The End of Avenatti: the Rise and Fall (and Fall and Fall and Fall) of the Creepy Porn Lawyer

In 2018, Avenatti widely and falsely accused the author of being involved in gang rapes as a teen.

By Mark Judge Published on July 9, 2021

I’ve been thinking about it, but I can’t quite come up with an analogy for the level of malevolence and incompetence that is rotting the media. Except perhaps … an aggressive cancer. I think maybe the press is like the “my last day at Home Depot” guy who takes out an entire bay of grills with a sideswipe from the electric elevator. Or maybe they’re like those atrocious Filipino divers from a few years ago.

But then, the damage done to human lives and souls by our demonic, utterly irredeemable and calamitous media is far worse than a few minutes of embarrassment from a botched high dive.

Whatever metaphor you come up with, the bottom line is that our media is not only deeply biased but savagely, cosmically incompetent. They fell for the ludicrous scams of Michael Avenatti, the disgraced lawyer who has just been sentenced to thirty months in jail for trying to extort Nike.

The Creepy Porn Lawyer Who Tried to Make History

Some who recognize my name might know that I have some personal experience with Avenatti. He’s the man Tucker Carlson calls “the creepy porn lawyer.” In fall 2018 the political left and the media tried to destroy Brett Kavanaugh, a high school friend of mine. Central to their effort was Michael John Avenatti. The creepy lawyer lived on television (he was interviewed 147 times in one week). All through his 15 minutes of fame he got fawned over by journalists who claim to have street smarts but couldn’t find their way out of their own bathrooms without assistance.

Fueled by opposition research, extortion threats and an attempted honey trap, politicians and the media climbed aboard the S.S. Avenatti, the direct descendant of the Titanic.

In 2018 Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in 1982 when we were all in high school. Ford claimed that I was in the room when it happened. Ford, who had long had every intention of going public, was a bad actor, in both senses of the word. “Sloppy” doesn’t begin to describe the reaction from the fourth estate to Ford’s craziness. Vanity Fair had to issue a correction admitting that a woman who’d said we went to college together in fact had attended a different school. The Washington Post withheld an exonerating witness from their explosive first story about Ford. Reporters used as sources people who had never laid eyes on me or Brett.

Extortion by Phone

Then came Avenatti. On September 24, 2018, I got a nasty message on my phone from someone saying, “You like [expletive] with people? I like [expletive] with people, too. Give me a call.” I still don’t know who the call was from, but gave the number to the FBI. Later that same day Avenatti went on TV, where he appeared apoplectic and said my name thirteen times in two minutes. He was flustered. Extortion wasn’t working, as it wouldn’t with Nike either. Avenatti had figured out that I was too street smart to hand him the shiv to plant into my back. I was not about to give in to the mob.

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Words I had learned as a kid watching the movie The Exorcist came back to me: “Do not talk to the demon. The demon is a liar.”

Then the creepy porn lawyer produced a woman named Julie Swetnick. She claimed that Brett and I had attended ten parties in high school where girls were drugged and gang raped. She claimed that she herself was the victim of a gang rape.

Too Good to Fact Check

The story was too good to check. In a move that would have gotten an intern fired, NBC’s Kate Snow put Swetnick on air without any vetting. Snow also withheld information that would have damaged Avenatti.

During the first week of October, when Brett still had not been confirmed, Avenatti claimed he had a woman who would corroborate Swetnick’s claims. It was a lie. From NBC News:

Reached by phone independently from Avenatti on Oct. 3, the woman said she only ‘skimmed’ the declaration [Avenatti had written for her]. After reviewing the statement, she wrote in a text on Oct. 4 to NBC News: ‘It is incorrect that I saw Brett spike the punch. I didn’t see anyone spike the punch…I was very clear with Michael Avenatti from day one.

There was more. “I would not ever allow anyone to be abusive in my presence. Male or female,” the woman told NBC. “I will definitely talk to you again and no longer Avenatti. I do not like that he twisted my words,” she wrote.

Suppressing the Facts

Rather than report this news at the time, which would have helped Judge Kavanaugh, NBC sat on he story for several weeks. From Fox News on October 26, 2018:

NBC News is under fire for sitting on information that would have cast serious doubt on wild claims about now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh just when the unsubstantiated allegations were rocking the judge’s confirmation to the high court.

Controversial attorney Michael Avenatti and client Julie Swetnick claimed last month Kavanaugh took part in high school gang rapes just as Kavanaugh was defending himself against a separate, uncorroborated claim. Avenatti connected NBC News with an anonymous woman he claimed could corroborate Swetnick’s allegations, but instead accused the lawyer of “twisting” her words. Still, NBC went with Swetnick’s story without disclosing the exculpatory reporting.

On Thursday, nearly three weeks after Kavanaugh’s confirmation, NBC News published an article headlined, “New questions raised about Avenatti claims regarding Kavanaugh,” that detailed “inconsistencies” with Swetnick’s claims. In the article, NBC News admitted the unidentified woman repudiated the sworn statement Avenatti provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee on her behalf to corroborate Swetnick’s claims.

Kavanaugh’s polarizing confirmation proceedings ended on Oct. 6, when the Senate voted 50-48 to confirm him to the high court.

Legal Incest

Swetnick had once been represented by the law firm of attorney Debra Katz, who represented Christine Blasey Ford. From the CNN website on September 26, 2018: “Two sources told CNN that Swetnick filed a sexual harassment complaint against a former employer a decade ago and was represented in the matter by a lawyer from Katz’s firm. Swetnick is currently represented by attorney Michael Avenatti, who rose to prominence earlier this year for representing Stormy Daniels. A source familiar with the matter confirmed that a lawyer at Katz’s firm did represent Swetnick, but that it was not Katz herself. The source said Katz never represented Swetnick and that the firm did not refer Swetnick to Avenatti for representation.”

Wow. I guess that settles that.

Soviet Style Unpersoning

The scam of 2018 was an opposition research dump made up of an unholy trinity. It was journalists working with lawyers and oppo researchers, who in turn were working with the lawyers and politicians. The whole thing was one reckless, self-perpetuating, toxic scrum. The left cast a net over the Washington metropolitan area (it included my high school yearbook). Anything they dragged up was used against us. I was called a drunk, a racist, a misogynist — even a fan of Benny Hill (guilty).

It was monstrous, the kind of thing that happens in totalitarian states. The people who set it up may go to jail or go to therapy or return to their high paying media jobs. They will also die without honor.

At his sentencing, Avenatti wept. “Your honor, I’ve learned that all the fame, notoriety and money in the world is meaningless. TV and Twitter, your honor, mean nothing,” he said. He then mentioned his three children, including two teenage daughters who wrote letters to the judge. “Every father wants their children to be proud of them. I want mine to be ashamed. Because if they are ashamed, it means their moral compass is exactly where it should be.”

Avenatti needs to turn to Jesus. His demons, I’m afraid, are quite literal.

 

Mark Judge is a writer and filmmaker in Washington, D.C.

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