Michael Avenatti Says He’s 50-50 On Running For President

August 3rd, 2019
Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti arrives for his first hearing in Santa Ana federal court on bank and wire fraud charges on April 1, 2019 in Santa Ana, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Embattled celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti is revisiting a potential 2020 presidential bid and told CNBC he is “one of the few effective fighters” in the Democratic Party.

“Never say never,” he told CNBC Friday when asked if he might still run in 2020. “The Dems need a non-traditional fighter. They have a lot of talent but not a lot of fighters.”

Avenatti said he puts the odds of running at 50-50, and he will make a final decision in the next few months, CNBC reported Saturday.

“I don’t think I need to make a final decision for a number of months. I have the name ID and everyone knows I’m one of the few effective fighters that the Dems have,” said Avenatti, who adopted the catch phrase “basta,” or “enough,” during his frequent attacks on President Donald Trump.

Avenatti announced on Dec. 4, 2018 he would not run for president. He was considering joining the Democratic field and had received words of encouragement from journalists like Brian Stelter, but said at the time that his family opposed a presidential bid. (RELATED: Flashback: The Media Drooled Over Avenatti)

 

Since then, federal prosecutors in New York and California indicted Avenatti on charges that he ripped off legal clients and attempted to extort others.

 

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels and attorney Michael Avenatti attend the 2019 Adult Video News Awards at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Jan. 26, 2019. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Authorities arrested Avenatti on March 25 on charges that he conspired to extort Nike out of $20 million. Avenatti allegedly threatened to go public with damaging information against the sports apparel company if he did not receive $20 million in walk-away money.

Federal prosecutors in California accused Avenatti in an April 11 indictment of scamming a mentally ill, paraplegic man out of $4 million in settlement money stemming from a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County jail.

Prosecutors indicted Avenatti on May 22 on charges that he defrauded his most prominent client, Stormy Daniels, out of $300,000 in funds from a book advance. Daniels, a porn star, said she had an affair with Trump in 2006.

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Chuck Ross

Investigative Reporter