Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti is the latest target for supporters of the pro-Trump conspiracy theory QAnon, with police investigating a man’s appearance near Avenatti’s office after the building was mentioned in QAnon posts.
QAnon believers claim that a series of cryptic clues posted to internet forums 4Chan and 8Chan are coming from a high-level Trump administration insider, describing a world where Trump has teamed up with the military to take on a global cabal of powerful elites, celebrities, and pedophiles.
“Q,” the online poster whose messages make up the basis of the QAnon theory, targeted Avenatti on Sunday by posting a link to Avenatti’s website and pictures of his Newport Beach, California, office building.
“Buckle up!” the post, made on 8Chan, read.
About 45 minutes later, Q posted a picture of a man standing in the street near Avenatti’s office. The man, who has his back to the camera, is holding what appears to be a cellphone in one hand and a long, thin object in the other.
Avenatti said that the man in the picture might be holding a shank.
“That’s not a set of keys,” Avenatti told The Daily Beast. “It also looks like he’s wearing a toupee of some sort. And not a very good one, I might add.”
A few minutes after posting the picture of the man, Q posted again, saying the man’s appearance at Avenatti’s office meant that a “message” had been sent.
A spokesperson for the Newport Beach Police Department said police are investigating the man’s appearance near Avenatti’s office: “We’re just looking into what is categorized as suspicious circumstances.”
Avenatti, who shot to prominence in the media after he started representing Daniels in her lawsuit against Trump, told The Daily Beast that the number of threats against him has quadrupled since he was mentioned in the QAnon posts on Sunday.
“I consider my new prominence among these conspiracy theorists to be a badge of honor, because it shows that many consider me to be a threat to this president, as they should,” Avenatti said.
If the man outside Avenatti’s office is linked to QAnon, it won’t be the first time one of the conspiracy theory’s believers have taken action in the real world. In June, an armed QAnon adherent allegedly blocked a bridge near the Hoover Dam with an improvised armored truck. Now facing a terrorism charge, the man has attempted to send Trump and other politicians letters filled with QAnon slogans from jail.