Michael Avenatti (AP/Mary Altaffer)

Michael Avenatti: "I have decided not to seek the presidency of the United States in 2020"

The lawyer said he would "continue to represent Stormy Daniels and others against Donald Trump and his cronies"


Shira Tarlo
December 4, 2018 5:24PM (UTC)

Michael lawyer, the lawyer representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal proceedings against President Donald Trump, announced on Twitter that he has "decided not to seek the presidency of the United States" following consultation with his family and friends.

"I will continue to represent Stormy Daniels and others against Donald Trump and his cronies and will not rest until Trump is removed from office, and our republic and its values are restored," Avenatti said in a statement. "I will also continue with my nearly 20 years of speaking truth to power and representing those who need an advocate against the powerful."

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"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 continued. "The party must immediately recognize that many of the likely candidates are not battle tested and have no real chance at winning. We will not prevail in 2020 without a fighter. I remain hopeful the party finds one."

The high-profile attorney has been embroiled in scandal, as of late. Most recently, Daniels publicly accused him of unethical conduct. Questions have also surfaced about his unpaid debts and various tax liabilities, as well as an October arrest for domestic violence allegations, which he has vehemently denied.

The media briefly flirted with Avenatti as he offered not-so-subtle hints about his political aspirations. Ahead of Election Day, the lawyer launched a political ad, which critics and political observers believed pointed to his 2020 ambitions. The attorney, however, denied that the spot was a sign that he was considering throwing his hat in the ring to challenge Trump.

"We concluded that shooting this and releasing this would result in increased turnout, which is critically important," Avenatti said at the time. "The message is, 'We've had enough, we have to take back this country. We have to do that fighting back and turning out to vote.'"

The ad highlights Avenatti's "fight club" theme, which he has previously suggested is the only way that Democrats can beat Trump in 2020. At a Democratic fundraiser in Iowa earlier this year, Avenatti said, "What I fear for this Democratic Party that I love is that we have a tendency to bring nail clippers to gunfights." He added, that the Democratic Party "must be a party that fights fire with fire."

Avenatti previously debuted a political platform, a 2020 website and has taken what appears to be an increasingly popular tone among anti-Trump voters who eager to rally behind a political boxing match. He previously tweeted, "If (big) [Trump] seeks re-election, I will run, but only if I think that there is no other candidate in the race that has a real chance at beating him. We can't relive 2016."

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Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

MORE FROM Shira TarloFOLLOW @shiratarlo

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2020 Election Donald Trump Michael Avenatti Stormy Daniels

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