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Stormy Daniels' lawyer tells Stephen Colbert there are lots more Stormys on the horizon

Michael Avenatti, Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

On Wednesday’s Late Show, Stephen Colbert teased guest Michael Avenatti about the attorney’s propensity for self-promoting TV appearances. (As Stormy Daniels’ lawyer in her suit against Donald Trump, Avenatti has appeared on CNN alone over 60 times, according to Colbert.) And, indeed, the cocksure Avenatti wasn’t shy about milking his time on Colbert’s show to taunt Trump, explaining that part of his strategy is baiting an “undisciplined” defendant into making mistakes. Of course, Trump doesn’t err alone, as, after the Late Show appearance was taped, recently tagged-in Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani went on Sean Hannity’s show and blurted out that not only did Trump know about other lawyer Michael Cohen’s $130 thousand payoff to Daniels, but he reimbursed Cohen, thus publicly blowing Trump’s Air Force One denial out of the sky. (Cue Arrested Development character’s, “That was a freebie” playing in Avenatti’s head.)

But even without what sure looks like Giuliani’s dunderheaded fuck up, Avenatti still had plenty to reveal to Colbert. For one thing, he brought along a copy of the receipt for Cohen’s porn star payout which, he claimed, puts Cohen under the jurisdiction of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (“not a fan of the president,” according to Avenatti). This, said Avenatti, opens Cohen up to state charges that Trump can’t panic-pardon. And, for another, Avenatti agreed with Colbert’s rumored scoop that there are more women chafing under Trump-mandated non-disclosure agreements who have already been in touch with him. With Colbert playing the old “stop me when I hold up the right number of fingers” game, Avenatti mugged for the cameras as Colbert reached the limits of his digits, not stopping Colbert even when the host hoisted his two feet up onto the desk to continue the tally.


Avenatti—whose colorful life and bullet-headed demeanor seems destined to provide Mark Strong with a plum role in the inevitable Fall Of The House Of Trump HBO movie—might be enjoying watching Donald and his gang of lawyers who couldn’t shoot straight blunder around, but he seemed more delighted by his predictions that Michael Cohen will flip, and that Trump will inevitably fold under the mounting evidence and quit the presidency. And, again, that was all before Giuliani made his own, significantly more disastrous TV appearance on Wednesday. Buckle up.

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About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.