Attorney Michael Avenatti announced Tuesday that he will no longer be seeking a run for the presidency in 2020, but will continue his efforts against President Donald Trump and remains worried that Democrats will not be able to beat him in the next election.
Avenatti’s announcement comes two days after the lawyer admitted he felt his 2020 chances had actually increased after a tumultuous few weeks in which he was arrested on a domestic violence charge, publicly sparred with his infamous client Stormy Daniels and was referred to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation in connection with his representation of Julie Swetnick.
“After consultation with my family and at their request, I have decided not to seek the Presidency of the United States in 2020,” Avenatti said in a statement he posted on Twitter. “I do not make this decision lightly – I make it out of respect for my family. But for their concerns, I would run.”
A few of Avenatti’s most loyal supporters revealed Sunday that they’ve been “concerned about him,” given the rough couple of weeks he’s had.
“When I call him to say ‘Hey, how you doing?’ It’s pretty obvious he’s going through a pretty rough time now,” David Betras, a Democratic county chairman in Ohio, told Politico.
Avenatti recently appeared steadfast in his 2020 plans, saying in the same report that he thinks “the field is shaping up to be even more advantageous for someone like me, not less. I think my chances have only gone up, not gone down.”
Avenatti expressed concern for the Democratic Party’s 2020 chances in his Twitter announcement, writing that he doesn’t feel the party has found a candidate yet who can actually beat Trump.
“The party must immediately recognize that many of the likely candidates are not battletested and have no real chance at winning. We will not prevail in 2020 without a fighter,” Avenatti wrote.
Please see my statement below regarding 2020. pic.twitter.com/ztCfZUY6hA
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) December 4, 2018
“I remain hopeful the party finds one,” he added.
Avenatti, who has hinted at a potential run over his course in the media spotlight, fueled speculation on Nov. 1 when he launched the first ad for his political action committee, “Fight PAC.”
At a time when many lawmakers and pundits are seeking a more civil political discourse to counter the rash and at times pugnacious approach of the current president, many on the left worried Avenatti was not the best response for the party.
Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships – a total low-life!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2018
“The thuggish spectacle is not what the Democratic Party needs right now,” Patti Solis Doyle, a former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, told Politico. “We don’t need another Donald Trump. Donald Trump is imploding as we speak.”
Avenatti added in his 2020 announcement that he will continue to fight against Trump on behalf of Daniels and “those who need an advocate against the powerful.”