Michael Avenatti blames arrest on ‘vindictive’ prosecutors

NEW YORK (AP) — Lawyer Michael Avenatti wants a judge to dismiss criminal charges alleging he extorted Nike, and he’s blaming his arrest on what he calls “vindictive” prosecutors.

Avenatti’s attorneys filed papers Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.

Avenatti has pleaded not guilty to charges he tried to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to publicize claims the sportswear company enabled payouts to promising young athletes and their families. A trial is set for November.

Avenatti is also charged separately with defrauding former client and porn star Stormy Daniels in a book deal, and he faces federal fraud charges in California related to clients. He has denied all wrongdoing.

Avenatti says prosecutors went after him partly because of his aggressive public persona and feuding with President Donald Trump.

Prosecutors decline comment.

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