As he was suing ex-President Donald Trump on behalf of porn star Stormy Daniels in 2018, Michael Avenatti entertained an offer from another client who was awaiting a $4 million wire transfer from his law firm: Would he like to use a new armored Chevrolet Suburban B-6 with electric door handles, designed to thwart grenades, landmines and assault rifles?

For federal prosecutors trying to persuade a jury to convict Avenatti of 10 wire fraud charges in connection with a client embezzlement scheme, the vehicle wasn’t worth mentioning. But for Avenatti, the extravagance loaned to him by cosmetics executive Long Tran was a chance to try to discredit Tran’s testimony that he suspected Avenatti was stealing from him, and it fits with a broader narrative he’s pushing about a high-profile law practice that put him in the crosshairs of power.

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