Avanetti is known for his frequent self-promoting cable TV appearances on MSNBC. Avenatti expressed his inherent racism in a candid interview with Time magazine about the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee: "I think it better to be a white male." Avenatii's claim of being taken out of context has been debunked.
Michael Avenatti attended George Washington University Law School where he worked with Professor Jonathan Turley on constitutional issues relating to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
While in college and later in law school, Avenatti worked at The Research Group, a mysterious outfit run by former Bill Clinton staffer and Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, where he served as an "opposition researcher" for Senator Joe Biden and 150 other campaigns in 42 states. Avenatii's mentor, Rahm Emanuel is known to have sent a dead fish to an opponent, evoking the image of a mafia gangland war in a political campaign.
Avenatti's Wikipedia biography appears to be a cut n paste from his CV at avenatti.com.
In 2013 Avenatti formed a company, Global Baristas, to buy Seattle-based Tully's Coffee out of bankruptcy. Avenatti first formed a partnership with actor Patrick Dempsey, but Dempsey later backed away from the venture after a short legal battle that resulted in a settlement. Since 2015, Global Baristas has been named in more than 50 lawsuits in state and federal courts for breach of contract, unpaid bills, and unpaid taxes.
In 2017, a Florida man named Gerald Tobin alleged Avenatti failed to pay him $28,700 for private investigatory work. As a result, Avenatti's firm was abruptly forced into bankruptcy. Tobin's claim caused Avenatti to cancel a deposition in an unrelated lawsuit days later, raising the question of collusion between Avenatti and Tobin. The issue was resolved when the pair entered into a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and Avenatti paid Tobin the $28,700.
In 2018, Avenatti's law firm was subjected to a $10 million judgment in U.S. bankruptcy court. Avenatti has also defaulted on a $440,000 judgment in back taxes, penalties, and interest that he was personally obligated to pay under another bankruptcy settlement. The U.S. Attorney's office asserted in court that a motion seeking payment would soon be filed against Avenatti. Eagan Avenatti LLP had been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and, in December 2017, had agreed to pay $4.8 million in unpaid fees to a former partner, $2 million in back taxes, and $1 million to other creditors. In June 2018, the former partner filed a motion in U.S. bankruptcy court asking for a lien on any and all legal fees Avenatti's firm might collect, up to $10 million, from clients in 54 cases including his representation of Stormy Daniels.
- Main article: Kavanaugh smear
Michael Avenatti accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of targeting women for gang rape with alcohol and drugs. Avenatti publicly announced he was in contact with an anonymous accuser. When the Committee investigated the allegations, Avenatti made materially false and misleading claims to the Committee Counsel. The third accuser, Julie Swetnik, a former client of Debra Katz, made a sworn statement to the Committee on September 23.
Swetnik made graphic allegations about high school parties that Brett Kavanaugh supposedly attended, but without any specific accusation based on personal knowledge of any wrongdoing against Kavanaugh himself. One enormous flaw in this third allegation: 60 classmates of Kavanaugh have signed a letter saying they have never met this woman who claims she was at all these parties. Many other inconsistencies and credibility issues arose. For example, she was revealed to have been in later college years while Kavanaugh was in his early high school years. The New York Times tried but failed to corroborate the allegation. It was soon discovered that the accuser had a troubled past, and she had sued one of her employers for "sexual harassment" using Ford's lawyer's firm. She was sued in 2000 for making false sexual misconduct allegations.
As with the previous allegations, dozens of women rallied to Judge Kavanaugh's defense, with sixty of them signing a letter affirming he had a good character in high school.
Observers noted that "Michael Avenatti managed to make it all about him." Avenatti refused to cooperate with Committee requests for information and FBI ultimately did not contact him.
Later, in an NBC interview, Swetnick contradicted the main points of her accusation, stating this time that she did not actually see Kavanaugh "spike punch" despite originally saying she had a "firm recollection" that he did. Avenatti's smear was seen as helping, rather than hurting, Kavanaugh because of how ridiculous a claim it made.
