- Michael Avenatti, best known for representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her suit against President Donald Trump, announced Tuesday he does not plan to run for president as a Democrat in 2020.
- Avenatti stoked speculation for a possible 2020 bid for months.
- “We will not prevail in 2020 without a fighter,” his statement said. “I remain hopeful that the party finds one.”
After months of speculation over his political future, bombastic attorney Michael Avenatti said Tuesday he does not plan to run for president as a Democrat in 2020.
In a statement posted to his Twitter account, Avenatti said that following “consultation with my family and at their request, I have decided not to seek the Presidency of the United States in 2020.”
Avenatti is best known for representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her suit against President Donald Trump. He gained national prominence representing Daniels in a bid to invalidate a non-disclosure agreement she signed agreeing to stay silent about an alleged 2006 affair with Trump in exchange for $US130,000.
He also represented migrant mothers who were separated from their children at the border as part of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, as well as a woman who alleged sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
In October, Avenatti came under fire for being quoted in TIME Magazine as saying that the 2020 Democratic nominee “better be a white male.”
Avenatti has also suffered a number of legal and personal setbacks in recent months.On October 15, a federal judge dismissed his client Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump and ordered her to pay Trump’s legal fees in the matter.
Also in October, a federal judge ordered Avenatti to pay a former employee almost $US5 million in unpaid wages, the same day his law firm was evicted from its offices in Newport Beach, California, for allegedly not paying over $US200,000 in rent.
The Senate Judiciary Committee then referred Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation. Swetnick accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh being present during “gang rapes” at Washington, DC-area parties in the 1980s in a sworn declaration.
On Nov. 14, TMZ reported and the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that Avenatti had been arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence. Actress Mareli Minutti accused Avenatti of dragging her across the floor of his apartment by her arm.
The Los Angeles district attorney’s office ultimately declined to press charges against Avenatti, referring the allegations to the LA city attorney for a possible misdemeanour charge.
In late November, Daniels told The Daily Beast that Avenatti had filed his unsuccessful defamation lawsuit against Trump on her behalf “without my approval” and “against my wishes.”
In his statement Tuesday, he said he remained “concerned” about the Democratic Party’s path forward.
“I remain concerned that the Democratic party will move toward nominating an individual who might make an exceptional President but has no chance of actually beating Donald Trump,” he said. “We will not prevail in 2020 without a fighter. I remain hopeful that the party finds one.”
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