Tapes of Avenatti threats highlight extortion trial closings
Posted: 7:17 PM, Feb 11, 2020
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 25: Michael Avenatti, the former lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels’ and a fierce critic of President Donald Trump, speaks to the media after being arrested for allegedly trying to extort Nike for $15-$25 million on March 25, 2019 in New York City. The counts against Avenatti are to include conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort, conspiracy to commit extortion and more. Avenatti is expected to answer to the charges later Monday.(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
Michael Avenatti's lawyers told jurors in a closing argument that the combative California attorney was following a client's wishes when he threatened to expose Nike's role in a college basketball scandal.
Attorneys Scott and Howard Srebnick, attacked the credibility of two of the government's main witnesses Tuesday.
They told a Manhattan federal court jury that a California amateur basketball coach and his adviser said they wanted Avenatti to force changes at Nike that would eliminate corruption.
The arguments came after a prosecutor played profanity-laced recorded conversations in which Avenatti threatened Nike lawyers that he'd damage the value of the company's stock unless he was paid millions of dollars.
The prosecutor called it extortion.
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