FILE - In this May 28, 2019, file photo, California attorney Michael Avenatti leaves a courthouse in New York following a hearing. The California Bar is holding a hearing Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, to determine whether attorney Michael Avenatti should be banned from practicing law while fighting criminal charges that include allegations of embezzling from clients. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Avenatti denounces state bar hearing as 'complete joke'

December 18, 2019 - 3:41 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California State Bar hearing to determine if attorney Michael Avenatti should be prevented from practicing law for allegedly stealing from a client is a “dog and pony show” and a “complete joke,” the combative attorney said Wednesday.

The state bar alleges that Avenatti poses a risk to clients and the public if he continues to work while facing numerous federal criminal charges, including multiple embezzlement counts.

The lawyer best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump faces trials in New York and California on charges he tried to extort millions of dollars from Nike and has stolen from multiple clients.

Avenatti said the only witness against him in the bar proceeding, a former client, is a “career criminal with a history of lying.”

“The entire thing is going to be shown to be politically motivated," Avenatti told reporters before the hearing started in Los Angeles.

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