Someone claimed on 4chan today that Michael Avenatti’s accuser against Judge Kavanaugh was, in fact, a 4chan prankster. The story was briefly turning heads on Twitter, aided in part by the fact that Avenatti really did make his account private today. There would be a certain rough justice in having an attention-seeking lawyer fall for a stunt by an attention-seeking prankster. But Avenatti says it’s bunk. In fact, he said earlier today he said he took his account private because of ‘Trump trolls’:

An hour after the 4Chan story started circulating, Avenatti denied it outright, calling it “complete nonsense.”

So there you go. Someone on 4Chan pranked people into believing (or at least entertaining the possibility) that they had pranked Avenatti. But even before the 4Chan sideshow happened, Politico reported last night that Democrats were keeping their distance from Avenatti’s unsourced allegations about Judge Kavanaugh:

While most Democrats are taking Ramirez’s allegation seriously — if not to the extent they’re publicly backing Ford — they’re stopping far short of giving the same treatment to a third, undisclosed woman linked to the nominee and represented by celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti.

Avenatti has tweeted that his client is a “woman with credible information” concerning “the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs” by Kavanaugh and his longtime friend Mark Judge, whom Ford has identified as the third person in the room during the alleged assault against her. But Democratic senators are treading lightly on the claims from Avenatti, who also represents Trump accuser Stormy Daniels and is weighing a presidential run.

“You know I never have no comment, but I have no comment about Michael Avenatti,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said.

“Until we have more information, there’s not much that anyone can do with that,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), like Sanders a member of Schumer’s leadership team and leading 2020 presidential contender, said of Avenatti’s client…

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who’s become one of the Judiciary panel’s most vocal Democrats on sexual misconduct issues, delivered blunt advice to Avenatti: “If he has something to introduce, he should do it now. I haven’t had any contact with him.”

The accusations Avenatti has made (on behalf of his unnamed client) seem pretty lurid even when compared to the allegations by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez. Avenatti has said he plans to have his client come forward and tell her story in the next few days, so we’ll have to wait and see whether or not that happens. But for now, even Sen. Hirono seems to be keeping him at arms length.