Authorities took celebrity attorney and onetime presidential hopeful Michael Avenatti into federal custody yesterday evening.
The shocking development came in an hours-long disciplinary hearing where the California State Bar is trying to disbar Avenatti for posing a “threat of substantial harm to the public,” for allegedly stealing from clients, among other charges. (ABC News)
Avenatti was on the stand when the court took a break and IRS agents placed him under arrest. Multiple sources told ABC News that Avenatti is accused of violating the terms of his pre-trial release. It was not immediately clear what he allegedly did to violate those terms because the documents are under seal.
The lawyer, who is facing multiple federal criminal charges in California and New York, will likely spend the night at the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles or the Santa Ana jail before his appearance tomorrow in a Santa Ana federal court.
Avenatti skyrocketed to celebrity status alongside his former client, adult film star Stormy Daniels, who filed multiple lawsuits — unsuccessfully — against President Donald Trump. Eighteen months ago, the brash lawyer was a fixture on cable news shows and the topic of flattering pieces in Vanity Fair and The New York Times magazine. Reporters asked him about his skin-care routine and Tom Ford suits while he and Daniels posed for photographer Annie Leibovitz.
The celebrity attorney, with his trademark Twitter hashtag #basta, also dipped his toe into the presidential candidacy pool for a brief moment, dining with potential donors and forming a PAC to accept donations.