Avenatti received illegal raw FISA data related to Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen from the Obama administration. While conducting illegal FISA surveillance on the 2016 Trump campaign in search of Russia collusion, the Obama FBI only discovered a payment of $130,000 Cohen made to a prostitute, Stormy Daniels. The information was turned over to Avenatti to pursue civil action on behalf of the woman so as to mask Obama's illegal domestic spying and meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
FISA abuse and the Stormy Daniels affair
In early 2016 NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers, tasked with overseeing the vast databases used in FISA surveillance, detected unusual activity among Obama FBI contractors with FISA access, and ordered a compliance audit. Nellie Ohr worked for FusionGPS since late 2015 and held a CIA security clearance. Contractor access was terminated on April 18, 2016.
After FusionGPS was hired by the 2016 Clinton campaign in April 2016 and cut off from access by the FISA Compliance Audit, FusionGPS and the DOJ needed a work around for continued access to FISA 702 information in order to spy on the Trump campaign. Nellie could use her husband, Obama Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr’s high level DOJ access to continue gathering FISA-702 data.
FISA 702 searches may not, by law, ever be used to target American citizens; they may only be used to target non-citizens outside the United States. Even non-citizens inside the United States enjoy Fourth Amendment protections. FBI contractor access to the FISA database was cutoff for this reason - the Obama FBI under James Comey had violated the civil and constitutional rights of some 5,000 Americans by committing illegal FISA 702 searches beginning shortly after Donald Trump organized his national presidential campaign.
One such case was Trump attorney Michael Cohen.
- "He said the party's nominee in 2020 "better be a white male" like him, because "when you have a white male making the arguments, they carry more weight." He later said that statement was misquoted and taken out of context. A transcript of the interview shows they were not." CBS EVENING NEWS BY NANCY CORDES / CBS NEWS / OCTOBER 25 2018
- Report: Tully's Stores Run Out of Coffee as Rebranding Looms.
- Dempsey walks away from Tully's after suing partner. Seattle Times (August 23, 2013).
- Kamb, Lewis. "Before Stormy Daniels, her attorney faced allegations of dubious business dealings at Tully's Coffee", Seattle Times, April 7, 2018.
- Exclusive: How a 'nobody' ex-con pushed Avenatti law firm into bankruptcy.
- Finnegan, Michael. "Law firm of Stormy Daniels' attorney hit with $10-million judgment", Los Angeles Times, May 22, 2018.
- Judge OKs Eagan Avenatti's Exit From Ch. 11. Lexis Law 360. Retrieved on 19 March 2018.
- "Lawyer moves to seize Stormy Daniels' crowdfunding cash in Avenatti spat", Los Angeles Times.
- Kirkwood, R. Cort (November 29, 2018). Avenatti’s Troubles Gets Worse, Porn Queen Didn’t Want To Sue Trump. The New American. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
- Morton, Victor (November 28, 2018). Stormy Daniels says Michael Avenatti filed Trump defamation lawsuit without telling her. The Washington Times. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
- Kirkwood, R. Cort (September 27, 2018). Gang-Rape Accuser’s Story Too Fantastic to be True? The New American. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
- Kirkwood, R. Cort (September 27, 2018). Avenatti and Client Have Credibility Problems. The New American. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
- Nolte, John (October 3, 2018). Nolte: 28 Reasons Julie Swetnick’s Kavanugh Allegations Are Total Garbage. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
- Pollak, Joel B. (September 26, 2018). Questions About Julie Swetnick’s Claims: She Was in College When Brett Kavanaugh Was in High School. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- Live Updates: Avenatti Circus Throws Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation into Chaos. Breitbart News. September 26, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- Caputo, Marc; Korecki, Natasha (September 26, 2018). Ex-boyfriend filed restraining order against third Kavanaugh accuser. Politico. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- Kunzelman, Michael; Biesecker, Michael; Mendoza, Martha (September 30, 2018). Third Kavanaugh accuser has extensive legal history. The Washington Times (from the Associated Press). Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- Pappas, Alex (September 26, 2018). Republicans stand by Kavanaugh as details on Avenatti's new client emerge. Fox News. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
- Kirkwood, R. Cort (September 27, 2018). Gang-rape Accuser Shook Down New York Life, Lawyer Was Debra Katz. The New American. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
- Pollak, Joel B. (September 30, 2018). Third Brett Kavanaugh Accuser Was Sued in 2000 for False Allegations of Sexual Misconduct. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- Kirkwood, R. Cort (October 1, 2018). Third Kavanaugh Accuser Faced Sexual Harassment Lawsuit, Tried to Shake Down D.C. Metro. The New American. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
- Dedaj, Paulina (September 26, 2018). Kavanaugh backed by 60 who attended Georgetown Prep, sister schools. Fox News. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
- Kurz, Howard (September 27, 2018). Avenatti orchestrates coverage while unveiling third Kavanaugh accuser. Fox News. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
- Shaw, Adam (October 2, 2018). Kavanaugh accuser Swetnick faces credibility questions amid changing story, details from past. Fox News. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
- Kirkwood, R. Cort (October 2, 2018). Swetnick: I Didn’t See Kavanaugh Spike Punch; Ex Boyfriend: “I Don’t Believe Her”. The New American. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
- Kirkwood, R. Cort (October 8, 2018). Democrats: Avenatti Gang Rape Nonsense Blew It for Us. The New American. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
- Carney, Jordain (October 25, 2018). Grassley refers Swetnick, Avenatti to Justice Dept. for investigation. The Hill. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
- Caplan, Joshua (October 25, 2018). Chairman Grassley Refers Michael Avenatti, Julie Swetnick to DOJ for Criminal Investigation. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
- In March 2016, NSA Director Rogers became aware of improper access to raw FISA data. "Private contractors had access to raw FISA information on FBI storage systems," Pages 83-84 of April 2017 FISA Court Ruling. In April of 2016, Rogers directed the NSA’s Office of Compliance to conduct a “fundamental baseline review of compliance associated with 702”, Senate testimony June 7, 2017.
- Nellie Ohr represented the CIA's "Open Source Works" group in a 2010 "expert working group report on international organized crime" along with her husband Bruce Ohr and FusionGPS founder Glenn Simpson. Open Source Works, the CIA’s in-house open source analysis component, is devoted to intelligence analysis of unclassified, open source information. The directive that established Open Source Works is classified, as is the charter of the organization.
The directive itself that established Open Source Works is classified, as is the charter of the organization. CIA says the existence of any such records is a classified fact. “The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request,” wrote Susan Viscuso, CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator, in a November 29, 2017 response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Jeffrey Richelson of the National Security Archive for the Open Source Works directive and charter.
“The fact of the existence or nonexistence of requested records is currently and properly classified and is intelligence sources and methods information that is protected from disclosure,” Dr. Viscuso wrote. This is a surprising development since Open Source Works — by definition — does not engage in clandestine collection of intelligence. Rather, it performs analysis based on unclassified, open source materials. -FAS
- pp. 83-84
- Nellie and Bruce Ohr and Fusion founder Glenn Simpson collaborated on other projects in the past. Expert Working Group Report on International Organized Crime, John T. Picarelli, Discussion Paper Document No.: 230846, National Institute of Justice, June 2010, p. 30 PDF. Published by the United States Dept. of Justice.
- Although Americans are sometimes caught up in incidental collection, and their names are required to be masked, an American is never to be targeted under any circumstances by a 702 search query, which does not require a FISA warrant. To target an American, probable cause and a FISA warrant must be adjudicated by a FISA court. 702 queries are conducted by low-level administors, and the technology is ripe for massive abuse, as occurred under President Obama.