Written by Ashton Snyder on
 May 29, 2024

Supreme Court Upholds Avenatti’s Conviction for Attempted $25M Nike Extortion

The Supreme Court has left in place lawyer Michael Avenatti's conviction for attempting to extort up to $25 million from Nike. 

Michael Avenatti, who rose to fame representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in legal battles against former President Donald Trump, faced a swift denial from the nation’s highest court in his attempt to overturn his conviction. According to Breitbart News, the Court rejected Avenatti's appeal on Tuesday, solidifying his conviction and the associated penalties.

Avenatti’s Appeal Denied in Supreme Court

Avenatti had argued that the statute used to convict him was too vague and that his actions were part of legitimate settlement negotiations. However, the Supreme Court did not find these arguments compelling, leaving his conviction intact.

This decision follows a previous ruling from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld Avenatti's conviction and sentence. The federal appeals court in New York determined that there was sufficient evidence to support his February 2020 conviction for extortion and honest services fraud.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh did not participate in the Supreme Court’s decision. This is because of a potential conflict of interest, as Avenatti had previously represented Julie Swetnick, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 2018.

The Origins of the Nike Case

Avenatti's involvement with Nike began when he represented a whistleblower who alleged that the sportswear giant was making illicit payments to amateur basketball players. Avenatti then attempted to leverage this information, demanding up to $25 million from Nike in exchange for not going public with the allegations.

Avenatti’s lawyers claimed that he was merely engaging in tough settlement negotiations. They contended that the legal statute under which he was convicted is unconstitutionally vague, arguing that his actions should not constitute criminal behavior. Nevertheless, the courts disagreed with this interpretation, leading to Avenatti’s conviction and subsequent appeals.

Broader Legal Troubles for Avenatti

This case is just one of many legal challenges for Avenatti. In addition to the extortion and honest-services fraud charges connected to Nike, Avenatti also faced trouble for actions relating to his representation of Stormy Daniels.

Avenatti was convicted of stealing book proceeds from Daniels in a separate case. Furthermore, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for various other crimes, including stealing settlement funds from clients and failing to pay taxes related to his coffee business.

Due to these cumulative sentences, Avenatti is scheduled to be released from prison in 2035. His imprisonment marks a dramatic fall from his former position as a high-profile lawyer engaged in high-stakes and high-publicity cases.

Timing Coincides with Trump’s Legal Battles

The Supreme Court’s decision comes when Donald Trump is also entangled in legal issues. Trump is currently on trial in New York over allegations of making hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, highlighting the intertwined fates of Avenatti and Trump.

Despite his legal troubles, Avenatti's notoriety primarily stems from his aggressive legal maneuvers against Trump. This narrative arc, where both parties now face their own legal battles, underscores a notable period in U.S. legal history.

Looking Forward

In summary, the Supreme Court has affirmed Michael Avenatti's conviction for attempting to extort Nike, signaling an end to his appeal efforts. Avenatti's broader legal history continues to unfold as he serves his sentences for various crimes, with his anticipated release set for 2035. The context of his actions and their overlapping timelines with Donald Trump's legal issues offer a multifaceted view of recent high-profile legal confrontations.

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About Ashton Snyder

Independent conservative news without a leftist agenda.
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