Michael Avenatti

© Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Avenatti, Mulling 2020 Presidential Bid, Visits Nevada

Lawyer Criticizing Trump Over Separation of Migrant Families

August 31, 2018 - 3:32 pm

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels, railed against President Donald Trump's immigration policies and urged a group of progressives in Las Vegas on Friday to turn out voters in the midterm elections.

"There is an enormous amount at stake. We are talking about a critical time in our nation's history," Avenatti told about 30 people gathered at the offices of a Nevada progressive group.

The visit continues Avenatti's tour of states that will vote early in the 2020 primary and play a decisive role thinning the field of presidential contenders. He's been making stops in other states to help Democrats raise money for the midterm elections.

Avenatti, who visited Democratic events in Iowa and New Hampshire in August, says he's weighing a bid for president as a Democrat but says he will drop out if Republicans Trump and Vice President Mike Pence decide not to run in 2020. He denied that his appearances are a publicity tour.

"For anybody that has been paying attention for the last five to six months, they know that I don't need any more notoriety or publicity. If I wasn't serious about this, I wouldn't be standing here right now," he said.

Avenatti told reporters Friday that he intends to return to Nevada and fundraise for several candidates, but he declined to name them. He said he's not currently raising money for his own potential campaign.

The Los Angeles-based lawyer has become a frequent cable news guest and rising star on the left while advocating for Daniels.

The actress has said she had sex with Trump in 2006, when he was married. Trump has denied it. Days before the 2016 presidential election, she was paid $130,000 to stay silent about the affair.

Avenatti has also been criticizing Trump over the separation of migrant families at the Mexico border and has represented several immigrant families. He said the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress failed to fix the issue, noting there are children still separated from their parents.

"This is a disgrace and we need to be doing everything in our power to make sure that it ends immediately," he said.