Lawyer Avenatti Seeks to End ‘Vindictive’ Prosecution He Blames on Trump Feud

Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters

Lawyer Michael Avenatti asked a federal judge to dismiss an indictment accusing him of trying to extort Nike Inc <NKE.N>, saying he was targeted in a “vindictive and selective prosecution” because of his feud with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Avenatti made his request in filings on Wednesday night with the federal court in Manhattan.

Prosecutors accused Avenatti in March of trying to extort more than $20 million from Nike by threatening to expose what he called its improper payments to recruits for college basketball teams it sponsored. Nike has denied wrongdoing.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan declined to comment on Thursday.

Avenatti is also known for having represented porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have received hush money not to discuss an affair she had with Trump in 2006. The president has denied having had sex with Daniels.

In Wednesday’s filings, Avenatti accused Berman’s office of having “eschewed the typically careful and thoughtful fact-gathering investigation on which it historically prides itself,” in its “zest to nab” him.

Avenatti said the office “substituted its own personal impressions” of him based on his “aggressive public persona,” criticisms of Trump, and brief involvement in the prosecution of Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

He said that if he were “attorney Doe,” he would not have been arrested or charged.

Avenatti faces separate charges in California alleging wire fraud, bank fraud and other crimes, and in New York alleging that he defrauded Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. He has pleaded not guilty to the various charges.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bill Trott and Steve Orlofsky)

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Allen Zabel
Member

Soooo ….. Trump forced you to hide money and do all of those criminal acts?
Donald Trump: First person ever, to get a full refund from a hooker and have her lawyer blame him, for his own short comings.

Tom Bodine
Member

Scumbag

John
Guest
John

Can’t help yourself, Avenatti, can you? Donald Trump has better things to do than fixate on a sad case lawyer. Besides Nike isn’t exactly a fan of the president

michelle p
Member

What else is new Trump haters blame the President for all their problems.This President is a very powerful man

Otis
Member

Disbarment and jail should be in order. This jackass can make friends in the big house dispensing legal advice to other inmates if they are dumb enough to trust a shyster of his caliber.

Cherl
Member

Avenatti is of the belief that bad publicity is better than no publicity. He is even accused of stealing from Stormy Daniels for a book deal. One just can not make this stuff up.

TruSkeptik
Guest
TruSkeptik

Loser! If he were half the lawyer he pretends to be he would not be wasting the Court’s time with motions that are DOA. Now, there’s an interesting idea . . . .

Screwtape
Member

Umm. No, Michael. Trump did not make you attempt to extort Nike. Nor did he force you to embezzle monies from Ms. Daniels or other clients (you do have a history), defraud your law partner, or fail to make rent payments for your offices.

Weren’t we just saying that a complete lack of personal responsibility is a defining characteristic of the Left?

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