Stormy Daniels’s lawyer is a media star. So why is he threatening journalists?

He has proved to be irresistible media catnip : flamboyant and fast-talking with a bottomless pocketful of scoops and quotes.

.. stories circulated of Avenatti threatening or harshly criticizing three media organizations: the Daily Caller, the Hollywood Reporter and Law & Crime, a legal website.

.. “If you and your colleagues do not stop with the hit pieces that are full of lies and defamatory statements, I will have no choice but to sue each of you and your publication for defamation,”

.. Here is the charismatic ratings-meister who thrives in the spotlight, but when the coverage turns negative, he goes on the attack against the very press that benefits him.

.. “Avenatti seems quite Trumpian in both loving media attention and acting quite contemptuously toward the free press.”

.. Identifying errors, and asking for corrections, is always legitimate, of course.

But should a fit of pique really include threats to sue journalists and their news organizations for defamation?

.. he sees Avenatti being treated as a hero because a lot of people agree with his anti-Trump agenda.

But he says he shouldn’t get that kind of a pass.

.. Liberals’ faulty thinking about Avenatti goes like this, he said: “It’s okay if he acts badly because he’s accomplishing things.”

.. White sees a clear parallel to the way avid Trump supporters defend the president’s unsavory behavior: “Take him seriously, not literally” — simply because it’s someone whose agenda you like.

.. “I generally support standing up to Trump and Cohen,” White said, “but when Avenatti makes frivolous legal threats, he’s acting just like them.” (Trump is well known for threats to sue journalists, very few of which have come to pass.)

Avenatti is effective, in part, because he plays the same game as Trump, with a gleeful willingness to attack and an instinct for manipulating journalistic appetites.

After Latest Twitter Insult From Trump, Jeff Sessions Pushes Back

Attorney general is ‘tired’ of his boss’s treatment, an associate says

Last Thursday, Mr. Trump began a meeting attended by Mr. Sessions by saying, “I also want to thank a really tremendous attorney general.” He turned to the person seated next to him and added: “That’s Pam Bondi, from Florida.” Ms. Bondi is Florida’s state attorney general.

Mr. Sessions, a former Alabama senator and one of Mr. Trump’s earliest supporters, largely shrugged off the earlier criticisms as typical of Mr. Trump’s personality. He also didn’t believe that getting into a public spat with Mr. Trump would quell the president’s outrage, the associates said. Mr. Sessions felt a better course was to try to please his boss by touting Mr. Trump’s achievements, they said.

People close to Mr. Sessions said Mr. Trump’s Wednesday morning tweet crossed a line for the attorney general, who believed that Mr. Trump was trying to assert direct control over the Justice Department’s established protocols and procedures.

.. “He is tired of it,” the second person said. “He just said, ‘Stop it. Fire me if you want. I’m not resigning.’ He also strongly believes the institution of the Justice Department needs to be protected.”

.. “He is tired of it,” the second person said. “He just said, ‘Stop it. Fire me if you want. I’m not resigning.’ He also strongly believes the institution of the Justice Department needs to be protected.”

The New York Congressman Who Could Lead an Impeachment Charge Against Trump

When House Republicans impeached Bill Clinton, in 1998, for lying about his affair with the former intern Monica Lewinsky, Nadler emerged as one of Clinton’s most ardent and public defenders, trading his obscurity for a brief moment in the national spotlight. The impeachment, he warned in the House Judiciary Committee, was a spectacular misuse of the power granted to Congress by its founding fathers, a “partisan coup d’état.”

.. The #MeToo movement had just claimed the eighty-eight-year-old congressman John Conyers, of Michigan, who resigned after multiple women came forward to accuse him of harassing and propositioning them.

.. That left a prime opening to succeed Conyers as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, which would oversee an impeachment of Trump if Democrats were to win control of the House in November’s midterm elections.

.. a leaflet he wrote and handed out to Democratic members said he was “the strongest member to lead a potential impeachment.”

.. Nadler, a stubborn seventy-year-old who spent the better part of two decades battling to stop Trump from rerouting the West Side Highway.

.. if and when it comes to impeachment, he will in no way be a neutral arbiter of the President’s fate but an implacable foe who has already pronounced judgment on Trump’s fitness for office.

.. After Trump fired the F.B.I. director, James Comey, last spring, Nadler said that there was a “very strong case” that it constituted obstruction of justice.

.. saying, “This President presents the greatest threat to constitutional liberty and the functioning of our government in living memory.”

.. he believed that Trump’s refusal to retaliate for the Russian intervention was as serious as if an American Commander-in-Chief had failed to respond to the 1941 Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

.. “It’s a fundamental attack on our way of life. It’s a very fundamental attack on the U.S.

.. “What if Roosevelt had said, after Pearl Harbor, ‘We’re not sure who did it. Maybe it was the Chinese. Maybe it was somebody else’? And used that as an excuse not to respond?”

.. A vocal and growing minority of House Democrats is not waiting for the results of Mueller’s investigation to make that judgment on impeaching Trump.

.. a resolution to begin the process of impeachment authored by Congressman Al Green, of Texas, has twice been put to a vote. In early December, it received fifty-eight Democratic votes.

