Michael Avenatti, the sleazeball lawyer who represented Stormy Daniels when she sued Donald Trump, then stole $300,000 from his client, ended up in prison for attempted extortion. He is now suing the government, saying that he was treated harshly in prison because of his public criticism of Donald Trump. Ok, you're thinking, this is Michael Avenatti, surely this is another one of his sleazeball stunts. But wait.
This is from the summary in the Times:
Mr. Avenatti said in his claim that he had initially been held in solitary confinement in the Santa Ana Jail in Orange County and had then been taken to Manhattan and detained at the now-closed Metropolitan Correctional Center, much of that time in its most secure wing, 10 South.While in detention, Avenatti
Traditionally, 10 South was used to hold detainees charged with terrorism and other notorious crimes. Its most notable recent occupant was Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo.
“To take a man who has lived for decades without any criminal convictions, no history of violence,” Mr. Avenatti said in a phone interview with one of his lawyers on the line, “and within 72 hours put him under these conditions where he is housed in the most restrictive, diabolical unit in the entire United States for pretrial detainees, is unheard-of.”
spent about 94 days in solitary confinement or under locked-down status. “For the vast majority of that time period, I was in 10 South,” he said in the interview.
Last July, when he was sentenced to two and a half years in the Nike case, Judge Paul G. Gardephe of Federal District Court observed that Mr. Avenatti had been held “in horrific conditions at the M.C.C. for more than three months, in solitary confinement for much of the time and in lockdown for nearly all of it.”
Mr. Avenatti said in the papers that while he was at the M.C.C., he had been prohibited from speaking with relatives or friends, he had been provided no access to fresh air or recreation, temperatures at night had been frigid, and he had been permitted to see the sky only once.
Some of the lockdown was due to Covid, but this really is extremely weird for a white collar crook. And in the category of adding insult to injury,
When he asked for reading material, he said in his claim, he was initially refused and was then provided one book: “Trump: The Art of the Deal.”
I bet the guards are still laughing about that one.
But, really, what is this about? Was Avenatti just an obnoxious jerk? Were the guards really down on him for going after Trump? Or maybe does he have some kind of organized crime connection that hasn't been made public yet, and the bosses used their prison connections to remind him of how much power they have to ruin the rest of his life if he talks about it?
I find the whole business very odd.