Tag Archives: Michael

U.S. lawyer Michael Avenatti gets trial date on charges of stealing from ex-client

U.S. lawyer Michael Avenatti gets trial date on charges of stealing from ex-clientLawyer Michael Avenatti, who became nationally known as an outspoken critic of U.S. President Donald Trump before his arrest earlier this year, will stand trial in April on charges that he stole from his former client Stormy Daniels, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts set the April 21 trial date at a brief hearing in Manhattan federal court. Avenatti, 48, was arrested in New York in March.



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Michael Avenatti Takes Stormy Daniels to Court for Millions in Legal Backpay

Michael Avenatti Takes Stormy Daniels to Court for Millions in Legal BackpayPhoto Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastEmbattled lawyer Michael Avenatti is taking legal action against his ex-client Stormy Daniels for $ 2 million in legal fees from their infamous “hush agreement” lawsuit against President Donald Trump. Avenatti, who currently faces federal criminal charges set for trial next month, filed an attorney’s lien on Thursday. It alleges that despite “repeated demands that Ms. Daniels fulfill her contractual obligations and pay for the millions in legal fees and costs she has enjoyed for her benefit over the last approximate 19 months, including in this case, she has refused.”Avenatti, 48, claims the porn star refuses to pay up because she is a “celebrity,” and is therefore “entitled to free legal services and costs” and to “manufacture and fabricate facts designed to impugn the reputation of her counsel and falsely accuse him of a multitude of acts.”“But the law does not work that way Ms. Daniels wishes,” reads the court filing, filed in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Ohio.“I look forward to the facts and the truth about what really happened coming to light," Avenatti told The Daily Beast when reached for comment. His lawyer, Tom Warren, added: “Mr. Avenatti did an enormous amount of high quality legal work for Ms. Daniels under intense pressure and scrutiny. He made significant personal sacrifices for her benefit. He deserves to be paid by her, not criticized.”Daniels and her lawyer did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. The porn actress and Avenatti became household names in January 2018 after filing a lawsuit to nullify a “hush agreement” Daniels made with then-candidate Trump and his former fixer Michael Cohen just before the election. Since then, the two had a very public falling out back in May, and Avenatti has been hounded by legal troubles and currently faces federal charges in two states. In California, prosecutors alleged he stole $ 300,000 from Daniels and spent it on flights, hotels, restaurant deliveries, and to bankroll his law firm. And a New York grand jury indicted him in March for allegedly trying to extort Nike for $ 25 million.Avenatti’s court filing this week alleges the initial February 2018 retainer agreement he made with Daniels was for “$ 100 up-front payment,” prompting his firm to spend “thousands of attorney and staff hours, and a significant out-of-pocket-expenses.” During his retention, Avenatti said he bailed Daniels out of jail “following her arrest in Columbus Ohio in July 2018” after a strip-club brawl and led the “successful efforts” to have the charges dropped.“Despite the significance of his work, Ms. Daniels has yet to directly pay a single dollar to Mr. Avenatti or Avenatti & Associates, APC for their legal services beyond the $ 100.00 she initially paid back in 2018,” the lien states. “Ms. Daniels is required to pay her lawyers.” Avenatti has previously told The Daily Beast that “any and all other monies raised via a legal fund would go toward my legal fees and costs.” Daniels and Avenatti alleged in her lawsuit, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, that Cohen paid her $ 130,000 during the 2016 campaign to stay quiet about an affair she had with then-reality TV star Trump a decade before he ran for office (the president admits to the payoff but denies the sexual tryst). The payoff allegations ultimately led to a federal investigation charging Cohen with eight campaign-finance violations. He pleaded guilty in August, admitting he made illegal payments at Trump’s direction, and was sentenced to three years behind bars.But, in May, a little over a year after that lawsuit was filed, Daniels and Avenatti announced their split in a pair of tweets.“I have retained Clark Brewster as my personal lawyer and have asked him and his firm to review all legal matters involving me,” Daniels wrote. “Upon completion of Mr. Brewster's review and further consultation with me, I anticipate Mr. Brewster will serve as my primary counsel on all legal issues.” Less than 15 minutes later, Avenatti responded with his own statement claiming he terminated his relationship with Daniels in February but would not disclose the reasons due to “attorney-client privilege.”In his new legal action, Avenatti says he decided to cut ties after “Daniels became increasingly difficult, uncooperative, erratic, and unpredictable, and began falsely accusing people closely aligned with her (but not Mr. Avenatti) of theft without any legitimate basis.”“Ms. Daniels’ false accusations in some instances were targeted at friends of 20 years and her private security detail,” the filing alleges. The letter states the firm also decided to sever ties after “prior false accusations (which you chose to make public before communicating them to me—I found out from a reporter)” and Daniels’ “general lack of appreciation for our work and the thousands of hours we have devoted to you, which we have largely done for free at great expense to me and my firm.”Avenatti concluded in the letter that the firm did not intend to make “any public announcement relation to our decision to no longer represent” Daniels and thanked her for the opportunity to serve as her counsel.Michael Avenatti Indicted on 36 Counts by Federal Grand JuryStormy Daniels’ ‘Gay Dads’ Back Lawyer Michael Avenatti in Latest DramaStormy Daniels Files Defamation Lawsuit Against TrumpThis story has been updated to reflect the correct date of the lawsuit’s filing.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Michael Flynn's attorney alleges government cover up, while prosecutors leave open possibility of prison

Michael Flynn's attorney alleges government cover up, while prosecutors leave open possibility of prisonMichael Flynn's attorney accused the government of withholding evidence as prosecutors push for sentencing date.



