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Try considering the source before jumping on board

Political controversy is seen by some people solely as an opportunity for fame and fortune. It seems attorney Michael Avenatti belongs in that category.

Avenatti’s big chance came when the California attorney latched onto a prize client: Stephanie Clifford, more commonly known in the porn industry as Stormy Daniels. In 2018, Avenatti was a sought-after news media interview because of Clifford’s claim she once engaged in a relationship with President Donald Trump, before he was elected, and he then paid her to keep quiet about it.

Later this year, Avenatti is to go on trial on charges he defrauded Clifford.

That is not his only problem. After a three-week trial in Manhattan, he was convicted earlier this month of trying to extort $25 million from the Nike sportswear company. Prosecutors said he threatened to use his access to the news media to harm the firm’s reputation.

Avenatti got media power because he had information unflattering to the president. Trump’s foes flocked to him, with a few even suggesting Avenatti ought to run for president. In the summer of 2018, Avenatti even came to our Mahoning Valley to serve as keynote speaker for the Mahoning County Democratic Party’s annual fundraising dinner.

But claiming to have politically useful information and actually possessing it are two different things. And those who really do stumble across it all too often are unsavory characters such as Avenatti. His downfall ought to be a lesson to those of all political persuasions that sometimes, the source needs to be considered in such cases.

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