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In Stormy Daniels Trial Avenatti Grills Macias Who Got Him Garagos Loan, Proffer Deal Quiz

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Song Radio
BBC - Decrypt - Podcast - Order Affidavit

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 26 – Michael Avenatti's financial affidavit to get a publicly paid lawyer for his Stormy Daniels case, which Inner City Press formally sought to have unsealed for eleven months, were on July 27, 2021 ordered unsealed. Order.
Podcast here. Aug 13 podcast here.

  On the weekend before trial there's was a request to delay it, on COVID policy and Constitutional grounds. It was denied.

 The trial started on the morning of January 24. Inner City Press live tweet here. It continued in the afternoon, with Stormy Daniels' literary agency Lucas Janklow being cross examined about being introduced to Michael Avenatti at a hotel bar, by Anderson Cooper. Inner City Press live tweeted, thread here; stream here, video here

On January 25, the cross examination of Janklow continues, then an SDNY Special Agent and Avenatti law firm staffer. But in the middle, Federal Defenders said Avenatti may want to fire them and represent himself. Judge Furman said, Not so fast. Inner City Press live tweeted it, thread here

  In the afternoon of January 25, Avenatti confirmed he wants to represent himself and Judge Furman granted it. He will cross examine Stormy Daniels, then. Inner City Press live tweeted it, thread here and below.

On the morning of January 26, podcast here, Avenatti cross examined Regnier than an FBI agent. Inner City Press live tweeted, thread here.

 On the afternoon of January 26 Avenatti cross examined Sean Macias who hooked him up with Garagos, before those two double teamed Nike. Inner City Press live tweeted it, thread here:

OK - they're back from lunch. Next witness is Jeremy Rosenman of the US Attorney's Office. He prepared a visual financial summary for the case with bank records. AUSA: We offer Exhibits 104, 105 and 106.

Avenatti: Objection - hearsay. No foundation. Judge Furman: Admitted subject to connection. AUSA: Mr. Rosenman, what is this? Rosenman: A payment to Janklow & Nesbit for $250,000.
 AUSA: And this wire?

Rosenman: From Garagos and Garagos, for $250,000, in September 2018. AUSA: GX 301.. Could this account have made this transaction without receiving the wire? Avenatti: Objection! Calls for speculation! Judge Furman: Overruled.

 AUSA: What is this? Rosenman: A bank signature card. This is Passport 420 LLC. The signers are Avenatti and Regnier. This is a deposit of $3000. AUSA: GX 702, Page 3. How much other money was deposited? Rosenman: Only $50. AUSA: And what's this? Rosenman: And an insufficient funds charge. Another one.

 Cross examination: Avenatti: Have you ever heard the phrase, A trial is a fight for credibility? AUSA: Objection. Judge Furman: Sustained. Avenatti: Which portion of these summaries did you prepare, and which by your colleague? Rosenman: They were prepared for me.

 Avenatti: And the AUSAs made suggestions to change them? Rosenman: Format-wise. Not content. Avenatti: On this account, what about the barber shop charge? Judge Furman: Mr. Avenatti, you need to wrap this up.

 Re-direct: AUSA: Look at the first row of GX 702. Do you remember being asked about the $50, and starting to answer? Rosenman: Yes, it was for a different time period. AUSA: No further questions. Next witness is NOT Stormy Daniels, it is Sean Ernesto Macias. AUSA: Mr. Macias, what is your job? Macias: I'm a lawyer in Indiana, California and DC, for 22 years. AUSA: Do you know Michael Avenatti? Macias: Can he lower his mask? Judge Furman: Let's have 3 lower masks.

 Macias: He's the handsome one with the shaved head. Not Mr. Dalack. AUSA: When did you meet him? Avenatti: Objection, 401. Judge Furman: Overruled. Macias: He was outside the courtroom. I recognized him. I said, What's up Soda Pop. And he said, Not much Pony Boy.

AUSA: Did you socialize with him in 2018? Macias: In 2018 I did. AUSA: Did you get a document to come here? Avenatti: Objection, leading! Judge Furman: Overruled. Macias: I received a subpoena from the US.

