The federal judge overseeing celebrity lawyer
Avenatti’s lawyer, Dean Steward, said at a hearing Oct. 8 in Manhattan that he may seek to have the case dismissed on the grounds that it was brought to settle a personal score by the president, just as he has in
Avenatti “made some very powerful enemies,” Steward said, including Attorney General
“I’m not going to go head to head with Donald Trump in this case,” U.S. District Judge
Batts also questioned the notion that the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan could be involved in such a scheme with Trump.
“This office is not known for being vindictive,” she said.
The judge nevertheless gave Avenatti until Nov. 12 to file a motion challenging the case as a so-called vindictive prosecution and scheduled a trial for April 21.
Avenatti, who briefly weighed a presidential run after gaining fame representing Daniels in litigation against Trump, has said the president pressured the Justice Department to target him to remove a political rival.
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