According to insiders, Democrats are growing “increasingly anxious” about the role Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti is playing in the promotion of allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Business Insider reports that multiple Democratic congressional aides have told them that lawmakers fear that Avenatti, who has announced that he’s interested in a presidential run in 2020, is becoming a “distraction” in the campaign to thwart Kavanaugh’s nomination, while some Democratic senators have publicly indicated that they’re uneasy with his role in the allegations.
“Multiple Democratic congressional aides told Business Insider they worried that while they wanted to fully investigate Swetnick’s claims, they viewed the connection to Avenatti as an unnecessary distraction that only gave more ammunition to Republicans looking to discredit his client,” Business Insider reports.
Sens. Tim Kaine, Jon Tester, and Dianne Feinstein all commented about Avenatti on the record to Business Insider, and the first two made clear they weren’t thrilled about his involvement. None of them were willing to express their confidence in him.
“Personally, I think he’s kind of a distraction,” Kaine told the outlet, stressing that he doesn’t know him personally. Tester admitted that Avenatti “wouldn’t have been my first pick,” and said he hoped that the celebrity lawyer wasn’t doing it for the “showbiz part.”
“Do I think he’s in it for the showbiz part? I hope not,” said Tester. “It’s too serious of a situation.”
Asked about Avenatti’s trustworthiness, Feinstein told Business Insider, “I don’t know.” But the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee dismissed the relevance of Avenatti’s involvement, maintaining that the only thing that matters are the claims of the accuser he represents, Julie Swetnick.
Avenatti continues to call for his client — whose credibility has come under increased fire amid multiple reports about her history of disputed allegations and legal claims — to be interviewed by the FBI: “We still have yet to hear anything from the FBI despite a new witness coming forward & submitting a declaration last night. We now have multiple witnesses that support the allegations and they are all prepared to be interviewed by the FBI. Trump’s ‘investigation’ is a scam,” he wrote, despite reports that Trump has remained hands-off of the investigation.
On Wednesday, Avenatti dropped another accusation from an unnamed source claiming to have witnessed Kavanaugh “spiking” the punch, as Swetnick initially alleged before walking it back in an interview with NBC News: