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Michael Avenatti stormy lawyer

Richard Dole // CC BY-SA 2.5

The adult film star Stormy Daniels has captured the attention of the nation in recent weeks for taking on President Donald Trump in an increasingly dramatic lawsuit. Standing by her side is 1996 College graduate Michael Avenatti, who has entered the spotlight as Daniels' lawyer. 

Described by Politico as "a racecar-driving lawyer from California," Avenatti has become a central figure in Daniels' case against Trump and has made no effort to stay behind the scenes.

Daniels, who is suing Trump to nullify a “hush agreement” following an alleged affair, said in a highly-anticipated interview on "60 Minutes" that a Trump attorney threatened her against revealing her 2006 affair with Trump, who has been married to current First Lady Melania Trump since 2005. 

Since Avenatti filed Daniels’ suit – which claims a non-disclosure agreement regarding the alleged affair is invalid because Trump failed to sign it – he has pointed fingers at the Trump administration and baited his opponents on Twitter. 

On March 22, Avenatti took to Twitter to share a photo of a disc in a safe, intimating that it was damning evidence against Trump’s case. He wrote, “If ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ how many words is this worth?????” #60minutes #pleasedenyit #basta”

According to CNN, Avenatti clarified that the photo was a “warning shot” and that the disc in the photo does in fact have “evidence substantiating the relationship.” Daniels is appearing on "60 Minutes" on March 25.

Avenatti maintained the authenticity of the disc and promised he was not bluffing.

"If people think I'm bluffing, they should ask the opponents in countless cases I've had over the last 15 years if I'm generally a guy that bluffs," Avenatti told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Avenatti has become a household name among news watchers since a Jan. 12 Wall Street Journal article detailed Trump’s affair and pre-election “hush agreement” with adult film star Stormy Daniels, in which she was paid $130,000. 

When asked via Twitter if the disc contained video of Daniels taking a polygraph test in 2011, the Penn graduate suggested there is much more to come, in reference to the "60 Minutes" piece.

"Nope. Enjoy Sunday and the days that follow…,” Avenatti wrote.

At Penn, Avenatti studied Political Science, becoming the first to earn a college degree in his family. Avenatti later received a J.D. from George Washington University Law School, where he graduated as the top student in his class in 1999. 

He has spent time working at O’Melveny & Myers and Greene Broillet & Wheeler, where he fronted several high-profile cases. In 2007, Avenatti founded his own law firm Eagan Avenatti, LLP and has since secured notable verdicts, including a $454 million federal fraud case against Kimberly-Clark Corporation just last year.

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