.. forty-one per cent of Americans support impeachment

.. “We started this knowing it’s a marathon and not a sprint,” Steyer told me. “And that it has to do with the information reaching the American people so that people understand this is a deeply unfit and dangerous American President.”

.. But Steyer’s rallying of the Trump-hating party base has put him at odds with Nadler and other Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, who believe it is both premature and politically damaging to call for impeachment now.

.. Bernie Sanders has publicly pleaded with Steyer and others to avoid “jumping the gun” and pushing for Trump’s removal before it’s possible to achieve it. Other Democrats, especially the campaign strategists who have to advise the Party’s candidates in the midterm elections, fear that impeachment is a political loser with voters, who will cast ballots on more traditional pocketbook issues.

.. “But I would also quote Nelson Mandela: ‘Everything is impossible until it happens.’

.. He considers Steyer’s Need to Impeach campaign “premature at best,” he told me. “I don’t think it’s constructive. We don’t have the evidence now that would be convincing enough to people to justify impeachment.”

.. As a political matter, Nadler added, “I don’t think the election campaign should be fought on the basis of impeachment or no impeachment.

.. In Nadler’s reading of history, Nixon was forced from office because Democrats enlisted enough Republicans in the impeachment case to make Nixon’s presumed conviction in the Senate, by a two-thirds majority, likely; then and only then did Nixon step aside.

.. In the Clinton case, conversely, Democrats stuck together and voted en masse against the House impeachment, and Republicans were unable to secure a conviction on the basis of just their own party’s votes in the Senate.

.. Removing the President is a dramatic move against the popular will; in effect, Nadler said, “you are nullifying the last election,” which is not something to be undertaken “without having buy-in, at least by the end of the process, by an appreciable fraction” of Republicans as well as Democrats.

.. The alternative? “Twenty or thirty years of recriminations. Of almost half the country saying, ‘We won the election; you stole it from us.’ You don’t want to do that. Which means you should not impeach the President unless you really believe that, by the end of the process, you will have not only Democrats agreeing with you but a good fraction of the people who voted for him.”

.. he successfully urged Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on just what would constitute an impeachable offense, an exercise that convinced him that “the real test for an impeachable offense is, is this a threat to the constitutional order, to the protection of liberty, to the checks and balances system that the Constitution sets up?”

.. “The impeachment clause was put into the Constitution as a political tool with which to defend the republic, to defend the constitutional order, to defend against a would-be tyrant.”

.. he expected that Mueller, like previous special counsels before him in the Clinton and Nixon cases, would deliver a report to Congress laying out his evidence related to the President, and he promised it would have to be sufficiently serious and specific.

.. I would certainly have to be convinced if I were going to help lead it—that the President has committed impeachable offenses, and that those impeachable offenses are so serious that the constitutional order is threatened if he is not impeached and removed from office,” Nadler said. “That’s the real test.”

Donald Trump: Middle-American Radical

Trump, he writes, “would more accurately be described as a ‘radical anti-progressive’” who is “at war with the progressives who have co-opted American civil society.” Moreover, Trump “is willing to go further than any other previous conservative to defeat them.”

.. “Radical anti-progressives” recognize that many institutions—the academy, media, entertainment, and the courts—have been co-opted and corrupted by the left. And as these institutions are not what they once were, they no longer deserve the respect they once had.

.. Trump sees many institutions as fortresses lately captured by radical progressives that must be attacked and besieged if they are to be recaptured and liberated. Cannon deals with three such politicized institutions: the media, the NFL, and the courts.

.. Trump does not attack freedom of the press but rather the moral authority and legitimacy of co-opted media institutions. It is what CNN has become, not what CNN was, that Trump disrespects.

.. These people are political enemies posturing as journalists who create “fake news” to destroy me

.. Before 2016, the NFL was an untouchable. When

  • the league demanded that North Carolina accept the radical transgender agenda or face NFL sanctions, the Tar Heel State capitulated. When
  • Arizona declined to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a holiday in 1990, the NFL took away the Super Bowl. The Sun State caved

.. Trump delivered a full-throated defense of the flag and called for kicking the kneelers off the field, out of the game, and off the team.

“Fire them!” Trump bellowed.

.. Before Trump, the FBI was sacrosanct. But Trump savaged an insiders’ cabal at the top of the FBI that he saw as having plotted to defeat him.

.. Trump has not attacked an independent judiciary, but courts like the Ninth Circuit, controlled by progressives and abusing their offices to advance progressive goals

.. it let the Supreme Court seize its power over social policy and convert itself into a judicial dictatorship.

.. Trump instead seeks to fight and delegitimize any institution the Left has captured, and rebuild it from the ground up.”

.. Trump supporters who most relish the wars he is waging are the “Middle American Radicals,”

.. After World War II, as it became clear that our long-ruling liberal elites had blundered horribly in trusting Stalin, patriots arose to cleanse our institutions of treason and its fellow travelers.

.. The Hollywood Ten were exposed and went to jail. Nixon nailed Alger Hiss. Truman used the Smith Act to shut down Stalin’s subsidiary, the Communist Party USA. Spies in the atom bomb program were run down. The Rosenbergs went to the electric chair.

.. Liberals call it the “Red Scare.” They are right to do so.

For when the patriots of the Greatest Generation like Jack Kennedy and Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy came home from the war and went after them, the nation’s Reds had never been so scared in their entire lives.