Michael Avenatti Arrested: Dershowitz Says Lawyer's 'Big Mouth' May Have Led to Charges
Feds: Avenatti tried to extort money from Nike.
Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz reacted Monday to the arrest of lawyer Michael Avenatti, who federal prosecutors say attempted to extort the Nike footwear company.
As Fox News reported:
Michael Avenatti, porn star Stormy Daniels' former lawyer who briefly considered a bid for president, is set to be charged Monday for allegedly trying to extort Nike for $15-$25 million, officials at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said.
Avenatti, who Fox News confirmed was taken into custody Monday, allegedly tried to extort the massive sports apparel company "by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met," prosecutors alleged.
The counts against him include conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort, conspiracy to commit extortion and more. Avenatti is expected to answer to the charges later Monday.
Dershowitz said the 48-year-old attorney, who gained fame in recent years for his representation of porn star Stormy Daniels, is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but added that Avenatti's penchant for heated public remarks may have created further problems.
"He's essentially accused of threatening to affect Nike's capital value unless some money was paid," Dershowitz said, adding that Avenatti tends to be "a guy with a big mouth, using words that reasonable lawyers would never use in a conversation."
"You can't threaten a company's bottom line unless they pay money, unless it's part of a negotiation," he said.
Harris Faulkner reported that at least one "special agent" from the Internal Revenue Service is involved in the case.
"We have to know a lot more about the evidence -- and even [for] people who wouldn't apply the presumption of innocence to other people," Dershowitz said of Avenatti.
Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 25, 2019
Avenatti, who briefly considered running for president, teased an announcement Sunday of "a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by Nike."
Avenatti represented Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, when she revealed that she had a 2006 affair with Donald Trump and was paid hush money by Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, during the 2016 campaign.
My statement regarding my former attorney Mr. Avenatti.. pic.twitter.com/9aKYCPNN6y
— Stormy Daniels (@StormyDaniels) March 25, 2019
Reacting to the arrest, Daniels said in a statement she is "not shocked," accusing her former attorney of acting "extremely dishonestly" with her. She said she would reveal more in the future about Avenatti's conduct.
Watch the segment above.