Damage control marches on for Stormy Daniels‘ attorney Michael Avenatti after a California judge on Tuesday awarded more than $200,000 to President Donald Trump and hit Daniels with sanctions. Avenatti, who has received his share of criticism for this development, has responded to those critics by making a bold prediction: Stormy won’t have to pay a dime.
“[Charles] Harder and Trump both have problems with the truth. They received less than one half what they asked for because the request was gross and excessive,” Avenatti told Law&Crime. “Stormy will never half to pay a dime because they owe her over $1 million in attorney’s fees and costs from the main NDA case, especially in light of Cohen’s guilty plea.”
Avenatti did tweet something along these lines as well, but it appears he has removed the tweet for the time being. The tweet, which mentioned Trump and his for personal attorney Michael Cohen, said the following:
Stormy will never have to pay the felon Cohen or Trump a single dime in attorney’s fees, costs or sanctions. The award is dwarfed by the $1.5 million award to be issued in NDA case – the main case where Cohen and Trump have been lying to the court and the public. #Criminals
In another deleted tweet from earlier, Avenatti asked how being ordered to pay near $300,000 was a Trump win:
Charles Harder and Trump deserve each other because they are both dishonest. If Stormy has to pay $300k to Trump in the defamation case (which will never hold up on appeal) and Trump has to pay Stormy $1,500,000 in the NDA case (net $1,200,000 to Stormy), how is this a Trump win?
It’s worth mentioning that this tweet mentioned an appeal. We’ll come back to that in a moment.
In case you missed it, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero ruled on Wednesday that Daniels will have to pay $292,052.33 because the case “should have been litigated much more efficiently.” Otero also ordered an additional $1,000 in sanctions against Daniels, noting that sanctions are meant “to deter frivolous [lawsuits].”
Trump attorney Charles Harder said a prior order to dismiss the defamation suit and this order to pay up “together constitute a total victory for the President, and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels in this case.”
As we alluded to in the opening, Avenatti has been criticized for this outcome, particularly in light of the recent Daniels claim that Avenatti filed a lawsuit against her wishes.
“He has spoken on my behalf without my approval. He filed a defamation case against Donald Trump against my wishes. He repeatedly refused to tell me how my legal defense fund was being spent,” she told the Daily Beast. “Now he has launched a new crowdfunding campaign using my face and name without my permission and attributing words to me that I never wrote or said.”
“I am and have always been Stormy’s biggest champion,” Avenatti responded to that story. “I have personally sacrificed an enormous amount of money, time and energy toward assisting her because I believe in her.”
With that situation in mind, some have raised the question as to whether Avenatti will rack up more losses by attempting an appeal.
When your best-case scenario is "sure I just lost my client $300,000, but when win the UPCOMING case (which we haven't won yet but trust me we will) we'll be ahead, all things considered!" you are engaging in some truly next-level spin. pic.twitter.com/TbX9YHbSjP
— Jeff B. (@EsotericCD) December 11, 2018
I sure hope @StormyDaniels gets competent legal advice about that planned appeal from the anti-SLAPP ruling, because in the very probable event she loses, she pays Trump’s attorney fees on appeal, too.
— ThankYouForNotSmockingHat (@Popehat) December 11, 2018
Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.
[Image via NBC screengrab]