California attorney Michael Avenatti is taking some time away from Twitter while he prepares to fight the numerous criminal charges against him.
“Please note that I will be severely limiting my tweets regarding either criminal case as we prepare for trial across the coming months or more. I am very fortunate to have some of the best lawyers in America advising me,” he said Friday night.
Avenatti is facing 36 charges in the Central District of California for a variety of crimes including alleged fraud, false statements, obstruction, and failure to pay taxes. He is also facing charges in New York for allegedly attempting to extort Nike. Specifically, he was charged with: (1) Conspiracy to Transmit Interstate Communications with Intent to Extort; (2) Conspiracy to Commit Extortion; (3) Transmission of Interstate Communications With Intent to Extort; and (4) Extortion.
CNN’s Erica Orden reported on Friday that it appeared Avenatti was still attempting to find a lawyer to represent him.
SDNY prosecutors asked judge for a 30-day extension to indict Michael Avenatti, saying in court filing that he requested delay so he could have "additional time to retain counsel to engage with the government." In the NY case, Avenatti has been represented by a public defender.
— erica orden (@eorden) April 26, 2019
“SDNY prosecutors asked judge for a 30-day extension to indict Michael Avenatti, saying in court filing that he requested delay so he could have ‘additional time to retain counsel to engage with the government.’ In the NY case, Avenatti has been represented by a public defender,” she said.
Avenatti told Law&Crime, however, that this was “completely untrue.”
“I have many lawyers who want to represent me. I am very fortunate to have the pick of the best lawyers in America,” he said.
Recently, Avenatti said he’s been “humbled” by his legal predicament.
“I’ve been humbled. I’ve been humbled significantly. There’s been a lot of highs and there’s been a lot of lows, and, frankly, I’ve attempted not to get too high,” he stated in CNN. “Sometimes I’ve failed, but I’ve attempted not to get too high. Right now I’m trying not to get too low.”
“I’m a fighter. I’ve always been a fighter. And I anticipate that there’s going to be a lot of evidence and a lot of facts that are going to come out that are going to change perhaps the opinion that people have having now only seen one side of the story,” he continued. “But we don’t convict people after only hearing one side of the story.”
Avenatti faces up to 107 years in prison for the combined charges, just to give you an idea of the seriousness of the accusations. There isn’t a chance this maximum would ever happen. Avenatti, for his part, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
Matt Naham and Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]