Four years ago, some Democrats expressed hope that outspoken attorney Michael Avenatti could be on his way to the White House.
Yet instead of going to Washington, a federal judge in California made clear that the disgraced lawyer is headed off to prison.
No reprieve for Avenatti
According to the Daily Caller, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna sentenced Avenatti to 14 years in prison on Monday.
That ruling came after Avenatti pleaded guilty in June to four wire counts of wire fraud along with one count of tax evasion.
Suspended lawyer Michael John Avenatti has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for defrauding his clients and for obstructing IRS efforts to collect payroll taxes from his coffee business.
— US Attorney L.A. (@USAO_LosAngeles) December 5, 2022
A Department of Justice (DOJ) press release from 2019 explained that Avenatti had originally been charged with 36 offenses, although CNN reported that prosecutors dropped 31 charges after a plea agreement was reached in June.
That was the same month Avenatti was sentenced to four years in prison for wire fraud and defrauding former client Stormy Daniels of some $300,000.
“In imposing the 14-year sentence, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna ordered that Avenatti’s term of imprisonment run consecutive to sentences totaling five years previously imposed in two federal cases in the Southern District of New York,” a tweet from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California explained.
Avenatti once hailed as “breath of fresh air” for Democrat Party
Avenatti’s sentencing this week was a clear sign of how high he has fallen since once being regarded as a Democratic presidential contender.
Vice News reported in 2018 that Avenatti was approached in 2018 by Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon about campaigning for candidates in the Badger State.
“He’s definitely got a message, and I think Democrats need to hear about being tough,” Dillon told Vice News at an event in Chicago where Avenatti made an appearance.
“He’s certainly, I think, somebody who is giving the president fits and has been someone who’s been fighting, so you know I’d be interested to hear what he has to say and I’m sure a lot of people in Michigan would as well,” Dillon went on to add.
Diane Robertson served as a deputy finance chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and she praised Avenatti as well, calling him “a breath of fresh air.”
However, others who attended the event were more skeptical. DNC member James Zogby said, “Being a celebrity lawyer is cool, but it’s not presidential timber.”