‘Have I Hit Bottom?’: Michael Avenatti and the Fall of a Trump-Era Antihero


When I shared the details of Avenatti’s case with Maureen Baird, a federal prison consultant and a senior executive warden at MCC from 2014 to 2016, she said she’d never heard of a white-collar case in 10 South. Normally, according to Baird, high-profile detainees are housed in the jail’s regular special housing unit, 9 South, while the warden reviews him for general population.

“It’s an anomaly. It’s bizarre,” she said.

Avenatti is convinced there is a more nefarious explanation.

One day in February, he was on his way back to MCC from court, accompanied by three guards, when a senior correctional officer intervened, he says. The senior officer led him upstairs, pausing in the vestibule outside 10 South. “You know why you’re here, right?” he said. Avenatti says the officer told him he was in 10 South at the direction of the attorney general, Bill Barr, and to…

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