Michael Avenatti, the now-imprisoned former attorney of Stormy Daniels, is planning to testify on behalf of former President Donald Trump in his criminal trial regarding his hush money payment to the porn star.

Last week, The New York Post reported that Avenatti has been in contact with Trump’s legal team and is willing to testify against Daniels. “The defense has contacted me,” he told the New York newspaper over the phone from Terminal Island, a federal prison in Los Angeles. Avenatti is currently serving a 19-year sentence for attempting to steal Daniels’ book proceeds, evading taxes on his coffee shop chain, stealing settlement funds from his legal clients, plotting to extort up to $25 million from Nike, and various other crimes.

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I’d be more than happy to testify,” Avenatti continued. “I don’t know that I will be called to testify, but I have been in touch with Trump’s defense for the better part of year.” When asked to get into details, Avenatti refused.

“There’s no question [the trial] is politically motivated because they’re concerned that he may be reelected,” Avenatti went on:

“If the defendant was anyone other than Donald Trump, this case would not have been brought at this time, and for the government to attempt to bring this case and convict him in an effort to prevent tens of millions of people from voting for him, I think it’s just flat out wrong, and atrocious.

I’m really bothered by the fact that Trump, in my view, has been targeted. Four cases is just over the top and I think there’s a significant chance that this is going to all backfire and is going to propel him to the White House. […] Depending on what happens, this could constitute pouring jet fuel on his campaign.”

A source in the Trump camp confirmed Avenatti’s story to the Post.

Avenatti had been a thorn in Trump’s side during his administration, representing Daniels in a suit to take down the president for allegedly offering her a “hush money” payment of $130,000 to keep quiet about their alleged 2006 affair during the 2016 election. Avenatti’s constant media presence provoked the ire of conservative media, with Fox host Tucker Carlson derisively nicknaming him the “creepy porn lawyer.”

After Avenatti’s fall from grace—having been a regular on MSNBC (to the point where he was sleeping in their New York office) and CNN and a potential presidential candidate in the eyes of Brian Stelter and Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon—he is now willing to contradict Daniels’ story, which is propelling the current criminal trial against the presidential candidate in New York.

“Stormy Daniels is going to say whatever she believes is going to assist Stormy Daniels and putting more money in her pocket,” Avenatti said. “If Stormy Daniels lips are moving, she’s lying for money.”

He also called her a “poor witness” for having previously claimed to speak to dead people and having a “haunted,” voodoo-like doll. “I don’t know how you can possibly put someone who makes those claims on the witness stand and use them as a star witness in a case against a former president United States who’s running for president. That is just absolutely ludicrous to me.”

Avenatti apparently wants the public to think of Trump and himself as brothers in arms going up against a cancellation machine. “I think that we were both targeted by the justice system,” he said. “There’s a lot of people on the left that were very concerned about my potential rise within the Democratic Party and my potential rise in Democratic politics. And the fact that I was not someone that was easily controlled.”

He claims he is not seeking a presidential pardon from Trump should he win in November, and said he wished he never met Daniels, who returned his compliments, calling him a “lunatic” and a “scumbag” to the Post. “I was about to say that I also wish I’d never met him but I’m actually glad because I’m the one that helped convict him so he couldn’t steal from even more unsuspecting clients,” she told them.

Shane Devine is a writer covering politics and business for VT and a regular guest on The Unusual Suspects. Follow Shane’s work here.

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