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Michael Flynn says he is not ready to be sentenced, U.S. says he is ready

Michael Flynn says he is not ready to be sentenced, U.S. says he is readyFlynn’s lawyers lodged their objections to the government’s conduct in a joint status report filed on Friday with the Washington, D.C., federal court. Lawyers for the government countered that Flynn is ready for sentencing, perhaps as soon as Oct. 21. Both sides agreed that Flynn’s cooperation with various government probes is finished.



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Michael Bennet slams DNC over debate qualification rules: Process is ‘stifling debate’

Michael Bennet slams DNC over debate qualification rules: Process is ‘stifling debate’Democratic presidential candiate Sen. Michael Bennet told delegates at a DNC meeting that the rules for qualifying for the party's primary debates are “stifling debate at a time when we need it most."



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Tennessee executes Stephen Michael West by electric chair

Tennessee executes Stephen Michael West by electric chairStephen Michael West was sentenced to death for the 1986 stabbing deaths of Wanda Romines, 51, and her 15-year-old daughter, Sheila Romines.



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Michael Brown's father seeks new investigation into killing

Michael Brown's father seeks new investigation into killingOn the fifth anniversary of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, his father urged St. Louis County's top prosecutor Friday to reopen the investigation into the white police officer who fatally shot the black and unarmed 18-year-old. Before a memorial service in the Ferguson street where a white police officer fatally shot his son on Aug. 9, 2014, Michael Brown Sr. addressed reporters outside of the St. Louis County Justice Center in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton. "Justice has not been served," Brown, 41, said as he was flanked by about three dozen supporters.



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Court docs show Hope Hicks in contact with Michael Cohen during hush-money discussions

Court docs show Hope Hicks in contact with Michael Cohen during hush-money discussionsPotentially contradicting her congressional testimony, Hicks might have been present for discussions about hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels.



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Michael Flynn’s Ex-Business Partner Points the Finger at Him in Court

Michael Flynn’s Ex-Business Partner Points the Finger at Him in CourtPhoto Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/GettyIf there is a question of who worked on behalf of the Turkish government to influence the 2016 Donald Trump campaign, then the court should look no further than former national security adviser Michael Flynn, lawyers for Bijan Kian, the Iranian-American businessman and former Flynn partner, told jurors in the Eastern District of Virginia Monday. Kian is charged with two felonies—illegally lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government and conspiring covertly to influence U.S. politics about Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who is now living in Pennsylvania. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted. But Kian’s team of attorneys said in their opening statements Monday that their client “did not conspire with anyone” to work on behalf of the Turkish government in the U.S. When questioning the Turkish government’s influence operations in the U.S., the jury should look at the newly announced cache of evidence the government has on Flynn, said attorney Bob Trout. Kian isn’t referenced in any of it, Trout said. Michael Flynn Putting Mueller Deal at Risk in ‘Dangerous’ New TrialIn the opening statements Monday the Kian legal team spent the majority of their time arguing that their client did not work on behalf of the Turkish government when he attempted to influence public opinion in the U.S. about Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. Gulen currently lives in Pennsylvania and is wanted by the Turkish government for allegedly planning a military coup in the country in 2016. Kian instead worked on behalf of a Turkish-Dutch businessman named Ekim Alptekin, Trout said. (Alptekin is named as a defendant in the Kian case but will likely avoid appearance because he is living in Istanbul.) Toward the end of his statements, Trout tried to create a degree of separation between Kian and Flynn who is currently awaiting sentencing in Washington for crimes carried out during his time working with the Trump team. He pointed to the government’s evidence, which was mentioned in a hearing last week, and said that prosecutors had all but conceded that Kian was not involved. The jurors have not seen the evidence yet and the details of what the government currently has in its position is unclear.According to a government indictment filed last year, Flynn and Kian worked together throughout the fall of 2016, when Flynn was an advisor to then candidate Trump, on a project to try and extradite Gulen back to Turkey. Prosecutors said the two took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Turkish government to execute the plan. Flynn was also at the time accused of lying about his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. He entered into a cooperation deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and admitted to lying about the communications and about his consulting firm’s business with the Turkish government. He said that the registration he filed for the Turkey-focused project in 2017 contained several inaccuracies, though his lawyers maintain that Flynn did not intentionally lie on the documents. As part of his deal with the government, Flynn was supposed to testify against Kian and his sentencing in Washington was postponed so he could appear as a witness in Virginia.That all changed last week when the government removed Flynn from the witness list and instead named him as a co-conspirator in the case. The government also said it had extensive information that the Turkish government attempted to influence the Trump campaign through Flynn. It was the first mention of an additional set of materials that show how Flynn was being extensively involved in the Turkish lobbying.It’s that evidence that lies at the heart of who really committed the crime of illegally lobbying for Turkey, Kian’s lawyers said Monday. Kian “didn’t know” about the alleged separate communications between Alptekin and Flynn that are in the government’s possession, Trout said.For its part, the government in its opening statement barely mentioned the former national security adviser, instead referring several times to Kian’s business team members as “associates.” The government focused on Kian’s email correspondences, including with Flynn, about the Gulen project and attempted to lay out for the jury how the money that flowed into Kian’s account for services rendered connected back to the Turkish government.After nearly an hour and a half of opening statements, both of which were at times tangled and difficult to follow, the jury seemed to fade by 5:30 p.m. Several individuals closed their eyes and appeared to be sleeping.They’re due back in court Tuesday morning for testimony, including evidence to be entered into the record and for witness examinations.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. 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Michael Knowles says media, politicians are turning a blind eye to attacks on conservatives

Michael Knowles says media, politicians are turning a blind eye to attacks on conservativesConservative journalist Andy Ngo attacked at Antifa rally in Portland; reaction from Michael Knowles, host of 'The Michael Knowles Show.'



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