If American law were a poker game, Michael Avenatti would be a master card shark while Trump and his allies were busy screaming “GO FISH!” at a pile of Uno cards.
On Wednesday, Avenatti played his latest hand in his ongoing defamation case against President Donald Trump on behalf of his client, Stephanie “Stormy Daniels” Clifford, when he confirmed that the president’s voice could be heard on tapes recorded by his personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
“We had Nixon tapes years ago, and now we have Trump tapes,” Avenatti told MSNBC host Craig Melvin on Wednesday.
After a federal district court hearing in Trump’s New York City hometown, Avenatti demanded Cohen release audio tapes which reportedly relate to Clifford’s case against the president.
Avenatti argues that there is public interest in the release of the tapes beyond his case, as he elaborated to Melvin:
“These tapes relate directly to the conduct of the president’s right-hand attorney, relate directly to issues considering my client, attorney-client privileges that were disclosed by Mr. Cohen improperly by her prior counsel. And also, we have every reason to believe that the tapes include communications between Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen that don’t have anything to do with the rendering of legal advice. So those are not privileged communications.”
Melvin inquired whether Clifford’s voice appeared on the tapes, which Avenatti confirmed she is not.
“The president’s voice is on the tapes?” Melvin then inquired.
“That’s our understanding,” Avenatti replied. “My client’s voice is not on the tapes, to the best of our knowledge. My client’s attorney’s voice is on the tapes, describing communications that he had with my client, which he should have never been disclosing, because that was privileged information. This whole thing appears to stink.”
Avenatti also points out that he doesn’t know why Cohen chose to make these recordings, a move he called “not very smart,” though it would be a fun challenge to comb through the last year of the Trump administration and find someone capable of intelligence.
As a final note, Melvin asks about the parallel Avenatti draws from these tapes to the Nixon tapes of White House scandals gone by.
“You recognize that’s a pretty startling assertion to a lot of folks watching?” Melvin asks.
Avenatti begins with a simple, “Let’s release the tapes,” before delivering a lengthy monologue featuring all of the questions Trump has left to answer, from shady financial dealings to the decision to discuss Clifford’s case outside of the court room and record it.
It will surprise no one but the dense skulls of the alt-right when Avenatti goes down in history as one of the greatest and most cunning attorneys of all time. Thus far, Avenatti’s efforts to get his client out of a non-disclosure contract have unveiled numerous seedy dealings between Trump and his co-conspirators.
As Whitney Houston once said, “Show me the receipts!” Unlike Trump and his merry band of buffoons, Avenatti has a paper trail longer than a CVS receipt.
And he’s just getting started.
Watch Avenatti’s expert teardown here: