Saturday, June 3, 2023

Slovenia Says No Webcast of Its Presser As Runs Against Belarus As Guterres Bans Press

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

UN GATE, June 3 –  How corrupt is today's UN? Now after Secretary General was caught on a FISA wiretap confirming his collusion with Putin as with Xi, this time to help sell ammonia and try to re-SWIFT banks, there's a single election for the 2024-5 Security Council seats.

   Belarus was the initial candidate, just the way the other four countries slated for the Council got their seats: the open slate.

   Understandably stoked up, Slovenia threw its hat in the ring. 

 But it has no self-confidence, apparently, and joins in the UN's opacity.   

On June 5, Slovenia has scheduled a "press conference" in the UN Press Briefing Room, from which Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric has had Inner City Press banned.

  But no one other than the state media and retirees that Dujarric and Melissa Fleming in can see it.

There will be no UNTV webcast for anyone else to see it:

"3:30 pm   Press Briefing Room, S-237   Press Briefing by Ms. Tanja Fajon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia ahead of the Security Council Elections (No UNTV / Webcast)"  

Pathetic. This is how far today's UN has fallen. We'll have more on this. 


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Unannounced Cartel de Houston Guilty Plea by Mecina Barrera But How Much Else is Hidden?

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 2 – For bringing large quantities of methamphetamine from Mexico through Texas to New York, Francisco Javier Mecina Barrera, Adalid Cabrera Huato and others have been charged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

  Inner City Press on June 2 went to the courtroom of SDNY District Judge Victor Marrero and witnessed the guilty plea of Francisco Javier Mecina Barrera, which had not been listed in the day's Calendar on PACER.

   Mecina Barrera had been arraigned on a superseding indictment on May 24 by Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein, with a final pre-trial conference ostensibly sent for June 2 at 9:30 am.

Then just after, unannounced, he pleaded guilty. Later the prosecutors bragged about the Cartel de Houston. But how much is being hidden?   Sentencing is set for September 8 at 10 am.

  The overall case is  US v. De Le Mora, et al., 21-cr-133 (Marrero)


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Joshua Rodriguez on Trial For Murder of Rival Dealer Scrolls Through Rap Videos Used Against Him

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 2 –  Joshua Rodriguez has three lawyers for a murder and marijuana dealing trial set to begin on May 31. But on May 30 for the final pre-trial conference, he was not produced. Inner City Press was there.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York  Judge Jed S. Rakoff said that the rulings on motions in limine would have to wait for May 31, before jury selection.

 He said he'd put 12 in the jury box then question and allow challenges.

 Each side wants 15 minutes for opening arguments. 

 The murder in question was of Jaquan Millien, in the Webster Houses in The Bronx. 

On May 31, the US put on the stand a witness who found the father dead and the son shot and called 911. The defense pointed out that he was working off the books.

Next was Detective Brian MacMurray. He authenticated a photo of the son's bleeding arm with entry and exit wounds. There was a gasp for air in the gallery, and some people walked out. The defense asked if he really got any evidence in the hospitals, including Bronx Lebanon where the deceased was on a bed - another photo. The AUSA held up the bloody shirt, now brown and not red.

On June 1, Millien's then-girlfriend Ms. Yanellie Ramirez with an immunity order testified that she did not tell the police who came to her apartment door about Millien's fight with Joshua Rodriguez, who she called "Suave" - since Suave's girlfriend lived right next to her and could hear everything.

  A law enforcement source told Inner City Press that the case was "dead" until, after three years, many of the witnesses had moved away and proved willing to talk.

  On cross, Rodriguez' lawyer sought to learn more about another man who had fought in the building, a man known as Cracker. The lawyer objected when, on re-direct, Ramirez was allowed to answer that Cracker's fight had not been with Millien.

On June 2, Rodriguez' counsel cross-examined the government's witness who testified about rap videos on Rodriguez' Facebook page.  Then a medical examiner now in Fort Pierce, Florida, an NYPD bullet expert, and a woman from the NYC Human Resources Administration about Rodriguez' use of his benefits cards. (He was taking food and cash assistance during this time).

  With the jury out of the room but Inner City Press in the gallery, Rodriguez was scrolling through his Facebook page, pointing out videos to one of his lawyers. At day's end, with the US having only two more witnesses for Monday, the defense said it may call a witness about the rap videos. The US will get a hour and half in summation, the defense an hour, with the charging conference probably Monday at the lunch break.

More on Substack, from forthcoming Endless Sentences, here

The trial continues.

The case is US v. Rodriguez, 22-cr-316 (Rakoff) 


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In Stormy Daniels Lawsuit Against Janklow Avenatti Deposition Mulled

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Song Radio

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 2 – Michael Avenatti's financial affidavit to get a publicly paid lawyer for his Stormy Daniels case, which Inner City Press formally sought to have unsealed for eleven months, were on July 27, 2021 ordered unsealed. Order.
Podcast here. Aug 13 podcast here.

On June 2, 2023, Inner City Press covered Stormy Daniels' civil case seeking money from  LUCAS JANKLOW and JANKLOW PARTNERS, L.L.C. d/b/a JANKLOW & NESBIT ASSOCIATES, thread here:

Judge: This case is moving too slow. You've said you may depose Mr. Avenatti. What are you doing?

Lani Adler, repping Janklow: He is detained, we'd like to know Ms. Clifford's view first. We need to digest the opinion... J

Judge: Let's get a schedule in place. What depositions are being contemplated?

Janklow's lawyer Adler: I'd like to depose Ms. Clifford and her publicist. Her lawyer would like someone at St. Martin's Press and maybe Avenatti. Judge: Oct 31 cut off

 Judge: I'm also refer you for settlement talks to Magistrate Judge Gorenstein

The case is Clifford v. Janklow, et al., :22-cv-01259 (Vyskocil / Gorenstein) Amended complaint on Patreon here

  On the weekend before trial there was a request to delay it, on COVID policy and Constitutional grounds. It was denied. Avenatti was convicted, see below.

On June 12, 2022, Avenatti filed in his California case that he wanted to plead open: "Defendant MICHAEL JOHN AVENATTI (“Mr. Avenatti”) by and through his advisory counsel of record, H. Dean Steward, hereby moves and files the instant (A) Notice of Intent to Change Plea and Request Sentencing and (B) Request for Telephonic or Video Status Conference. Mr. Avenatti hereby provides notice of his intent to change his plea and plead guilty to multiple counts in the Indictment and request sentencing on those counts. Mr. Avenatti intends to plead open."

And he did, on June 16, pleading guilty to four counts of wire fraud and one count of endeavoring to obstruct administration of the Internal Revenue Code.  JHe admitted to "receiving money on behalf of clients into client trust accounts, misappropriating the money, and lying to the clients about receiving the money or, in one case, claiming that the money had already been sent to the client." He admitted to keeping $5 million in payroll taxes as owner Global Baristas US LLC, which operated Tully’s Coffee.  U.S. District Court Judge James Selna will be sentencing Avenatti.

And he did, as tweeted not by Inner City Press (since proceeding was on the West Coast, with no call-in line) but the US Attorney's office in LA: "Avenatti has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for defrauding his clients and for obstructing IRS efforts to collect payroll taxes from his coffee business. In imposing the 14-year sentence, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna ordered that Avenatti's term of imprisonment run consecutive to sentences totaling five years previously imposed in two federal cases in the Southern District of New York." Watch this site.

In the Stormy Daniels case, the US Attorney's Office's May 26, 2022 sentencing memo, recommending 24 months to run consecutive to Judge Paul G. Gardephe's sentence in the Nike case, cited Inner City Press' tweet of Foley Square Q&A with Avenatti about his hot dog anecdote, saying it was stolen: "The defendant’s tenuous relationship with the truth was apparent during trial, including in circumstances that seem gratuitous or even trivial. For example, the defendant began his summation by stating, “When my father was a teenager, he sold hot dogs at a ballpark.” (Trial Tr. 1647.) The Court sustained the Government’s objection, and the defendant did not complete the story. But walking back from the courthouse that day, the defendant proceeded to relate the full story to the media, explaining how his father, “Bill,” worked at a ballpark selling hotdogs, how his father’s boss instructed his father to sell broken hotdogs rather than throw them out, how “[his] dad said, well how do we do that if the hot dog are in pieces,” how his father’s boss responded that his father should cover them in mustard, and how the Government in this case was giving the jury the mustard. See

  In fact, the defendant’s father, William John Avenatti, was an executive for AnheuserBusch. (PSR ¶ 48.) The tale instead is one that the defendant’s standby counsel, who was to deliver the summation before the defendant determined to proceed pro se, has told at trials in this District about his own experience selling hotdogs at Shea Stadium. See, e.g., United States v. Calix, No. 13 Cr. 582 (LAP), Trial Tr. 61 (Sept. 11, 2017). That is, the defendant appropriated the story from his attorney, but, not content to use the device generically, claimed falsely to the press—and, until the sustained objection, to the jury as well—that the events had happened to his own father."  Sentencing memo here.

On May 31, Avenatti's Federal Defenders asked for permission that he wear a suit and dress shirt and under-shirt (initially the dress shirt was omitted) - in any event, Judge Furman denied the request on June 1. 

Inner City Press covered and live tweeted the June 2 sentencing, thread here:

OK - now Avenatti sentencing in Stormy Daniels case. He is in Courtroom 318 in prison beige.

Next to Avenatti is Federal Defender Robert Baum, whose personal "I sold hot dogs at the ballpark" story Avenatti repackaged as his own (or, about this father) - US sentencing memo cited Inner City Press video.

Judge Furman: Just speak into the microphone Mr. Baum. Federal Defender Baum introduces his team. Dalack is not here; others are.

Judge Furman: I recently tested negative for COVID-19 so I'm taking my mask off, under our rules. I have reviewed the submissions

Judge Furman: My understanding is Ms. Daniels' lawyer will speak, Mr. Brewster. Any objections, beyond to the guidelines calculation? Baum: There is one more issue, we didn't raise it because our client was in transit and we couldn't speak to him.

Judge Furman: I'm not required to follow the sentencing guidelines in the wake of US v. Booker and its progeny. But here the range is 65 to 75 months. Mr. Avenatti argues that he made Ms. Daniels whole. I find that argument meritless.

Judge Furman:  The evidence at trial indicated that Mr. Avenatti gave the third book payment to Ms. Daniels to forestall imminent discovery of his crime... I reject Mr Avenatti's argument that the loss amount was $148,000. That takes US statement out of context.

Baum: May I be heard? Judge Furman: If it's on the issues I just resolved, no. But go ahead.  Baum:  It's the amount of money he returned that it is issue. Their 3d Circuit decision in Fumo has not been followed in the 2d.

Now Assistant US Attorney: When you strip away the large personalities at trial and the media aspects, it's a very personal and sorry story. Ms. Daniels trusted Mr. Avenatti deeply, he was involved in her life in a very intimate way

AUSA: Ms. Daniels took pride in her book and the money meant a good deal to her. She felt pride. She was going to buy a home and move away from her ex husband. So it was a personal betrayal, over 8 months.

AUSA: It's critical in our society that people can trust their attorney. But in the Nike case we saw what Mr. Avenatti did to his client [Goeff] Johnson. We think a mandatory minimum sentence would not be sufficient.

Judge Furman: Do you want to speak to the search condition recommended by Probation? AUSA: We'll defer to Probation's wisdom.

Judge Furman: And not to my wisdom? (Laughs). Mr. Baum? Baum: Ms. Giwa will make the 3553(a) presentation.

Judge Furman: I have a question, What is Mr Avenatti apologizing for in his letter to Ms. Daniels? If it's the same as he said at trial, it's too little too late. I understand he intends to appeal and so doesn't want to confess to the crimes. But he gets no credit

First, Baum on the search condition. Baum: This language they propose is for sex offenses. Mr. Avenatti is not charged with that. As I'm apt to do, I did the research. I cited the 2d Circuit case US v. Myers. They said they'll carefully scrutinize such conditions

Federal Defender Giwa: Here in the court are friends of Mr. Avenatti. His family couldn't come due to being immuno-compromised. But they are awaiting your decision. Their support continues for him. We're asking for 36 months and one day.

 Giwa: Mr. Avenatti had a difficult childhood. He still bears the scars. He developed an outstanding work ethics. He started at 15. He's now 51. He held jobs as a teenager. He put himself through law school, by himself.

Giwa: Mr. Avenatti fought for the underdog. He won large settlements. After a career like that, the fact that Mr. Avenatti will never practice law is really tragic to him. It is the consequence of what has happened here.

 Giwa: Mr. Avenatti will never again have clients. Future harm just doesn't exist. He is already incarcerated, and future incarceration is a certainty.

 Judge Furman: Mr. Avenatti, this is your opportunity. Avenatti: I made a series of mistakes...

Avenatti: I deserve just punishment. I stand by the sincerity of my letter to Ms. Daniels. I will never practice law again. I will forever be branded a "disgraced lawyer" and worse. I may never recover any semblance of a normal life or peace. (Sniffles)

Avenatti: Much has been written about my conduct. Some true, much false. [Will he address the stolen story about selling hog dogs?]

 Avenatti: I delivered over a billion dollars in settlements. Oftentimes I took no fees. These cases included representing thousands of Jewish families whose relatives were dug up in a mass grave in California - $85 million settlement to provide them some peace.

Avenatti: I represented 1000s of investors in a $200 million Ponzi scheme. I represented sexual abuse victims of RKelly

Avenatti: I received many awards. This does not excuse my conduct in this case. I represented Ms Daniels because she was an underdog. I believed we could take down a sitting American president who was the single biggest threat to American democracy in modern times

Avenatti: There are only five lawyers in America today who understood what representing a client like that costs. Those who think I benefited are mistaken. Also, the conditions in the MCC - I was in 10 South, reserved for terrorists. I was next to them.

Avenatti: During the first 48 years of my life I was never arrested. I should never have been subjected to the torture of 10 South. I know I can be loving again. Thank you, your Honor. Judge Furman: Thank you. Mr. Brewster? Brewster: I represent Ms. Daniels

 Brewster: The prosecutors exposed a person who was manipulative and deceitful. Our system works. I don't know who Mr. Avenatti says are the five you could take on Ms. Daniels' case - but I believe I am one of them.

Baum objects to Brewster introjecting himself into Daniels' statement, and Judge Furman agrees, says stick to Ms. Daniels' statement. Brewster: Avenatti failed to work on her case in Texas.

 Brewster is done. Judge Furman: This is a tragic case, or to use Mr. Podolsky's words, a sorry case. There is more to Mr. Avenatti than this conduct. His handling of this trial shows he has legal skills, despite my taking issue with some of his conduct.

Judge Furman: Blind ambition led him to this conduct, brazenly lying to his clients and defaming them when they had the audacity to challenge him. Still I think a guidelines sentence would be excessive.

Judge Furman: This case will send a message to lawyers that if you got astray, you will lose your liberty. I gave Mr. Avenatti to elaborate on his acceptance of responsibility. But he didn't address it. The letter is too little, too late.

Judge Furman: A four year sentence, some but not all consecutive with the Nike case sentence, will be appropriate. Giving Mr. Avenatti an additional thirty months is what I am imposing. You are remanded for 48 months - 18 concurrent to the Nike case

Judge Furman: Also three years of supervised release and a search condition for his electronic communications. You will pay restitution of $148,000 through the Clerk of this Court, for payment to Ms. Daniels. No interest on it, you cannot afford it.

Judge Furman: The sentence as stated is imposed. I hope that the day of further crimes is over. If you are convicted in California too, I hope after that you use your skills to help your daughters and son and others. I hope you don't come back in front of me.

Baum: We ask for designation to FCI Sheridan, in Oregon. But we ask that this restitution come after the Nike restitution.

AUSA: Nike asked that theirs come last. But Judge Gardephe determined that wasn't possible. Judge Furman: How much was that? Baum: $250,000.

Judge Furman: Any notice of appeal must be filed within 14 days. Mr. Baum is in the final days of 50 years of a stories career as a Federal Defender. [Still his personal Shea Stadium hot dog story not mentioned

Baum: Can you order he be returned to Terminal Island where his legal papers are?

 Judge Furman: I'll convey it to the Marshals. We stand adjourned.

Back on March 21, Avenatti's motions were denied but sentencing slightly pushed back: " MEMO ENDORSEMENT as to Michael Avenatti denying [426] MOTION to Postpone Sentencing By 60 Days and Motion for a Remote Sentencing Proceeding. ENDORSEMENT: Applications DENIED, except that sentencing is RESCHEDULED to June 2, 2022, at 10 a.m. Defense submissions in connection with sentencing are due two weeks prior to the sentencing date; the Government's submissions are due one week before the sentencing date."

Now for the June 2 sentencing, some fast transport back to California (while up to four months have been taken to transfer a Federal detaining from Florida to New York via Oklahoma). The order:

"ORDER as to Michael Avenatti. Sentencing in this case is scheduled for June 2, 2022. See ECF No. 427. The Court has been advised that Defendants next trial, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, is scheduled to begin in July 2022. Although the Court previously noted that it was prepared to adjourn sentencing to avoid any conflict with the California trial, no party has moved for such an adjournment. That said, having spoken with the judge presiding over the California case, the Court hereby ORDERS the United States Marshal Service to transport Defendant back to the Central District of California promptly after sentencing in this matter, to arrive no later than June 6, 2022 (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 5/19/22)."

As of May 25, Michael Avenatti is already listed in the BOP website as in the MDC in Brooklyn, photo here. Watch this site.

On March 16 in Avenatti's California case the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied most of his appeal, and dismissed the rest: " The district court did not err in denying Avenatti’s motions to dismiss  on double jeopardy grounds. To succeed on this claim, Avenatti was required to  establish that the prosecution’s conduct giving rise to the motion was “intended to  ‘goad’ [him] into moving for a mistrial.” Oregon v. Kennedy, 456 U.S. 667, 676 (1982). But the district court expressly found that “[n]o ‘goading’ occurred,” because the data was withheld by the government due to mere “inadvertence and a  failure to appreciate what was there.” Full document on Inner City Press' DocumentCloud here.

 The Stormy Danials trial started on the morning of January 24. Inner City Press live tweet here. It continued in the afternoon, with Stormy Daniels' literary agency Lucas Janklow being cross examined about being introduced to Michael Avenatti at a hotel bar, by Anderson Cooper. Inner City Press live tweeted, thread here; stream here, video here

 On February 4 after a jury note complaining about an emotional juror who would not deliberate, Avenatti was found guilty on both counts. Inner City Press live tweeted it, thread here and below.

 On February 16 the Federal Defenders wrote in seeking to be relieved as stand-by counsel, citing conflict, and naming a lawyer to be appointed, at the public charge: "We write as standby counsel for Michael Avenatti in the above-captioned case to respectfully request that the Court assign Mr. Avenatti counsel from the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel to represent him moving forward at sentencing and for the purpose of any post-trial motions. We respectfully submit that assignment of CJA counsel is warranted because a conflict of interest exists with the Federal Defenders of New York, in part due to Mr. Avenatti’s statements about our representation at the time he sought leave to proceed pro se. As the Court is aware, Mr. Avenatti is currently incarcerated and this application is made at his request. Mr. Avenatti submits that it is impossible for him to effectively represent himself in this matter going forward due to his incarceration, which substantially interferes with his ability to review trial records, conduct legal research, collect/assemble mitigation materials, and prepare a meaningful sentencing submission. Specifically, we have spoken with Benjamin Silverman, a member of the CJA panel in the Southern District of New York and who represents Mr. Avenatti for the purposes of post-trial motions in the Nike-related matter."

But, ", a nonfamily-member acquaintance of Mr. Avenatti paid legal fees directly to Mr. Silverman for the purpose of assisting Mr. Avenatti in perfecting post-trial motions in the Nike-related matter. None of these monies ever belonged to Mr. Avenatti and the payment was a purely gratuitous, one-time payment unrelated to this case."

  On February 17, Judge Furman denied without prejudice: "The motion is DENIED without prejudice. In view of Avenatti’s conviction and detention, the Court is open to reappointing counsel to represent him, but — given the nature of the right involved (i.e., the Sixth Amendment right to self-representation) and given that standby counsel does not represent him in full — the Court will not do so absent a request from Avenatti himself.1  Moreover, in the event that Avenatti does make a request himself, the Court would be inclined to reappoint FDNY as counsel absent a more compelling showing that there is a genuine conflict of interest; the current record certainly does not support the existence of such a conflict.2  Finally, in the event that Avenatti makes a request and the Court decides that appointment of new counsel is appropriate, it will adhere to the CJA Plan and appoint the CJA Panel member on duty; it will not appoint counsel of Avenatti’s (or FDNY’s) choosing...  The Court would accept a declaration signed by Avenatti requesting appointment of counsel. Alternatively, the Court is prepared to hold a teleconference or videoconference." Watch this site.

From February 4: OK - US v. Avenatti, Day 10 - there has just been a jury note, that one juror is refusing to deliberate or look at evidence, other 11 jurors asking for help. Inner City Press will live tweet, thread below

Assistant US Attorney: We should ask the foreperson to identify the juror, and consider removing them. Judge Furman: I'm thinking of giving an instruction that deliberation requires consideration of the evidence. And if this problem continues, please ID the juror Inner City Press @innercitypress ·

 AUSA: We should follow the Baker case. Judge Furman: In that case, there were three notes before they were asked to name-names. We don't know if it is a refusal to deliberate or a conscientious decision by her. Inner City Press @innercitypress ·

AUSA: Within an hour of them getting the 300 page transcript, we get this note. So it seems the juror is refusing to consider the transcript. So we think following Baker it would be appropriate to conduct an inquiry here. Inner City Press @innercitypress ·

Judge Furman: I'm not sure this is stronger than the request in Baker. Mr. Avenatti? Avenatti: I object to any further instruction to the jury. I request a mistrial, now. Avenatti: The idea that this juror has to justify her position to the other jurors is without merit. The jury is deadlocked. I am requested a mistrial. [Cites US v. Samet, 207 F. Supp. 2d 269, Judge McMahon]

 Judge Furman: The application is denied. We are nowhere near a mistrial. The note is that the juror is acting on a feeling, that it's all emotion, as in Baker. But I won't yet ask them to identify the juror. A more incremental approach is appropriate Inner City Press @innercitypress ·

AUSA: Let's add, If a juror continues to refuse to deliberate, you may provide me with a further note. Avenatti: Let's just re-read them the initial instruction about deliberation. Judge Furman: Maybe the 11 want to acquit - I don't know. Avenatti: Re-read bias Inner City Press @innercitypress ·

 Avenatti: May I have a moment to confer with my advisory counsel? Judge Furman: You may. And by the way, Samet is F.Supp 2d, not just F.Supp. And it may be Day 3, but it amounts to a day and half. And no deliberations during lunch due to social distancing. Inner City Press @innercitypress ·

 Avenatti: I object to mentioning sympathy and emotion twice. That's undue emphasis. I propose the Court use the original charge. I'll read it -- Judge Furman: It's in the record, you don't need to read it. Inner City Press @innercitypress ·

Avenatti: The language of the draft answer is coercive and threatening. And I object, there's no need to bring attention to this instruction. Judge Furman: I propose to add that the defendant has no burden... Then I'll ask them to return to the jury room and deliberate.

 AUSA: It doesn't seem the jury has any confusion about the burden of proof. Judge Furman: We're in sensitive territory Inner City Press @innercitypress ·

Jury entering! Judge Furman: We have received your note... Your verdict must be based on the evidence... I ask you to continue deliberating. If anyone refuses to deliberate, you are free to send us another note.
 Jury leaves. 

 With jury gone, Avenatti says his interviews (on Foley Square, including the hotdog interviews, which Judge Furman says he has not seen) comply with the rules. He calls Stormy Daniels on CNN outrageous. Thread will continue. Inner City Press @innercitypress ·

 OK - drum roll - Judge Furman has taken the bench again, and the jury is entering. Inner City Press @innercitypress ·

 In US v. Avenatti: Count 1, wire fraud: Guilty. Count 2, aggravated ID theft: Guilty.

 We're in 26th floor hallway outside courtroom. FD Dalack came out, in Michigan cap, and closed door. Inner City Press @innercitypress ·

Avenatti team came out with evidence cart, then went back in. Prosecutors left without comment. Inner City Press @innercitypress

Court staff peaks out into hallway, then locks door. "They can come out, but they can't go back in." There's no going back.  Avenatti emerges, says, I am very disappointed in the verdict and look forward to a full adjudication on appeal."

Afterward, Inner City Press questioned Avenatti in rain-swept Foley Square, here, and published the jury note and verdict form. Avenatti is set to surrended by February 7, 5 pm on the West Coast, and be sentenced on May 24 at 3:45 pm. We'll be there.

  On February 3, Judge Furman read a modified Allen charge, below. Inner City Press live tweeted it, thread here

 On February 1, Judge Jesse M. Furman held the charging conference from 1 to 4 pm, after which Inner City Press asked Avenatti about the possibility of remand to jail, video here. Inner City Press live tweeted, thread here.

More Foley Square Follies to follow [here]

 On the morning of January 31, Avenatti did two final cross examinations then was asked about his own case. Inner City Press live tweeted, thread here.

In the afternoon of January 31, after the jury was sent home early, most of Avenatti's proposed witnesses were rejected. He said he does not intend to testify. And it appears closing arguments will be on February 2. Inner City Press live tweeted here

 On January 30, the US wrote in on quantum meruit, and invited Avenatti to testify: "Although the defendant is wrong that he was entitled to take Ms. Daniels’s book payment  under the law of quantum meruit, a mistaken belief about his legal rights could support a good  faith defense. The Government is required to prove that the defendant had the requisite mens rea,  including that he acted with a wrongful purpose. (See Letter Mot. on Willfulness, Dkt. No. 311).  Good faith is a “complete defense to charges of wire fraud.” United States v. Dupre, 462 F.3d  131, 139 (2d Cir. 2006). The defendant therefore should be permitted to testify about his purported  belief that quantum meruit permitted him to take Ms. Daniels’s money to support an argument  that he acted in good faith. 3 The Court should carefully circumscribe the defendant’s testimony, however, and provide  an appropriate instruction both at the time of the testimony and in the jury charge regarding the  correct law, so as to avoid confusing and misleading the jury. First, while the defendant may  describe the bases for his beliefs at a very high level, he should not be permitted to offer  documentary evidence, delve deeply into legal theory that may confuse the jury and usurp the  Court’s role." Full letter on DocumentCloud here.

Watch this site - and this Inner City Press song:

On January 25, the cross examination of Janklow continued, then an SDNY Special Agent and Avenatti law firm staffer. But in the middle, Federal Defenders said Avenatti may want to fire them and represent himself. Judge Furman said, Not so fast. Inner City Press live tweeted it, thread here

  In the afternoon of January 25, Avenatti confirmed he wants to represent himself and Judge Furman granted it. He will cross examine Stormy Daniels, then. Inner City Press live tweeted it, thread here and below.

On the morning of January 26, podcast here, Avenatti cross examined Regnier than an FBI agent. Inner City Press live tweeted, thread here.

 On the afternoon of January 26 Avenatti cross examined Sean Macias who hooked him up with Garagos, before those two double teamed Nike. Inner City Press live tweeted it, thread here.

 On the morning of January 27, after the end of Macias and another SDNY witness, Stormy Daniels took the stand to begin direct examination. Inner City Press live tweeted it here.

 On the afternoon, at the end, Avenatti began his cross examination. Inner City Press live tweeted the afternoon, here.

On January 29, Avenatti's cross examination continued, to two videos, thread here.

In the afternoon Avenatti got into, or tried to get into, Trump; afterward Inner City Press asked him about the case - and the Supreme Court. Thread here.

Avenatti-Watch a/k/a Foley Square Follies. here.

more stream here, video here

  Judge Furman released his juror questions, asking each side to respond by January 19 at 10 am. The questions include: "Based on anything that you have read, seen, or heard about Mr. Avenatti, have you  formed any opinions about Mr. Avenatti that might make it difficult for you to be a fair  and impartial juror in this case?  10. Would you have any trouble following my instructions to put anything you may have  read, seen, or heard about Mr. Avenatti out of your mind and decide this case based only  on the evidence presented at trial?  11. Do you or does any member of your family or a close friend personally know or have  past or present dealings with the alleged victim in this case, Ms. Clifford (also known as  “Stormy Daniels”), or with any of her family members?...

"Do you know or have you heard of any of the following people or entities, which include  the lawyers in this case, people who may testify at the trial, and other names that may be  mentioned during the course of the trial?  • Pamela Baez • Elizabeth Beier • Thomas Bolus • Clark Brewster • Christine Carlin • Michaela Catando (also known as  Kayla Paige) • Dmitri Chitov • Dwayne Crawford • Jennifer Donovan • Anna Finkel • Mark Geragos • Jack Guiragosian • Holtzbrinck Publishers • Luke Janklow • Janklow & Nesbit Associates • Geoffrey Johnson • Global Baristas • Sean Macias • Macmillan Publishers • Susan McClaran • Benjamin Meiselas • Travis Miller • Mareli Miniutti • Erik Nathan • Denver Nicks • Kevin Carr O’Leary • David Padilla • Brandon Parraway • Pro Tech Security and Automation • Judy Regnier • Sally Richardson • Security and Automation LLC • St. Martin’s Press • Enrique Santos • Jessica Volchko • Juliet Vicari • Donald Vilfer 25. Are you familiar with anyone else present in the courtroom, including your fellow jurors,  all Court personnel, and myself?"