AUSA: Do you know Stormy Daniels? Macias: She reached out to me with a legal problem in February 2018. She asked me about a release she signed about a sexual relationship with President Trump. Avenatti: Overruled! Judge Furman: Overruled.

Judge Furman: And the cell phone that's vibrating, it better be off or it's going to be in my possession. AUSA: What did Ms. Daniels tell you about paying? Macias: She said she had no funds. I did not take the case.

 AUSA: Did Mr. Avenatti get involved? Macias: I told him I got Stormy Daniels blowing up by phone. He said, I'm interested. We went to Stormy's manager's house.  Avenatti: Hearsay! Privilege! Judge Furman: Overruled.

Macias: Keith Davidson was involved, an OK lawyer, a nice guy. My thought was to call Michael Cohen to get a few bucks to expand the release. But Mr Avenatti wanted to go on 60 Minutes, blow it up. AUSA: Did you stay involved? Macias: I went to a meeting with CNN

Macias: Mr. Avenatti said he was going to charge one dollar. Then I found out there was a GoFundMe page. I heard it was for her security, which shocked me. 

AUSA: Did Mr. Avenatti thank you? Macias: He gave me a Cartier watch.

 Macias: We went to a consumers lawyers' convention and we went to a blow out party.  AUSA: How did Mr. Avenatti seem? Macias: More agitated than usual. And he seemed needy. He was in a melancholy...

 Judge Furman: Where were you and what did you see? Macias: I was laughing and he came over. He said Stormy was mad about not getting paid for the book. He asked me to represent her. I was taken aback.  Judge Furman: Let's take a break.

 Macias: May I turn this off? [The filter above the box he's in] Judge Furman: No, that's what allows you to have your mask off. AUSA: What did Avenatti tell you? Macias: That Stormy was going to blow up the book deal.

 AUSA: What did Mr. Avenatti say about why Ms. Daniels wasn't getting paid? Avenatti: Objection! Work product! Judge Furman: Overruled. Macias: He never explained. He wanted me to represent Stormy and sue the publisher.

 Macias: Next thing I know, he came into my conference room and waited 20 minutes. He said he was jammed up and needed help. He said he was being evicted from his office space and needed money for payroll. I asked, why now, you're doing so much press.

AUSA: What did he ask for? Macias: A $250,000 bridge loan. I said, How is this, he's the number one lawyer, on TV all the time. I said, Seriously? AUSA: What did you do? Macias: I said No, with the F word.

 Macias: I told him I knew some people who could lend to him but he shouldn't. Then I suggested a guy who owns bars in LA.  AUSA: Look at this exhibit, GX 604. Macias: It's a promissory note behind an email. We went to Jack's house and they negotiated

 Avenatti: Objection! Hearsay! Judge Furman: Overruled.  Macias: Michael said his landlord as Republican and was trying to throw him out, he was fighting the fight, he had money coming in in October. Jack said it sounded good. Michael said, I need it be tomorrow.

 Macias: Mr. Avenatti said the Irvine Company was trying to throw him out. The next morning he was blowing up my phone from super early. It was a beautiful September morning. I said, I'll go to the office and make some phone calls.

 Macias: Then I told Mr. Avenatti, Jack said no.  Mr. Avenatti was very upset.  Judge Furman: What did he say? You seem uncomfortable. Macias: He was hot. I feel bad for him. Judge Furman: Just answer the question. Macias: I'm going through my own process here.

Macias: Mr. Avenatti asked me to call Mark Gargagos and ask for a loan. I didn't want to do it. I said, You're killing me. AUSA: What did you say to Mr. Garagos? Avenatti: Hearsay! Judge Furman: Overruled.

 Macias: I told him Avenatti needs 250 to 300. He laughed and asked, What's going on? Gargagos said, For El Presidente, why not? AUSA: Then what? Macias: I called Avenatti and told him, Garagos is a go, I did it again for you kid.

