WASHINGTON — Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal actions against Donald Trump, announced Tuesday that he will not run for president in 2020.
“After consultation with my family and at their request, I have decided not to seek the Presidency of the United States in 2020,” Avenatti said in a statement shared on Twitter. “I do not make this decision lightly – I make it out of respect for my family. But for their concerns, I would run.”
Please see my statement below regarding 2020. pic.twitter.com/ztCfZUY6hA
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) December 4, 2018
Avenatti has flirted with a potential run for months, appearing at Democratic Party events and rubbing elbows in key primary states.
While he appeared to be getting some traction as somebody who would take a combative stance against Trump, his star quickly faded after he was arrested Nov. 14 on suspicion of domestic violence.
Avenatti has denied any wrongdoing, but the Los Angeles city attorney’s office is reportedly still in the process of considering misdemeanor charges.
The attorney also has faced scrutiny after he brought forward allegations from Julie Swetnick claiming she witnessed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh drugging and sexually assaulting women while a teenager.
The allegations made a splash during Kavanaugh’s confirmation fight, but Swetnick later gave a television interview with NBC in which she contradicted her sworn statement, leading the Senate Judiciary Committee to refer both her and Avenatti to the Justice Department.
Compounding his immediate troubles, Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, has told the Daily Beast that a failed defamation lawsuit against Trump was filed against her wishes.
In his statement Tuesday, Avenatti said that he would continue to represent the actress and that he “will not rest until Trump is removed from office.”
While Daniels lost a defamation suit and was ordered to pay Trump damages, Trump’s former longtime attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in August to paying her and another woman hush money in order to sway the 2016 election, a move that amounted to a campaign finance violation.