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U.S.

Avenatti Announces He Will Not Run for President

Michael Avenatti attends the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding in Clear Lake, Iowa, August 10, 2018. (KC McGinnis/Reuters)

Michael Avenatti, whose reputation as a defender of the vulnerable was recently marred by allegations of domestic violence, announced in a Tuesday statement that he will not run for president in 2020 despite making the apparent preparations to do so.

Avenatti rose to prominence earlier this year representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump, but quickly pivoted to broader political commentary and began to tease a presidential run during near-nightly appearances on cable-news programs.

After establishing a super PAC — which he dubbed “Fight PAC” to reflect his insistence that Democrats nominate a “fighter” to oppose Trump — and delivering speeches in key presidential-primary states, Avenatti found his ambitions derailed by a public spat with Daniels and a number of financial and legal travails.

The Los Angeles Police Department arrested Avenatti in late November on suspicion of domestic violence after his girlfriend accused him of dragging her across his apartment during a dispute.

Shortly thereafter, Daniels accused Avenatti of filing the defamation suit against Trump, which catapulted him to national prominence, in defiance of her wishes. She further Avenatti, whose law firm was recently evicted from its offices for failure to pay rent, of refusing to share with her the proceeds of a crowd-funding campaign he established in her name — though she suggested that her relationship with Avenatti had been repaired in a Monday tweet.

“Pleased that Michael and I have sorted sh** out and we know the accounting is on the up and up. We are going to kick a** together on two coasts tomorrow,” Daniels wrote on Twitter.

While Avenatti and Daniels have publicly ended their feud, he still faces possible misdemeanor-domestic-violence charges in Los Angeles, and the Department of Justice is also investigating him for allegedly making false statements to Congress while representing discredited Brett Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick.

The announcement comes just days after Avenatti told Politico that he believed his political stock was on the rise.

“I think the field is shaping up to be even more advantageous for someone like me, not less,” Avenatti said Sunday. “I think my chances have only gone up, not gone down.”

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