Michael Avenatti Pleads Not Guilty to 36-Count Indictment

Michael Avenatti—who was indicted on 36 charges last month including fraud, tax dodging, and embezzlement—pleaded not guilty on Monday morning in Santa Ana, California. Just two weeks before the 48-year-old was charged in the 36-count indictment, federal prosecutors in New York and California also alleged that the one-time lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels attempted to extort millions of dollars from Nike, Inc., forced tax returns to defraud a bank, and stole from clients. Avenatti became a household name when he represented Daniels against President Trump, becoming a vocal critic of the president and even briefly floating a 2020 presidential run. “We don’t convict someone in America based on a one-sided argument and a press conference,” Avenatti wrote in a statement he posted on Twitter. “Even when he is one of the biggest enemies of the president and his son.”