Disgraced attorney and former CNN/MSNBC star Michael Avenatti is defending himself on charges of wire fraud and identity theft arising from his work on behalf of Stormy Daniels. A publisher paid good money for Daniels’s memoir Full Disclosure (written with a little help from Kevin Carr O’Leary). In the book’s introductory note, Avenatti vouches for Stormy: “She doesn’t try to pretend to be something she isn’t…That is very refreshing. And it is something to be cherished.”

The much anticipated cross-examination of Stormy by Avenatti is in process in federal district court in Manhattan. The Daily Mail has a long account with the tabloid highlights and its own transcript of the cross-examination including this classic exchange:

Avenatti: Didn’t you tell the New York Times that watching me work was like watching the Sistine Chapel painted?

Stormy Daniels: That’s that you told me to say.

Cherish that! I take it from the Daily Mail account that Avenatti cast doubt on the credibility of his former client. Say it isn’t so! The exchange quoted above nevertheless has the ring of authenticity, to say the least. The distasteful Daily Mail story reminds me of Henry Kissinger’s comment on the Iran-Iraq war: “It’s a pity they both can’t lose.”

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