Michael Avenatti: 'I can see why people might think' I'm getting more involved in politics

Mario Tama/Getty ImagesMichael Avenatti.
  • Attorney Michael Avenatti finds himself at the center of two of the biggest political stories of the year.
  • In one, he his working for porn star Stormy Daniels, who is suing President Donald Trump and his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen.
  • In the other, Avenatti is trying to help migrant families that have been split up at the border under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy.
  • There are rumours of him one day running for office, and Avenatti told Business Insider that he “can see why people might think” that he’s getting more involved in politics.

Attorney Michael Avenatti finds himself at the center of two of the biggest political stories of the year. And he understands that it looks like he’s trying to involve himself more in politics.

Avenatti is the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, who who claims to have had an affair with President Donald Trump in 2006 and was paid before the election to keep silent. She is suing Trump and his lawyer, Michael Cohen, in California seeking to void the nondisclosure agreement. That payment is also at the center of a criminal investigation into Cohen taking place in the Southern District of New York.

And then recently, Avenatti jumped into the border crisis, seeking to help both detained migrant families that have been split up as a part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy and whistleblowers working for law enforcement agencies and detention centres that have dealt with the recent influx of roughly 2,000 children.

The policy led to children being separated from their families as the Trump administration opted to prosecute their parents for illegal entry, a misdemeanour. Trump last week issued an executive order putting that policy on pause as it was met with intense backlash, but the administration has yet to reunite all of the children with their families.

Avenatti told The Washington Examiner he has been retained by more than 70 children and 60 mothers.

“I mean I can see why people might think that or see me doing that I guess,” Avenatti told Business Insider of his appearing to become more involved in politics. “I haven’t made any determination as to what I’m going to do on a go-forward basis other than what I’ve been doing for 18 years, which is representing my clients.”

‘The future of the republic may depend on it’

Stormy DanielsDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesStormy Daniels.

On Wednesday morning, Avenatti offered a take on the upcoming 2020 presidential election that appeared to serve as a wink and nod that maybe he could make a bid for office.

“Off topic – the candidate in 2020 better be a take no prisoners street fighter who is prepared to go 15 rounds in a VERY brutal campaign,” Avenatti tweeted. “It will be a cage match like no other in modern times. The future of the republic may depend on it.”

A Twitter user suggested he could become attorney general, to which Avenatti coyly replied, “Not interested in AG.”

Earlier this month, Avenatti took to Twitter to blast Trump’s outside attorney Rudy Giuliani for his comments on former Vice President Joe Biden, whom Giuliani called a “mentally deficient idiot.” But Avenatti said he did agree with Giuliani on one point.

“The most compelling nominee in 2020 would be someone new,” Avenatti posted.

Avenatti has pushed back on the idea that he is “chasing the limelight,” telling The Washington Post that idea “is a bunch of nonsense” and is “highly offensive.”

“Look, I didn’t need any additional fame or limelight beyond what I already had,” he added, noting that he is providing legal counsel to the migrant families pro bono.

Daniels, his high-profile client, said last week that she would soon head down to the border and offer assistance to the families, tweeting that she was “figuring out my best course of action to maximise my resources.”

Daniels is scheduled to perform at a Texas strip club near the southern border on July 4 and 5. Avenatti told Business Insider that Daniels “hasn’t decided what role, if any, she’s going to play” with regard to the migrant families.

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