Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels, lashed out at legal experts who were concerned that he might have been mismanaging his representation of dozens of illegal immigrants against the Trump administration.
Here's what they're saying
Avenatti patted himself on the back after Michael Cohen plead guilty to charges relating to the payment he made to Avenatti's client in order to keep her extramarital affair with then-candidate Trump out of the headlines. But he lashed out angrily at experts who criticized his handling of another potentially controversial case.
“[T]hose of us who have been in the trenches are uniform in our concern about the way he is handling cases," said immigration attorney Matthew Kolken of Buffalo, New York. He told Yahoo News that he's met with about a dozen attorneys specializing in immigration and “there’s been pretty much a meeting of the minds.”
“For experts in the field, it feels like we’re watching a Holiday Inn Express commercial,” Kolken explained.
“Obviously the reunification of the child is of paramount concern,” he added. “But reuniting parent and child in the place that they fled because of unspeakable violence isn’t necessarily the answer either.”
Legal experts who spoke their concerns to Yahoo News admitted that the criticism was not based on a detailed review of the cases Avenatti has undertaken, but based on his demeanor in taking them up.
“Kudos to him for trying to help, but the reality is you’ve got to help in the way that is beneficial to the child and not the system,” said former AILA president and immigration lawyer Charles Kuck.
“If all you want to do is deport kids," he added, "you’re basically doing Jeff Sessions’ job.”
'Talking out of their a**, and I resent it'
Avenatti's response to the concerns from legal experts was characteristically brash and dismissive.
“They’re completely talking out of their a**, and I resent it,” he told Yahoo News. He also turned the tables his critics and accused them of what they were criticizing him for, saying they were using the immigrant children “to further their own larger legislative and policy goals.”
He also said the concerns were "ridiculous" and were being raised by "hacks" who “know nothing about my cases. Nothing. Zero.”
Avenatti has been a fiery critic of the president, and has admitted that he's considering a run for the presidency as a Democrat in 2020.