- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Michael Avenatti was arrested Tuesday evening by federal agents while attending a State Bar Court hearing in Los Angeles.

The former lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels and a frequent antagonist of President Trump was taken into custody by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

“I understand that Mr. Avenatti has been arrested by the federal authorities for violating the terms of his release,” attorney Steven Bledsoe, who was attending the State Bar case representing one of the other parties in the dispute, told the Daily Beast.

Mr. Avenatti was arrested around 6 p.m. Pacific and his lawyer in the State Bar case, Thomas Warren, told the court that his client could not continue with that case because he was being held in a criminal matter.

“Completely innocent,” Mr. Avenatti told reporters as he left the courthouse.

According to The Associated Press, prosecutors in New York told U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe in a one-page letter that Mr. Avenatti had been arrested on bail charges, violating the terms of pretrial release.

Mr. Avenatti is set for trial next week in Manhattan on federal charges of extorting Nike for up to $25 million.

The State Bar of California hearing at which he was arrested was a disciplinary case in which he was being put on “involuntary inactive” status in the disbarment process. He is accused of using a doctored document to scam a client out of nearly $840,000, the Daily Beast reported.

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