 AUSA: Do you know how Mr. Avenatti used the $250,000? Macias: I do not. AUSA: No further questions. Judge Furman: Cross examination.

Avenatti: Have you consumed alcohol or drugs?

Macias: Glass of champagne yesterday.

Avenatti: Cocaine? Marijuana? When you've met with the government, you always had a criminal defense lawyer with you, right?

AUSA: Objection. Judge Furman: Everyone has the right to a lawyer. Avenatti: You asked for a proffer agrement, right? Macias: Absolutely. Avenatti: So they couldn't use it again you?

Macias: Absolutely. It's Criminal Law 101. Avenatti: Move to strike after "absolutely" - you could have met with the government without a proffer, right?  Macias: Every smart witness would.

Avenatti: You represented people in connection with  criminal cases, right? Macias: Not defense at trial. But yes. Avenatti: You demanded a proffer agreement. Macias: I did, because I had no idea what you were doing.

 Avenatti: You were concerned you could be charged, right? Macias: No, then I would have asked for an immunity deal. Avenatti: Move to strike the balance. Judge Furman: Granted.

Avenatti: Isn't it true that when we met with Jack he expressed an interest in investing in a website to market my legal services? Macias: No. Avenatti: Didn't he express an interest in a web business involving me? Macias: I was outside getting a beer.

 Avenatti: You were enthusiastic I would run for higher office, right? Macias: Yes, I told you I wanted to be Ambassador to France, it would be awesome.

 Avenatti: In late August 2018 you texted me you would raise money for me "so I could run like a banshee." Macias: Show me the text. Avenatti: Can I? Judge Furman: No.

Avenatti: Isn't it true when you tried to raise money for me, it was for my campaign? Macias: Absolutely not. Judge Furman: We're going to leave it there for the day. Jurors, do not read any news.

Avenatti: I'd like to renew my -- Judge Furman: Mr. Avenatti, hold your tongue. Until the witness is done. [Macias leaves]

stream here, video here

  Judge Furman released his juror questions, asking each side to respond by January 19 at 10 am. The questions include: "Based on anything that you have read, seen, or heard about Mr. Avenatti, have you  formed any opinions about Mr. Avenatti that might make it difficult for you to be a fair  and impartial juror in this case?  10. Would you have any trouble following my instructions to put anything you may have  read, seen, or heard about Mr. Avenatti out of your mind and decide this case based only  on the evidence presented at trial?  11. Do you or does any member of your family or a close friend personally know or have  past or present dealings with the alleged victim in this case, Ms. Clifford (also known as  “Stormy Daniels”), or with any of her family members?...

"Do you know or have you heard of any of the following people or entities, which include  the lawyers in this case, people who may testify at the trial, and other names that may be  mentioned during the course of the trial?  • Pamela Baez • Elizabeth Beier • Thomas Bolus • Clark Brewster • Christine Carlin • Michaela Catando (also known as  Kayla Paige) • Dmitri Chitov • Dwayne Crawford • Jennifer Donovan • Anna Finkel • Mark Geragos • Jack Guiragosian • Holtzbrinck Publishers • Luke Janklow • Janklow & Nesbit Associates • Geoffrey Johnson • Global Baristas • Sean Macias • Macmillan Publishers • Susan McClaran • Benjamin Meiselas • Travis Miller • Mareli Miniutti • Erik Nathan • Denver Nicks • Kevin Carr O’Leary • David Padilla • Brandon Parraway • Pro Tech Security and Automation • Judy Regnier • Sally Richardson • Security and Automation LLC • St. Martin’s Press • Enrique Santos • Jessica Volchko • Juliet Vicari • Donald Vilfer 25. Are you familiar with anyone else present in the courtroom, including your fellow jurors,  all Court personnel, and myself?"

