Weepy Avenatti sentenced to 2 1/2 years in Nike extortion case

Disgraced lawyer and CNN commentator Michael Avenatti was sentenced today for his attempt to extort millions from Nike. The sentence he received was quite short compared to what prosecutors were seeking:

Michael Avenatti, the brash attorney who had been a leading foe of then-President Donald Trump, was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in prison for a brazen, botched scheme to extort athletic apparel giant Nike out of up to $25 million.

That sentence was much lower than the nine years that was the bottom of the sentencing range suggested by federal guidelines, and not anywhere close to “a substantial” prison term sought by federal prosecutors.

The judge agreed that Avenatti was a disgrace but apparently gave him the light sentence because Avenatti turned on the waterworks in court today.

“Mr. Avenatti had become drunk on the power of his platform, or what he perceived the power of his platform to be.”

But Gardephe added that Avenatti deserved a lighter sentence than the range recommended by federal guidelines — from nine years to 11-years and three months — because, the judge said, “Mr. Avenatti has expressed what I believe to be severe remorse today.”

It’s a hell of a system we have where a guy who lied to everyone around him and (allegedly) stole money from his own clients can get his sentence cut in half because he can cry on cue. The NY Daily News has the actual words that apparently convinced the judge of his sincere repentance.

The once-famous attorney choked up Thursday, saying he was ashamed of himself before being sentenced to two years and six months for trying to shake down Nike of more than $20 million.

“I lost my way. I betrayed my own values, my friends, my family and myself. I betrayed my profession. I became driven by the things that don’t matter in life,” Avenatti said in Manhattan Federal Court.

“All the fame, notoriety and money in the world is meaningless. TV and Twitter, Your Honor, mean nothing. Everyone wants to ride in a limo with you but very few are willing to sit next to you on the bus. Even fewer are willing to take your calls from prison.”

Meanwhile, it appears the people who handed Avenatti his national platform, the one he abused, are staying quiet.

Here’s the actual coverage of the sentencing from CNN. They mention that he was “so familiar to us” during the Trump years but don’t really say why.

But as minimal as that is, it seems CNN is doing a better job than MSNBC:

CNN and MSNBC will get a couple more chances at this. Avenatti has two more trials coming up for (allegedly) stealing money from his clients. In the meantime, look back and ponder how things have changed from not that long ago when Avenatti was seen as a hero of the resistance and even a potential candidate for president: