Time magazine named him Person of the Year in 2001. It was richly deserved. Giuliani became America’s Mayor.

Then something happened to him. He decided to get involved in national politics. He dressed in drag to spoof something or someone. He ran for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2008.

Rudy Giuliani has gotten a bit strange. If you saw his shtick at the 2016 Republican National Convention, then you understand my point. If you haven’t seen it, take a look:

His latest gig is as Donald J. Trump’s lawyer, representing the president as he does battle against what he calls the “witch hunt” being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Giuliani has managed to step all over Trump’s denial about hush money being paid to a porn star; he argues now that the president cannot be subpoenaed or indicted by the special counsel, even if Mueller produces evidence that Trump broke the law.

Giuliani has become a shill. He has behaved in a seriously unattractive manner as he defends the president against Mueller’s investigation in whether Trump obstructed justice or “colluded” with Russians who interfered in our 2016 presidential election.

Honestly, I much prefer the former Rudy Giuliani, the man who faced down terrorists while standing in the rubble.

The “new Rudy” is acting like a clown.