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Dec. 4, 2018 / 5:31 PM GMT / Updated 5:36 PM GMT
By Allan Smith
Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, announced Tuesday that he will not run for president in 2020 at the request of his family.
“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. “I do not make this decision lightly — I make it out of respect for my family. But for their concerns, I would run.”
Avenatti added that he will continue representing Daniels and others in litigation against President Donald Trump and his associates, adding that he “will not rest until Trump is removed from office.”
Avenatti has raised money for Democratic candidates and traveled to early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
He mentioned his bid earlier this week as he criticized coverage of his possible run for the White House.
“In one breath, certain media outlets state I will have no bearing on the 2020 race and am not a threat,” he tweeted. “But they continue to write click bait ‘hit pieces’ meant to discredit me. Which one is it, bc it can’t be both? If I’m not a threat, go do pieces on other ‘viable’ candidates.”
The announcement that he will not run comes amid a tumultuous period for the attorney.
Daniels, his highest-profile client, had accused her lawyer of filing a defamation lawsuit against Trump against her wishes and not providing her information on a legal fund for her that he started. Daniels later said her concerns were cleared up and that she and Avenatti would remain a team.
That kerfuffle followed Avenatti’s arrest last month on suspicion of domestic violence, which he has denied. Daniels said at the time that she would wait and see what came of the allegations before making a decision on Avenatti’s future as her attorney.
It was as Daniels’ attorney that Avenatti became a household name, appearing frequently in the media. The pair fought to free the adult movie star from a $130,000 non-disclosure agreement she signed with Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, just weeks prior to the 2016 presidential election to stay quiet about her allegation of a 2006 affair with Trump.
Trump denied the affair and claimed to know nothing of the agreement when it was struck. In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to a series of federal crimes, including campaign finance violations in connection with hush-money payments he said he helped arrange at Trump’s request. Trump and his legal team have said that Cohen lacks any credibility.