GOP strategist says Avenatti was a 'useful idiot' for Dems

Republican strategist Mica Mosbacher told Hill.TV's "Rising" on Friday that Democrats used attorney Michael Avenatti as "a useful idiot" to attack President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE and Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSupreme Court sees more serious divide open on death penalty Juan Williams: Buttigieg already making history Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle MORE before Avenatti was indicted on his own criminal charges.

"Avenatti was a useful idiot for the Democrats when he was using Julie Swetnik to take down Kavanaugh first of all and Stormy Daniels to try to sully the president," Mosbacher told hosts Buck Sexton and Jamal Simmons. 

Avenatti formerly represented Daniels, an adult-film star whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in her legal battle against Trump, with whom she says she had an affair more than a decade ago.

During Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing last year, Swetnick was one of two women who accused the judge of sexual assault, which the then-Supreme Court nominee denied.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) later announced he was referring Swetnick and Avenatti to the Justice Department for a potential criminal investigation into whether they made false statements to Congress about Kavanaugh.

During his representation of Daniels, Avenatti made frequent appearances on cable news shows and even floated a 2020 Democratic presidential bid. 

He was charged in California on Thursday with on 36 counts of perjury, fraud, failure to pay taxes and other financial crimes.

"Now I think it's interesting that the Democrats are now trying to distance themselves from Avenatti," Mosbacher said. 

— Julia Manchester