Michael Avenatti Officially Announces He Won’t Run For President In 2020

Michael Avenatti speaks onstage during Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Rich Polk / Getty Images

Donald Trump critic — and Stormy Daniels’ attorney — Michael Avenatti announced on Tuesday that he won’t be running for president in 2020. CNBC reports that the controversial lawyer ended months of speculation that he might challenge Trump in the election.

On his Twitter account, Avenatti posted a statement saying that he had spoken with his family — and had decided against making a bid for the office of the president.

“After consultation with my family and at their request, I have decided not to seek the presidency of the U.S. in 2020,” Avenatti said. “I do not make this decision lightly – I make it out of respect for my family. But for their concerns, I would run.”

He went on to say that he planned to continue representing Daniels against Trump and “will not rest” until he has succeeded in removing the president from the White House. He also pledged to continue advocating for those who need representation against “the powerful.”

Despite having decided not to run, Avenatti said that he still has concerns that Democrats aren’t prepared to take on Trump in 2020.

“I remain concerned that the Democratic Party will move toward nominating an individual who might make an exceptional President but has no chance of actually beating Donald Trump,” he wrote. “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 has faced an uphill battle for a presidential run, most recently after being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Girlfriend and actress Mareli Miniutti says that the lawyer verbally abused her — and dragged her across the floor of their shared apartment in Los Angeles after the pair got into an argument. Avenatti calls the charges “bogus.”

Currently, his case is with the Los Angeles district attorney, who is reviewing the case for misdemeanor charges.

Daniels also recently claimed that Avenatti sued the president without her permission, and had not been open about his attempts to raise money using her name online. She asserted that Avenatti “refused” to tell her how her legal defense fund was being utilized, and that the lawyer had launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money — using her face and name — without her permission.

She said that, though she feels the lawyer has been disrespectful to her, she hasn’t decided how to handle her legal representation going forward.

Avenatti had positioned himself for a presidential bid in recent months, including visiting early nominating states and publicly advocating his positions on key political issues.