2018 came and went, and yet Donald Trump Jr., the son of President Donald Trump, has not been publicly indicted, contrary to a prediction by attorney Michael Avenatti. Nonetheless, the lawyer is the doubling down yet again on the claim, and suggested on Tuesday via Twitter that Trump Jr. has been indicted — but that the indictment is sealed.
To all of the rocket scientists trying to call me out for allegedly being “wrong” on the @DonaldJTrumpJr (Biff) indictment, please type the following words into google – “sealed indictment.”
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) January 1, 2019
Avenatti did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment seeking more information on how he’s bolstering his claim. Law&Crime has no way to verify whether a sealed indictment exists against Trump Jr. (That’s the point — if it exists, no one officially knows about it.)
“I don’t just pop off and make bold predictions without knowing what I am talking about,” Avenatti told us in November. “The last 8 months has proven that time and time again.”
He didn’t let this go. On Monday (Trump Jr.’s birthday, and the final day of the year), Avenatti called Trump Jr. out on Twitter.
.@DonaldJTrumpJr (aka Biff): Can you please confirm that you are about to be indicted and have been notified of your pending indictment? If I have any of that wrong, please chime in.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) December 31, 2018
I was ready pic.twitter.com/i4uYd249r5
— Griswold Christmas Vacation (@HashtagGriswold) January 1, 2019
Special counsel Robert Mueller‘s office is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, and that includes whether the Trump campaign was involved with any interference. U.S. intelligence officials said in a report declassified in January 2017 that the Kremlin directed efforts to help the president win.
Trump Jr. famously admitted to meeting a Russian lawyer amid the campaign after being promised dirt on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but only after he gave different accounts to The New York Times.
Mueller’s team charged several in Trump’s orbit, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort (for financial crimes), and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (for lying to the FBI regarding communications with the Russian ambassador). Yet no one in Trump’s family has been charged (assuming there isn’t a sealed indictment). That includes Jr., a campaign surrogate and one of his father’s biggest public promoters.
The existence of actual sealed indictments have sparked rumors before in the Mueller probe.
The president and his spokespeople deny wrongdoing, and call the Mueller probe a “witch hunt” by Democrats angry about losing the 2016 election. Avenatti established himself as a possible candidate in the upcoming Dem primary for 2020, but backed out, citing a request from his family. That decision came after an arrest in November where Avenatti was accused of attacking a woman. He denied the claim, and the case was moved to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office to be reviewed for a potential misdemeanor case.
There is no love lost between Avenatti and Jr. The lawyer challenged the president’s son to an MMA match for charity.
Matt Naham contributed to this report.
[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]