Convict, former lawyer Michael Avenatti indicates willingness to testify for Trump in hush money trial

By Sarah May on
 April 21, 2024

All eyes will be on a Manhattan courtroom this week as the hush money trial of former President Donald Trump gets underway in earnest.

According to the New York Post, there could be one unusual twist that few saw coming, given that disgraced former Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti has revealed his willingness to testify on Trump's behalf and his ongoing contact with the former president's defense team.

Avenatti steps forward

Once known as one of Donald Trump's most outspoken critics, Avenatti has recently revealed that he could play a role in the former president's business records case taking place in New York.

According to Avenatti, he has been in frequent touch with Trump's legal team and is prepared to testify against Daniels, whom he once represented.

Currently serving a nearly two-decade prison term in California for a host of financial fraud crimes, Avenatti told the Post, “The defense has contacted me.”

“I'd be more than happy to testify. I don't know that I will be called to testify, but I have been in touch with Trump's defense for the better part of a year,” he added.

Dramatic reversal

Though he once made public calls for Trump to be criminally indicted, Avenatti has changed his take on the former president's situation in recent years, as evidenced by his eagerness now to aid in his defense.

“There's no question [Trump's trial] is politically motivated because they're concerned that he may be reelected,” Avenatti opined.

He went on, “If the defendant was anyone other than Donald Trump, this case would not have been brought at this time, and for the government to attempt to bring this case and convict him in an effort to prevent tens of millions of people from voting for him, I think it's just flat out wrong, and atrocious.”

Offering his predictions about what Trump's mounting legal troubles could mean in an electoral sense, Avenatti added, “I'm really bothered by the fact that Trump, in my view, has been targeted.”

“Four cases is just over the top and I think there's a significant chance that this is going to all backfire and is going to propel him to the White House,” he stated.

Clash of the felons

If Avenatti were to provide testimony on behalf of Trump, it would set the stage for a bizarre battle of convicted felons, given that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is expected to rely heavily on the testimony of another disgraced former lawyer, Michael Cohen, as NBC News notes.

Once an attorney working directly for Trump, Cohen has since turned on his former boss and has done prison time for admittedly lying to Congress.

Precisely how jurors might assess the credibility of these two men remains to be seen, though the widely assumed liberal-leaning nature of the panel may militate in favor of Bragg's case against Trump regardless of what is actually said from the stand.

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