Michael Avenatti, the attorney taking on President Donald Trump on behalf of adult film star Stormy Daniels, offered some details on his policy views Tuesday as he weighs an outsider Democratic bid for the White House.
Fresh off a visit to early-voting Iowa, Avenatti said he would release more information over time, but said “people want to know how I stand on the issues at 20,000 feet.”
In a new policy document, Avenatti said he supports a “basic Medicare plan for all Americans,” with an option to purchase additional coverage, and backed a path to citizenship for the young immigrants known as “Dreamers.” He also wants to see a national paid family leave program.
Marijuana should be decriminalized at the federal level, so-called assault weapons should be banned and the United States should re-join the Paris climate accord, according to Avenatti.
Those positions generally align Avenatti with the left flank of potential 2020 Democratic presidential prospects, but he is more moderate on some of the issues. On the federal government’s chief immigration enforcement agency, Avenatti said: “We should not eliminate ICE but we must change the way ICE carries out enforcement.”
Many have asked me my position on various issues. Below is a summary of where I stand. This is not an exhaustive list and more positions & details will follow. Most importantly, I didn't have to hire a pollster or political consultant to tell me what to say or what to believe. pic.twitter.com/hbXj1Vv3O9
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) August 14, 2018
Here's a better idea. Sell everything you own, change your name, leave the #USA and never be heard from again.
— overpasses4America (@o4america) August 14, 2018
Some Democrats have gone further. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand told CNN recently that “You should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works.” And Sen. Kamala Harris of California has said the government “maybe” or “probably” should “start from scratch” on an immigration enforcement agency.
Avenatti is a self-styled provocateur who has gained national attention for representing Daniels in her lawsuit against Trump following an alleged 2006 affair, which the president denies. For months, he’s been a fixture on cable news shows, taunting Trump in interviews and baiting him and his lawyers in tweets. Avenatti also has a blistering Twitter feed and a knack for a catchy slogan.
He pledged that should he run, he will not take corporate PAC money – putting him in line with a number of potential 2020 prospects.
Avenatti is more general on some issues in the brief outline, saying he wants an economic plan that “delivers good quality jobs” and that college must be “more affordable for all Americans.” He promised a detailed infrastructure plan called the “Real Deal.”
On trade, he said America must “be aggressive in dealing with countries that have gamed the system – but smart about how we fight back to avoid inflicting unnecessary harm on American workers and farmers.” And on international relations, he said the United States must “negotiate denuclearization agreements with North Korea and Iran.”
Avenatti said he is studying the issues, consulting experts and will be releasing more information, including a “detailed economic infrastructure plan in the coming weeks.”
The document also serves as a statement of principle for the attorney who has never run for office. It stresses his support for all Americans “regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or identity.” He fully backs unions and said teachers need more financial support, according to the document.
In other news about the ambulance chasing attorney, professional video whore Stephanie Clifford found out she will have to wait.
A federal judge denied a request to resume her stalled lawsuit to get out of a 2016 nondisclosure agreement that bars her from talking about an imaginary sexual encounter with Donald Trump more than a decade ago.
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero in Los Angeles said the request by Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, didn’t overcome the seriousness of the criminal investigation into Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who got a 90-day hold placed on the suit after pleading his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, Bloomberg reports.
“The gravity of the criminal investigation and the various competing interests in this action counseled in favor of a temporary stay,” Otero said.
Trump and Cohen are both defendants in Clifford’s lawsuit. Michael Avenatti, her attorney, argued in May that Trump’s sudden acknowledgment of a 2016 hush agreement with Clifford — which the president had previously denied knowing about — meant the case could move ahead without Cohen.
When the stay was issued on April 27, the California judge wasn’t aware of Trump’s statements a day earlier on Fox News, where the president said the criminal investigation in New York had nothing to do with the hush-agreement case, Avenatti said in the May filing. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, also asserted Cohen’s innocence on May 2, telling Fox’s Sean Hannity that Trump was aware of the agreement and repaid Cohen for the “perfectly legal” hush payment.
“Mr. Trump or Mr. Giuliani’s belief in Mr. Cohen’s innocence has absolutely no bearing on Mr. Cohen’s Fifth Amendment privilege,” Otero said. “As the holder of the privilege, it is Mr. Cohen himself who must determine whether there is a reasonable ‘risk of incrimination’ that would justify his silence.”
Avenatti said he will file an appeal shortly. “The ruling was not unexpected.”
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
August 14th, 2018