Michael Avenatti Wants $94 Million for Alleged Abuse by Trump and Bill Barr

The onetime liberal hero says Trump and his former Attorney General personally sent him to the worst penal hell in the U.S., and now he wants to make them pay

Michael Avenatti—the California lawyer who gained national prominence representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against Donald Trump, and who is currently under house arrest in Venice Beach as he appeals his conviction on federal fraud charges—claims Donald Trump and his groveling former Attorney General, Bill Barr, personally sent him to one of the worst detention facilities in the nation, and now he’s demanding $94 million in damages for his trouble.

“A federal district court judge has found that I was held under terrible conditions and that it was hard to believe it could occur in the United States of America,” Avenatti told Los Angeles via email Thursday. “I agree and look forward to holding Trump and Barr accountable for what they did to me in the interest of politics and revenge. I’m not done fighting.”

At issue is Avenatti’s 74 days in solitary confinement in “10 South”—the darkest crevice of Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Avenatti says he was kept under inhumane conditions in a high-security cell once occupied by El Chapo. Avenatti further claims that he was sent there at the direct order of Barr, who took his instructions straight from Trump.

Avenatti filed a claim known as a Standard Form 95 with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Department of Justice, as well as the Office of the President. A Form 95, CBS reports, is the first step toward a potential lawsuit against the U.S. government. If a settlement can’t be reached, or if the agencies deny the claim, within six months, Avenatti can then file a lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act against the U.S. in federal court.

Avenatti says his 10 South neighbors included three or four suspected terrorists and a CIA officer accused of treason. 10 South is also one level above the cell where Jeffrey Epstein was last seen alive.

According to Avenatti’s claim, “Prison officials monitored Claimant through two cameras in his cell and forbade him from communicating with other inmates or covering himself while using the bathroom. A guard was stationed outside his cell 24 hours a day. Guards falsified sign-in sheets and did not conduct regular walk-throughs as required.The frosted windows of Claimant’s cell allowed almost no sunlight. Temperatures at night were frigid. He was restricted from speaking with friends or family. He was not provided fresh air or recreation.”

Additionally, the filing states, “There was no plausible security reason for housing
Claimant in 10 South. He had never been convicted of any crime, had no history of violence and was not informed of any threat made against him by other inmates. Rather, Claimant’s
confinement to 10 South was retaliation for Claimant’s criticism of President Trump and other federal government employees, including the Attorney General.”

Last month, Avenatti told Los Angeles, “10 South consists of six cells designed to hold the most dangerous individuals on the planet and is widely considered worse than Guantanamo Bay. It was built in response to 9/11 and the UN has described the conditions as torture. And they are. You can’t even be placed there absent an order from the Attorney General. Trump and Barr targeted me and did everything in their power to break me.”

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