LA Times Exposé on Avenatti's 'Reckless Venality' Fails to Mention Role in Kavanaugh Hearings

March 27, 2019

The Los Angeles Times has published a lengthy exposé on disgraced trial lawyer and former Democratic presidential frontrunner Michael Avenatti, who was recently arrested on federal charges of extortion and fraud.

The Times report details Avenatti's extensive history of financial misdeeds (e.g., rampant tax evasion, stealing his own client's settlement money), lavish spending (e.g., $217,000 at Neiman Marcus, $36,762 to lease a Ferrari), and his "reckless venality" in pursuit of the media spotlight (e.g., the Stormy Daniels fiasco).

The report makes no mention, however, of the role Avenatti played in the controversy surrounding Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court in 2018. Just as Kavanaugh's nomination appeared in peril after Christine Blasey Ford testified that he sexually assaulted her in high school, Avenatti aggressively inserted himself into the situation by promoting a series of outlandish allegations of sexual misconduct, including gang rape, against Kavanaugh.

The national media dutifully gave Avenatti copious air time to discuss the new unsubstantiated allegations, including those of his client, Julie Swetnik, who had a dubious legal past, and ultimately walked back most of her accusations in an interview with NBC News, including the alleged gang rape, contradicting the sworn statement she delivered to Congress.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) eventually referred Avenatti and Swetnik to the Justice Department for criminal investigation into "a potential conspiracy to provide materially false statements to Congress and obstruct a congressional committee investigation."

Some Democrats blamed Avenatti for salvaging Kavanaugh's nomination. The lawyer's antics, and his client's spurious allegations, "muddied the waters" and detracted from Blasey Ford's compelling testimony, giving tentative Republican senators more reason to support Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Editor's Note: Michael Avenatti was a 2018 Free Beacon Man of the Year.