On October 14 Judge Furman held a proceeding in the Stormy Daniels case and Inner City Press live tweeted it here and podcast here


On August 10 Avenatti's Federal Defenders filed a copy of the affidavit with multiple redactions. The form refers on nearly every question to an attachment, which is blacked out in absurd ways. It reads, for example, "I own stock in two closely held companies that may have value: (a) [REDACTED] located in [REDACTED] and (b) [REDACTED] located in [REDACTED]... I technically still have an interest in a private aircraft (model: HondaJet 420) that was seized by the IRS and is still in their possession. This interest is held through a single-purpose entity named [REDACTED]," and so forth.

Inner City Press  published the redacted affidavit on its DocumentCloud here and asked, Will the Court be accepting this?

On August 11, the correct answer was: No. "MEMO ENDORSEMENT as to Michael Avenatti (1) on [139] LETTER MOTION re: [139] LETTER MOTION addressed to Judge Jesse M. Furman from Robert Baum, Tamara Giwa & Andrew Dalack dated August 10, 2021 re: Letter Motion In Response to Court's Order to File Financial Affidavit. ENDORSEMENT: The Court is unpersuaded that privacy interests justify redacting the names and locations of the corporate entities in Paragraphs 14, 15, and 17 of ECF No. 139-1."

  After hours on August 12, some redactions were removed: Avenatti's owned a plane through Passport 420 LLC; an unnamed "non-family-member acquaintance" paid a NY-based attorney in the Nike case, whose name is redacted. Unredacted: Avenatti owns stock in Tyrian Systems (aka Seek Thermal) of Santa Barbara, CA and Centurion Holdings I, LLC of St. Louis Missouri."

 Not so fast. Inner City Press research in the hours after the removal of the improper redactions found that Centurion Holdings I, LLC is based in Arnold, Missouri - and "received a PPP loan of $60,477 in May, 2020." That's the Paycheck Protection Program; the funds came through the Central Bank of St. Louis.

Bigger, the aka: "Seek Thermal, Inc of  6300 Hollister Ave in Goleta, California received a Coronavirus-related PPP loan from the SBA of $1,365,062.00 in April, 2020." We'll have more on this.

 Watch this site.

 On August 27, Inner City Press filed a formal request that documents in the case not be sealed, full filing on Patreon here.

  On November 12, Inner City Press made a third filing with Judge Furman, on a decision to unseal issued earlier in the day by SDNY Judge J. Paul Oetken after Inner City Press filed to similarly unseal Lev Parnas' co-defendant David Correia's financial infor: "we again ask, why should lower income and less high profile defendants in the SDNY -- and now David Correia -- have their financial information so disclosed while Avenatti's information is sealed in its entirety? The documents at issue should not be sealed and should be made available."

  On August 28, 2020 Judge Furman entered an order: "The Court received the attached communication from Matthew Lee of Inner City Press “seeking leave to be heard and for the unsealing of the CJA Form 23, affidavit, and all associated documents” relating to this litigation. To the extent that Mr. Lee (who is admitted to the bar of the Southern District of New York) seeks leave to be heard, his application is GRANTED. The Court reserves judgment on the question of whether Defendant’s CJA Form 23 and related documents should be unsealed. SO ORDERED. Dated: August 28, 2020 New York, New York JESSE M. FURMAN." Docket No. 85, on Inner City Press' DocumentCloud, here.

  On July 27, 2021, Judge Furman four times citing Inner City Press ordered Avenatti's affidavits unsealed: "Avenatti filed a letter brief arguing that the Initial Financial Affidavit should remain under seal. ECF No. 80 (“Def.’s Mem.”). Thereafter, the Court received submissions from Inner City Press, a media outlet that intervened to seek disclosure of the Financial Affidavits, ECF Nos. 85, 90, 99... The Defendant initially argued that the Government lacked standing “to assert any right on behalf of the public to access Mr. Avenatti’s sworn financial statements.” Def.’s Mem. 7 n.1 (citing United States v. Hickey, 185 F.3d 1064 (9th Cir. 1999)). Subsequently, however, the Court granted leave to Inner City Press to be heard on the Defendant’s motion, ECF No. 85, which indisputably does have standing to assert such rights." Full order here, filings due August 10. Watch this site.

This case is US v. Avenatti, 19-cr-374 (Furman).



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