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Everyone has an opinion on Sen. Kamala Harris, including Michael Avenatti, who once thought he was going to be president. But after Stormy Daniels‘ lawyer tweeted that it will be difficult for the U.S. senator from California to be elected to the nation’s highest public office, he was doing some explaining.

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“Unfortunately, because of Willie Horton, it is very very difficult for a former prosecutor to be elected President,” Avenatti wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “All it takes is one bad plea deal, where the defendant then later committed a violent crime, and the campaign is over. And almost every prosecutor has at least one.”

He continued, “And if Senator Harris is aware of any such plea deal gone bad, her campaign should try and get out in front of it now, disclose it, explain it, and try and move forward. Because I can promise you that journalists and the Repubs will find it. And then it will be too late.”

Willie Horton was a person used in a racist attack ad by Republican candidate George H. W. Bush in 1988. It framed his Democratic opponent, Michael Dukakis, as being weak on crime because he supported weekend passes for prisoners. Horton committed a crime while on a weekend pass. The infamous ad ruined Dukakis campaign and helped Bush become president.

Avenatti expanded more on his tweets to, “I worked on over 150 campaigns in 42 states — Senate races, gubernatorial races, etc. — and whenever we were running against a prosecutor, we were generally elated, because every prosecutor has at least one if not many plea deals that have gone bad.”

He added, “It is easy to exploit a situation like that in the political arena, and especially at this level, when running for the presidency of the United States. The likelihood of journalists and/or opponents — whether they be in the primary or otherwise — digging into her prosecutorial background and locating such a plea deal gone wrong is extremely high.”

The true motivation behind Avenatti’s tweets might be found in an article TIME published in October quoting the lawyer insisting that he didn’t want a Black person to run for president. When asked who he wanted to see as the Democratic Party’s nominee in 2020, Avenatti’s answer was deliberate: “I think it better be a white male,” he said before adding later: “When you have a white male making the arguments, they carry more weight.”

There have been questions about Harris’ history as it relates to criminal justice. As a prosecutor in San Francisco before becoming attorney general of California, she was a huge advocate of truancy laws that charged parents a fee for their children being truant and locking the parent up if they could not pay the fee. article from June ripped into Harris for those issues: “Kamala Harris’ career was built on both the slave labor of black and brown prisoners and also the pettiness of truancy laws that separated poor and mostly black mothers from their children. Harris was so proud of her history with taking mothers from their children that she used it as her signature campaign agenda while running for AG.”

Harris was also previously vague on marijuana legalization, which she supports now, and reportedly advocated for California horrific three-strikes law.


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