Judge rejects Avenatti's bid to dismiss extortion trial
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A judge in New York on Wednesday rejected Michael Avenatti's bid to have extortion charges dropped after Avenatti argued that the prosecution was politically motivated.

Reuters reported that Avenatti's case was allowed to move forward. The move came just one day after Avenatti was arrested for violating bail in a separate matter in California.

The judge went on to find that there was no evidence that the Justice Department's prosecution of Avenatti for allegedly attempting to extort sportswear brand Nike was resulting from his representation of Stormy Daniels, the adult-film actress who has claimed to have had an affair with President TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE.


“Avenatti is being prosecuted for activities wholly unrelated to the political arena," wrote the judge.

The formerly vocal critic of the president is charged in New York with attempting to extort Nike as well as an unrelated accusation that he stole $300,000 from Daniels while representing her.

In the Nike case, Avenatti is accused of threatening to make public claims by his client that Nike made improper payments to families of college basketball recruits. He asked Nike to pay him $15 million to $25 million to conduct a probe or he would go public with the information. 

He is also facing a number of accusations in California, including charges of bank fraud and making false testimony in a case regarding his old firm. He has said he is innocent of all charges.

Attorneys for Avenatti did not immediately return a request for comment from Reuters, and the Justice Department declined to comment.

Daniels, with help from Avenatti, previously sued Trump unsuccessfully for defamation, arguing that he harmed her professional reputation by denying her account of an affair.