Michael Avenatti Says Robert Mueller Should Indict Donald Trump In ‘New York Times’ Op-Ed
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on Thursday, calling for an indictment of Trump.
“Provided there is sufficient evidence to support an indictment of President Trump — and there are many indications that there is — the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, and prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, who are investigating payments to my client, Stormy Daniels, and Karen McDougal, should present their evidence to grand juries,” Avenatti wrote in the op-ed.
“Those jurors, citizens of our communities, should then determine whether the evidence supports an indictment of Mr. Trump,” he continued.
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Avenatti, who is considering a 2020 presidential bid, argued that Brett Kavanaugh, nominee for Supreme Court, should recuse himself if he is confirmed, if the case were brought to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh was “chosen by Mr. Trump during known inquiries into the conduct of the president and his campaign. This is wrong,” he added.
“Should Mr. Trump be indicted and in the event that the case reaches the Supreme Court, Judge Kavanaugh’s recusal should be mandatory,” Avenatti wrote. “The American public’s view of impartiality of the rule of law and of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance.”
Avenatti’s comments come days after former independent counsel Ken Starr, who led an investigation into former President Bill Clinton‘s sexual misconduct, said he thought a sitting president could be indicted. Avenatti cited Starr’s remarks in his op-ed.
“No one is above the law,” Starr told MSNBC on Wednesday, noting that the principle outlined by the Supreme Court in Clinton v. Jones, which asserted that the president is subject to civil litigation, can be carried over to criminal issues.
“No grand jury has ever indicted a president, and consequently no court, let alone the Supreme Court, has ruled on the critical question of whether the Constitution allows a president to be indicted while in office,” Avenetti wrote. “Legal scholars have opined on both sides of the issue, and Department of Justice attorneys have drafted memorandums arguing against indicting a sitting president. But none of these analyses establish definitive rules of law.”
“It is time to clarify the issue,” he added.
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