On October 14 Judge Furman held a proceeding in the Stormy Daniels case and Inner City Press live tweeted it here and podcast here


On August 10 Avenatti's Federal Defenders filed a copy of the affidavit with multiple redactions. The form refers on nearly every question to an attachment, which is blacked out in absurd ways. It reads, for example, "I own stock in two closely held companies that may have value: (a) [REDACTED] located in [REDACTED] and (b) [REDACTED] located in [REDACTED]... I technically still have an interest in a private aircraft (model: HondaJet 420) that was seized by the IRS and is still in their possession. This interest is held through a single-purpose entity named [REDACTED]," and so forth.

Inner City Press  published the redacted affidavit on its DocumentCloud here and asked, Will the Court be accepting this?

On August 11, the correct answer was: No. "MEMO ENDORSEMENT as to Michael Avenatti (1) on [139] LETTER MOTION re: [139] LETTER MOTION addressed to Judge Jesse M. Furman from Robert Baum, Tamara Giwa & Andrew Dalack dated August 10, 2021 re: Letter Motion In Response to Court's Order to File Financial Affidavit. ENDORSEMENT: The Court is unpersuaded that privacy interests justify redacting the names and locations of the corporate entities in Paragraphs 14, 15, and 17 of ECF No. 139-1."

  After hours on August 12, some redactions were removed: Avenatti's owned a plane through Passport 420 LLC; an unnamed "non-family-member acquaintance" paid a NY-based attorney in the Nike case, whose name is redacted. Unredacted: Avenatti owns stock in Tyrian Systems (aka Seek Thermal) of Santa Barbara, CA and Centurion Holdings I, LLC of St. Louis Missouri."

 Not so fast. Inner City Press research in the hours after the removal of the improper redactions found that Centurion Holdings I, LLC is based in Arnold, Missouri - and "received a PPP loan of $60,477 in May, 2020." That's the Paycheck Protection Program; the funds came through the Central Bank of St. Louis.

Bigger, the aka: "Seek Thermal, Inc of  6300 Hollister Ave in Goleta, California received a Coronavirus-related PPP loan from the SBA of $1,365,062.00 in April, 2020." We'll have more on this.

 Watch this site.

 On August 27, Inner City Press filed a formal request that documents in the case not be sealed, full filing on Patreon here.

  On November 12, Inner City Press made a third filing with Judge Furman, on a decision to unseal issued earlier in the day by SDNY Judge J. Paul Oetken after Inner City Press filed to similarly unseal Lev Parnas' co-defendant David Correia's financial infor: "we again ask, why should lower income and less high profile defendants in the SDNY -- and now David Correia -- have their financial information so disclosed while Avenatti's information is sealed in its entirety? The documents at issue should not be sealed and should be made available."

  On August 28, 2020 Judge Furman entered an order: "The Court received the attached communication from Matthew Lee of Inner City Press “seeking leave to be heard and for the unsealing of the CJA Form 23, affidavit, and all associated documents” relating to this litigation. To the extent that Mr. Lee (who is admitted to the bar of the Southern District of New York) seeks leave to be heard, his application is GRANTED. The Court reserves judgment on the question of whether Defendant’s CJA Form 23 and related documents should be unsealed. SO ORDERED. Dated: August 28, 2020 New York, New York JESSE M. FURMAN." Docket No. 85, on Inner City Press' DocumentCloud, here.

  On July 27, 2021, Judge Furman four times citing Inner City Press ordered Avenatti's affidavits unsealed: "Avenatti filed a letter brief arguing that the Initial Financial Affidavit should remain under seal. ECF No. 80 (“Def.’s Mem.”). Thereafter, the Court received submissions from Inner City Press, a media outlet that intervened to seek disclosure of the Financial Affidavits, ECF Nos. 85, 90, 99... The Defendant initially argued that the Government lacked standing “to assert any right on behalf of the public to access Mr. Avenatti’s sworn financial statements.” Def.’s Mem. 7 n.1 (citing United States v. Hickey, 185 F.3d 1064 (9th Cir. 1999)). Subsequently, however, the Court granted leave to Inner City Press to be heard on the Defendant’s motion, ECF No. 85, which indisputably does have standing to assert such rights." Full order here, filings due August 10. Watch this site.

This case is US v. Avenatti, 19-cr-374 (Furman).



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