On Thursday night, Laura Ingraham devoted an entire segment of her show to raising an ominous-sounding question: Who is paying Michael Avenatti?
Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, has played a key role in breaking open the scandal surrounding Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer.
Speculation about the source of his funding was the topic of a lengthy conversation. Watch:
That wasn’t the first time a Fox News host raised questions about Avenatti’s funding on Thursday evening. In a segment just before Trump’s speech in Indiana, host Bill Hemmer also raised questions about Avenatti’s funding, citing the same Hill op-ed as Ingraham.
This question, however, can be answered with about 30 seconds of investigation. Avenatti’s pinned tweet, posted well before either Hemmer or Ingraham went on the air, answers questions about how he is being paid.
The tweet links to a statement that says “ALL fees and expenses of this case of either been funded by our client, Ms. Stephanie Clifford [aka, Stormy Daniels], or by donations from our crowdjustice.com page.”
“Further, no political party or PAC is funding this effort,” it adds. “No left wing conspiracy group is behind this. And no big fat cat political donors are leading the charge. Get over it.”
Donations aside, Avenatti is not hurting for cash. Last year, he secured a $454 million fraud verdict in a Los Angeles federal court in a case against Kimberly-Clark Corp involving defective surgical gowns.
While Ingraham and Hemmer tried to raise questions about Avenatti’s funding on Thursday, Tucker Carlson opted for insults, describing Avenatti as “a creepy porn lawyer whose eyes are too close together.”
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 11, 2018
Fox News’ attempt to discredit Avenatti came two days after he first revealed that following an investigation, his team determined that Cohen “received approximately $500,000 in the mos. after the election from a company controlled by a Russian [oligarch] with close ties to Mr. Putin.” Most of Avenatti’s findings were quickly confirmed by major media outlets.
Avenatti added that “[t]hese monies may have reimbursed the $130k payment” Cohen made to Avenatti’s client, Stormy Daniels, a woman who claims to have had an affair with Trump and was paid just before the election for her silence about it.
Avenatti also revealed that Cohen received payments from companies like AT&T and Korea Aerospace Companies LLC and did little to no work for them in exchange. But the topic of team Trump’s corruption and connections with Russian oligarchs is obviously an uncomfortable one for the president’s favorite network, and on Wednesday night Fox News’ top-rated primetime programs completely ignored them.