Michael Avenatti says courtroom mask mandate infringes on constitutional right to face accuser

Daniels has accused Avenatti of cheating her out of about $ 300,000 in proceeds she was supposed to collect on a 2018 advance from a book about her alleged affair with former 唐纳德·特朗普总统.

Michael Avenatti, 剩下, leaves Federal court in Manhattan, 星期五, 一月. 21, 2022.

Michael Avenatti, 剩下, leaves Federal court in Manhattan, 星期五, 一月. 21, 2022. (美联社照片/ Mary Altaffer)

Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to begin on Monday, though Daniels is not expected to testify until Tuesday, at the earliest.

Avenatti’s legal team filed a motion Saturday, arguing that the Southern District of New York’s mask mandate, requiring everyone in the courthouse remain masked – including trial witnesses – absent proof of a same-day negative COVID-19 test.

This policy raises the specter that witnesses at Mr. Avenatti’s trial will be masked during their testimony in violation of Mr. Avenatti’s Sixth Amendment fair trial and Confrontation Clause rights,” Avenatti’s legal team wrote.

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“相应地, 先生. Avenatti objects to proceeding to trial under this policy and moves for an immediate two-week adjournment of the trial to February 7, 2022, the date originally set by the Court on November 2, 2021.”

The Sixth Amendment’sConfrontation Clauseensures that criminal defendants will have the right to beconfronted with the witnesses against him.According to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, 的 “Confrontation Clausewas intended to prevent the conviction of a defendant upon written evidence with the defendant having had the opportunity to face their accusers.

文件: Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, 剩下, stands with her lawyer Michael Avenatti during a news conference outside federal court in New York, 四月 16, 2018.

文件: Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, 剩下, stands with her lawyer Michael Avenatti during a news conference outside federal court in New York, 四月 16, 2018. (美联社照片/ Mary Altaffer, 文件)

Citing court precedents, Avenatti’s legal team said there is presently no public policy interest in proceeding with the trial while witnesses are allowed to testifybehind the veil of a facemask– something that they argued would hurt Avenatti’s ability toadequately asses the witness’s credibility through a direct, physical encounter.

星期日, Judge Jesse M. Furman slapped down their argument, writing that the‘specter’ of something purely hypothetical plainly does not warrant an adjournment.

Furman said the court would take appropriate action in the instances where the mask mandate would interfere with a witness’s ability to testify.

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Robert M. Baum, one of Avenatti’s attorneys, told Fox News on Sunday that if the judge is convinced the mask mandate won’t be an issue for the jury or violate Avenatti’s constitutional rights then, “we’re ready to go.

We’re looking forward to going ahead with the trial. We were just concerned that our client’s constitutional rights were preserved, and the mask issue is an issue that could adversely affect his constitutional rights,” Baum said. “We’re looking forward to this.

Daniel’s testimony in Manhattan federal court will be pivotal for prosecutors trying to prove Avenatti, 50, engaged in wire fraud and aggravated identity theft to keep from giving his client money he had received from her publisher.

Michael Avenatti, the once high-profile California attorney who regularly taunted then-President Donald Trump, was introduced to prospective jurors who will decide whether he cheated porn star Stormy Daniels out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Michael Avenatti, the once high-profile California attorney who regularly taunted then-President Donald Trump, was introduced to prospective jurors who will decide whether he cheated porn star Stormy Daniels out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. (美联社照片/ Mary Altaffer)

阿韦纳蒂, who once was so popular in some circles that he considered a run for president, has pleaded not guilty to the charges in what will be his third criminal trial in two years.

I am completely innocent of these charges,” Avenatti said in a statement issued through a publicist this weekend. “The government is spending millions of dollars to prosecute me for a case that should have never been filed. 与此同时, they continue to allow Trump and his co-conspirators to walk free and suffer no consequences for their criminal conduct. That is not justice.

Fox News’ Marta Dhanis and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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