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Michael Avenatti, one of President Donald Trump‘s most public foes and a longshot 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, is facing scrutiny today after a report about the lavish lifestyle he lived while evading taxes for years.
According to the Daily Beast, Avenatti at one point owed at least $1.2 million to the IRS, as well as a larger corporate debt from taxes his law firm didn’t pay. All the while, Avenatti enjoyed “international and domestic travel via private jet, and [had] a collection of art and exotic cars.”
Of course, conservatives are chomping at the bit at Avenatti’s deception, saying it proves he’s the ambulance-chasing huckster they’ve always claimed him to be. And they’re using their favorite moniker for him, Creepy Porn Lawyer (or CPL).
Did you pay your 10 million dollar tax bill with all these “wins” CPL?— The Elusive Cat (@Energy0506) October 21, 2018
Is that why creepy porn lawyer owes the IRS literally millions of dollars? Yeah every productive tax paying citizen is in debt millions to the IRS. Comical.— Kanye Weston (@WestonGeonetta) October 22, 2018
As I sad, sleazebag. I don't care that he gives Trump a hard time, doesn't mean we should admire him https://t.co/3LwRIL0he3— Lily and TJ's Dad! (@ApplePasta) October 22, 2018
They’re also suddenly eager to talk about him as a 2020 candidate, so it can blow up in his face.
MAKE HIM YOUR SAVIOR LIBS— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 22, 2018
DO IT https://t.co/dpFGrVYpN7
Is that the Creepy Porn Lawyer? 4 million in back taxes? OMG! Kiss running in 2020 good bye. https://t.co/pfr7v4T8um— HotScot9 (@HScot9) October 22, 2018
As with anything though, this sudden outrage over a possible political candidate engaging in shady taxes practices is ironic at best.
Just this month, a years-long investigation by the New York Times revealed Trump engaged in tax fraud and deception that prevented the federal government from fairly taxing his assets throughout his life, on a scale far greater than anything Avenatti is accused of.
And that didn’t stop him from barnstorming a U.S. election. So maybe conservatives should be careful what they wish for.
Avenatti told the Daily Beast that the debts to the IRS have been “fully paid.”
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]