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Avenatti In Daniels Case Gets 30 Months On Top of Nike Sentence Next Is California Trial

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 2 – Michael Avenatti was up for sentencing on June 2 following his conviction at trial in the Stormy Daniels case. Inner City Press live tweeted it, thread here:

OK - now Avenatti sentencing in Stormy Daniels case. He is in Courtroom 318 in prison beige.

Next to Avenatti is Federal Defender Robert Baum, whose personal "I sold hot dogs at the ballpark" story Avenatti repackaged as his own (or, about this father) - US sentencing memo cited Inner City Press video.

Judge Furman: Just speak into the microphone Mr. Baum. Federal Defender Baum introduces his team. Dalack is not here; others are.

Judge Furman: I recently tested negative for COVID-19 so I'm taking my mask off, under our rules. I have reviewed the submissions

Judge Furman: My understanding is Ms. Daniels' lawyer will speak, Mr. Brewster. Any objections, beyond to the guidelines calculation? Baum: There is one more issue, we didn't raise it because our client was in transit and we couldn't speak to him.

Judge Furman: I'm not required to follow the sentencing guidelines in the wake of US v. Booker and its progeny. But here the range is 65 to 75 months. Mr. Avenatti argues that he made Ms. Daniels whole. I find that argument meritless.

Judge Furman:  The evidence at trial indicated that Mr. Avenatti gave the third book payment to Ms. Daniels to forestall imminent discovery of his crime... I reject Mr Avenatti's argument that the loss amount was $148,000. That takes US statement out of context.

Baum: May I be heard? Judge Furman: If it's on the issues I just resolved, no. But go ahead.  Baum:  It's the amount of money he returned that it is issue. Their 3d Circuit decision in Fumo has not been followed in the 2d.

Now Assistant US Attorney: When you strip away the large personalities at trial and the media aspects, it's a very personal and sorry story. Ms. Daniels trusted Mr. Avenatti deeply, he was involved in her life in a very intimate way

AUSA: Ms. Daniels took pride in her book and the money meant a good deal to her. She felt pride. She was going to buy a home and move away from her ex husband. So it was a personal betrayal, over 8 months.

AUSA: It's critical in our society that people can trust their attorney. But in the Nike case we saw what Mr. Avenatti did to his client [Goeff] Johnson. We think a mandatory minimum sentence would not be sufficient.

Judge Furman: Do you want to speak to the search condition recommended by Probation? AUSA: We'll defer to Probation's wisdom.

Judge Furman: And not to my wisdom? (Laughs). Mr. Baum? Baum: Ms. Giwa will make the 3553(a) presentation.

Judge Furman: I have a question, What is Mr Avenatti apologizing for in his letter to Ms. Daniels? If it's the same as he said at trial, it's too little too late. I understand he intends to appeal and so doesn't want to confess to the crimes. But he gets no credit

First, Baum on the search condition. Baum: This language they propose is for sex offenses. Mr. Avenatti is not charged with that. As I'm apt to do, I did the research. I cited the 2d Circuit case US v. Myers. They said they'll carefully scrutinize such conditions

Federal Defender Giwa: Here in the court are friends of Mr. Avenatti. His family couldn't come due to being immuno-compromised. But they are awaiting your decision. Their support continues for him. We're asking for 36 months and one day.

 Giwa: Mr. Avenatti had a difficult childhood. He still bears the scars. He developed an outstanding work ethics. He started at 15. He's now 51. He held jobs as a teenager. He put himself through law school, by himself.

Giwa: Mr. Avenatti fought for the underdog. He won large settlements. After a career like that, the fact that Mr. Avenatti will never practice law is really tragic to him. It is the consequence of what has happened here.

 Giwa: Mr. Avenatti will never again have clients. Future harm just doesn't exist. He is already incarcerated, and future incarceration is a certainty.

 Judge Furman: Mr. Avenatti, this is your opportunity. Avenatti: I made a series of mistakes...

Avenatti: I deserve just punishment. I stand by the sincerity of my letter to Ms. Daniels. I will never practice law again. I will forever be branded a "disgraced lawyer" and worse. I may never recover any semblance of a normal life or peace. (Sniffles)

Avenatti: Much has been written about my conduct. Some true, much false. [Will he address the stolen story about selling hog dogs?]

 Avenatti: I delivered over a billion dollars in settlements. Oftentimes I took no fees. These cases included representing thousands of Jewish families whose relatives were dug up in a mass grave in California - $85 million settlement to provide them some peace.

Avenatti: I represented 1000s of investors in a $200 million Ponzi scheme. I represented sexual abuse victims of RKelly

Avenatti: I received many awards. This does not excuse my conduct in this case. I represented Ms Daniels because she was an underdog. I believed we could take down a sitting American president who was the single biggest threat to American democracy in modern times

Avenatti: There are only five lawyers in America today who understood what representing a client like that costs. Those who think I benefited are mistaken. Also, the conditions in the MCC - I was in 10 South, reserved for terrorists. I was next to them.

Avenatti: During the first 48 years of my life I was never arrested. I should never have been subjected to the torture of 10 South. I know I can be loving again. Thank you, your Honor. Judge Furman: Thank you. Mr. Brewster? Brewster: I represent Ms. Daniels

 Brewster: The prosecutors exposed a person who was manipulative and deceitful. Our system works. I don't know who Mr. Avenatti says are the five you could take on Ms. Daniels' case - but I believe I am one of them.

Baum objects to Brewster introjecting himself into Daniels' statement, and Judge Furman agrees, says stick to Ms. Daniels' statement. Brewster: Avenatti failed to work on her case in Texas.

 Brewster is done. Judge Furman: This is a tragic case, or to use Mr. Podolsky's words, a sorry case. There is more to Mr. Avenatti than this conduct. His handling of this trial shows he has legal skills, despite my taking issue with some of his conduct.

Judge Furman: Blind ambition led him to this conduct, brazenly lying to his clients and defaming them when they had the audacity to challenge him. Still I think a guidelines sentence would be excessive.

Judge Furman: This case will send a message to lawyers that if you got astray, you will lose your liberty. I gave Mr. Avenatti to elaborate on his acceptance of responsibility. But he didn't address it. The letter is too little, too late.

Judge Furman: A four year sentence, some but not all consecutive with the Nike case sentence, will be appropriate. Giving Mr. Avenatti an additional thirty months is what I am imposing. You are remanded for 48 months - 18 concurrent to the Nike case

Judge Furman: Also three years of supervised release and a search condition for his electronic communications. You will pay restitution of $148,000 through the Clerk of this Court, for payment to Ms. Daniels. No interest on it, you cannot afford it.

Judge Furman: The sentence as stated is imposed. I hope that the day of further crimes is over. If you are convicted in California too, I hope after that you use your skills to help your daughters and son and others. I hope you don't come back in front of me.

Baum: We ask for designation to FCI Sheridan, in Oregon. But we ask that this restitution come after the Nike restitution.

AUSA: Nike asked that theirs come last. But Judge Gardephe determined that wasn't possible. Judge Furman: How much was that? Baum: $250,000.

Judge Furman: Any notice of appeal must be filed within 14 days. Mr. Baum is in the final days of 50 years of a stories career as a Federal Defender. [Still his personal Shea Stadium hot dog story not mentioned

Baum: Can you order he be returned to Terminal Island where his legal papers are?

 Judge Furman: I'll convey it to the Marshals. We stand adjourned.


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