The only thing Republican voters have in common with establishment Democrats in Washington at this point is their mutual desire to see Avenatti humiliated. For different reasons, of course. Righties want payback for months of Stormygate drama, lefties want him to implode before he gathers momentum as a Trumpy outsider in the 2020 primaries. If Swetnick’s “rape parties” allegation ends up being as thin as it looks, he’s going to be knifed on all sides for it.

And not just by partisans with policy agendas. He’s made an enemy of Alan Dershowitz by criticizing him for defending Trump on Russiagate. So Dershowitz paid him back today with an op-ed wondering whether Swetnick’s “rape parties” originated with her or perhaps instead with a certain media-obsessed lawyer willing to do anything to ingratiate himself to liberals ahead of a far-fetched presidential run.

But there is one condition that should be imposed before an investigation is conducted: The accuser should have to waive her lawyer-client privilege with Avenatti so that investigators can determine how much of her affidavit and how many of her claims were originally her own, and how many, if any, may have been “improved upon” by her conversations with her highly partisan lawyer or others.

If she is telling the truth, she should have no reason for not waiving the privilege. If she is lying, then there is no privilege anyway, since the crime-fraud exception would take it outside of the privilege. She should be asked how she got in contact with Avenatti, who first introduced the term “gang rape” into the conversation, and whether she intended the information she conveyed to Avenatti to be made public…

So the burden is now on Avenatti: File a formal complaint with the Maryland authorities. Put your client on television and allow her to answer all questions about her accusations and your role in bringing them forward, and be prepared to pay the consequences if it turns out that you or your client have defamed a man innocent of these crimes.

I wonder if this is the first time in his 80 years of life that Dershowitz, a civil libertarian, has called on someone to waive their attorney-client privilege for no better reason than mere suspicion that her lawyer is a sleazebag who might have fabricated the allegations for his own personal benefit. Dersh must really hate the guy.

Avenatti’s already a step ahead of him with the TV interview, though. He tweeted this earlier:

I think that’s Kate Snow of NBC in the photo. A TV interview is all well and good but where are the corroborating witnesses whom Swetnick and Avenatti claimed to have knowledge of in paragraph 14 of her affidavit? There are only two reasons her allegations are being taken semi-seriously. One is the fact that Avenatti is a celebrity lawyer who delivered for his client in the Stormy matter; because of that, for the moment he’s enjoying a presumption from the public that there must be something to this new claim too. Two, of course, is his claim that there are witnesses who’ll back Swetnick up. If Avenatti’s serious about wanting the FBI to interview her, nothing would force the issue like producing two or three people who were also at the, uh, rape parties and saw Kavanaugh there too. So where are they?

He didn’t care for Kelly’s interest in that question in the clip below:

He told MSNBC recently that he’s received encouragement from the DNC to run for president, which I’d guess is true in the same sense that the RNC “encouraged” Trump early in his campaign. Privately, they’d rather see Earth struck by an asteroid than for some populist loudmouth who can’t be managed come along and crash their party. But in their interactions with the candidate, and publicly, they have to be open to him running lest they alienate his supporters. Anyone with any sort of public following must be appeased with flattery, if nothing else. The DNC’s fine with making an enemy of Avenatti but they don’t want to make enemies of his fans.