California attorney Michael Avenatti, thorn in President Donald Trump‘s side, will not challenge Trump for the presidency in 2020.
Avenatti said that his family’s concerns ultimately trump his desire to run against Trump in 2020, but added that he will continue to torment Trump in the courts and is concerned about the direction of the Democratic Party.
“After consultation with my family and at their request, I have decided not to seek the Presidency of the United States in 2020. I do not make this decision lightly – I make it out of respect for my family. But for their concerns, I would run,” he said in a statement. ” I will continue to represent Stormy Daniels and others against Donald Trump and his cronies and will not rest until Trump is removed from office, and our republic and its values are restored. I will also continue with my nearly twenty years of speaking truth to power and representing those who need an advocate against the powerful.”
“I remain concerned that the Democratic Party will move toward nominating an individual who might make an exceptional President but has no change of actually beating Donald Trump,” he continued. “The party must immediately recognize that many of the likely candidates are not battle tested and have no real chance at winning. We will prevail in 2020 without a fighter. I remain hopeful the party finds one.”
It’s notable that Avenatti said he would continue representing Stormy Daniels, when you consider his former law school professor recently defended him and urged him to cuts ties with Daniels. The latest controversy involving Avenatti stemmed from an interview Daniels gave with The Daily Beast, where she accused her attorney of failing to let her know where the money he raised for her legal expenses was actually going, as well as filing a defamation lawsuit against Trump on her behalf without her consent. Questions about legal ethics and possible disbarment immediately followed.
This came on the heels of Avenatti being hit with a $4.85 million verdict after he was sued by former law partner Jason Frank. His client Julie Swetnick‘s sexual misconduct claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were referred to the DOJ for a criminal probe. A federal judge dismissed Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit against President Trump and allowed Trump to seek legal fees. The Michael Cohen defamation suit has also experienced setbacks.
Amid all of this, Avenatti was recently arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence, but no felony charges were pursued. Avenatti denied the allegations.
Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.
[Image via Mario Tama/Getty Images]