by Sheri Urban
Television lawyer Michael Avenatti was arrested Wednesday following a domestic violence dispute, according to emerging reports.
“Our law enforcement sources say Stormy Daniels’ attorney was arrested Wednesday after his estranged wife filed a felony DV report. We’re told her face was “swollen and bruised.” Our sources say the alleged incident occurred Tuesday, but there was a confrontation Wednesday between the two at an exclusive apartment building in the Century City area of L.A.,” TMZ reports.
Lisa Storie, the woman involved in the alleged physical altercation, reportedly scrambled from the apartment where the incident occurred and was spotted on the sidewalk holding her hands over her eyes while shouting into her cellphone. “I can’t believe you did this to me,” she said, according to TMZ.
Five minutes later Avenatti arrived at the apartment complex and yelled repeatedly, “She hit me first,” later adding, “This is bullshit, this is fucking bullshit.” The alleged melee occurred after the women attempted to pick up her belongings and called 911 after tempers ran hot.
Los Angeles authorities confirmed Avenatti is currently in police custody.
Avenatti rose to national prominence as the legal representative of Daniels, who has alleged she had intercourse with President Donald Trump years before entering the Oval Office.
Avenatti is one of a handful of potential 2020 Democrat hopefuls crisscrossing the county in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election and was active during the midterm election. To some Democrats, he represents the nonpolitician appeal that in part led President Trump to victory over more experienced politicians in 2016. Others see someone whose brash confidence could be the ultimate weapon against the president in 2020.
“The people who were there appreciated him pushing back on Donald Trump,” said Jaime Harrison, a former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman who visited with Avenatti during a trip to Florence. “I give Avenatti an A-plus in terms of appeal because there’s a section of the Democratic Party that’s going to want that.”
While Avenatti is attempting to burnish his credentials as a potential 2020 heavyweight, the attorney is facing mounting legal entanglements, including a possible criminal investigation by the Justice Department. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has asked for a criminal investigation into whether Julie Swetnick and Avenatti conspired to provide false statements to Congress and obstructed a congressional investigation during the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Grassley wrote in a letter to the Justice Department that Swetnick and Avenatti made serious allegations that required significant resources to investigate. However, Grassley says information from media interviews and elsewhere indicates their statements “likely contained materially false claims.”
“I don’t take lightly making a referral of this nature, but ignoring this behavior will just invite more of it in the future,” Grassley said in a statement.
Avenatti released a sworn statement in which Swetnick said she witnessed Kavanaugh “consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s.” Kavanaugh denied the allegations and an FBI background check cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Further, Avenatti was ordered last month to pay $4.85 million to an attorney who worked at his former law firm, a California judge ruled. The Los Angeles judge ordered the payout the same day a separate ruling came down evicting Eagan Avenatti LLC from its office space in Southern California after four months of unpaid rent.
In the case over back pay, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dennis Landin ruled that Avenatti personally guaranteed a settlement with attorney Jason Frank, who said Eagan Avenatti misstated its profits and that he was owed millions of dollars.