Avenatti Just Sent A Tweet About Trump That Has The Donald Ready To Go AWOL

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This past week, the law caught up to the Trump team. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and former Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort both left court rooms as guilty men — and lawyer Michael Avenatti wants to see exactly how Donald Trump himself may fit into that mess.

Avenatti represents Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who says she had a brief affair with the man who is now president some years ago. They sued Trump and Cohen earlier this year over hush money meant to cover that relationship, alleging that the arrangement was legally invalid. Now, Avenatti is seeking to kick that lawsuit back into high gear.

He’s emboldened in his efforts by Cohen recently pleading guilty to campaign finance law violations. His crimes included facilitating the secret $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels with the aim of influencing the 2016 presidential election in his boss’ favor. (He was also part of an illegal deal to buy up former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story. She also had an affair, she says, with Donald Trump.)

Thursday, Avenatti wrote on Twitter, including a copy of the motion he mentions:

‘We will be moving quickly to have the court rule on this pending motion seeking depositions of Cohen & Trump and an expedited trial. The American people deserve to know the truth about the conduct of Trump and his cover-up. And we intend on disclosing it.

Avenatti has already sought Cohen and Trump’s testimony, but those efforts never came to fruition — yet, at least. His entire lawsuit was put on hold in the face of the revelation of a government criminal investigation into Cohen, who so far got out of testimony in the Daniels/Avenatti case via pleading the Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination.

That government investigation, though, has now concluded. Cohen pleading guilty to campaign finance law violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud represented that end; he’s now facing multiple possible years in prison.

In the process of his guilty plea, he implicated the president. He asserted to a court this week that he carried out some of his illegal activity at the direction of Donald Trump.

The president responded by asserting (on Twitter) that — to sum up — crimes aren’t crimes.

He said:

‘Michael Cohen plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime.’

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If he really believes as much, then he should in theory have no problem being questioned as part of the Avenatti/Daniels case. There are no doubt very few, though, who believe that Trump will rush to offer his take on the situation under oath. He’s avoided speaking to Special Counsel for the Russia investigation Robert Mueller for months, after all.

The only option that former federal prosecutor Harry Sandick sees letting the president avoid testimony is him pleading the Fifth. As a rule, though, presidents can’t get out of testifying in court cases involving non-governmental matters just because they’re the president. So in the future — depending on how Avenatti’s efforts go — we may see the president sit down for questioning as part of the hush money case.

Twitter largely supports Avenatti.

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