Michael Avenatti pleads not guilty to all charges in Nike, Stormy Daniels cases

The lawyer tells a judge that he's "100 percent not guilty!"
Image: Michael Avenatti Attends Court Hearings On Fraud, Extortion And Theft Charges
Attorney Michael Avenatti speaks to the press outside federal court after being arraigned, in New York on May 28, 2019.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

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By Tom Winter

Michael Avenatti, accused of stealing money from former client Stormy Daniels and attempting to extort global brand Nike, pleaded not guilty to all charges in a New York federal courthouse Tuesday.

The lawyer, who wore a navy suit, blue shirt, and blue/silver tie with white dots, made two brief appearances in a lower Manhattan courthouse to answer charges on his indictments for the separate alleged schemes.

In answering the Nike matter, Avenatti told the judge he was "100 percent not guilty!"

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Earlier in the day, a defense lawyer for Avenatti asked if he could be allowed to argue for the Daniels case to be combined with the other prosecutions and heard in Southern California where the defendant works and lives.

Prosecutors called that request a stall tactic while a judge said she'll consider that question at a later date.

Despite Avenatti's sticky legal situation, the anti-Trump agitator still managed a comedic shot at the president and his son, asking reporters, "Does anyone know when the president and Don Jr. will be arraigned?"

The combative lawyer cast this prosecution in biblical terms, with himself as the defendant poised to topple a huge giant.

"For over 20 years, I have represented David versus Goliaths in courthouses just like this one," he told reporters. "I intend to fight the ultimate Goliath, the Trump administration."

Avenatti allegedly tricked Daniels' literary representative to forward payments from her book's publisher to an account he controlled and not to the writer. He's also accused of demanding money from Nike on behalf of a youth basketball coach who had information that company employees made illicit payments to the families of high school athletes.

Avenatti remains free on bail.

David K. Li contributed.