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Avenatti blames pro-Trump conspiracy theorist for arrest

POLITICO logo POLITICO 11/15/2018 By Darren Samuelsohn and Natasha Korecki
a man wearing a suit and tie: Prosecutors will ultimately determine whether formal charges will be filed against Michael Avenatti, but they have not yet received his case for review, a Los Angeles District Attorney’s office spokesman said. © Michael Owen Baker/AP Photo Prosecutors will ultimately determine whether formal charges will be filed against Michael Avenatti, but they have not yet received his case for review, a Los Angeles District Attorney’s office spokesman said.

A day after he was arrested on domestic violence allegations, Stormy Daniels attorney and 2020 aspirant Michael Avenatti suggested on social media that pro-Trump activist Jacob Wohl was behind his legal ordeal.

“First Mueller and now me. When we are fully exonerated I am coming for you Jacob Wohl aka Surefire,” Avenatti tweeted.

Avenatti did not further explain the tweet or respond to a request for comment.

Wohl, a former hedge fund manager and right-wing blogger, is a central figure in a widely-dismissed plot accusing special counsel Robert Mueller of sexual misconduct. At a recent Northern Virginia news conference where he made the claims against Mueller, Wohl acknowledged his connection to a firm called Surefire Intelligence. That private intelligence firm’s Twitter account today tweeted a link to Avenatti’s arrest then declared: “Surefire Intelligence strikes again.”

Reached Thursday, a Wohl associate who partnered with him on the Mueller allegations, Jack Burkman, said he knew nothing of Avenatti’s allegation against Wohl and said he knew nothing of Avenatti’s arrest until he received media calls. “Must be a West Coast thing,” Burkman said.

Wohl could not be reached for comment.

Over Twitter, Wohl denied any involvement in Avenatti’s situation and said he considered Avenatti’s “I’m coming for you” language a threat and reported it to law enforcement.

“Michael Avenatti seems to believe that I am responsible for him raising his hand to a woman. I am not. Will he release the pictures of his battered victim?”

Avenatti was arrested Wednesday afternoon on the 10000 block of Santa Monica Boulevard and police say he was booked on suspicion of domestic violence.

Prosecutors will ultimately determine whether formal charges will be filed against Avenatti but they have not yet received his case for review, a Los Angeles District Attorney’s office spokesman said Thursday. Avenatti is due in court on Dec. 5, police said.

After his arrest, Avenatti’s ex-wife and his second wife, Lisa Storie-Avenatti, with whom he is in the midst of a divorce, released statements defending Avenatti, saying he had never demonstrated evidence of violence. Upon his release from jail, Avenatti told reporters he had never struck a woman and welcomed a full investigation, which he predicted would clear him.

Also Thursday, Avenatti’s most prominent client, Stephanie Clifford — better known under the porn name “Stormy Daniels” — released a statement saying that if the allegations against Avenatti were true she would seek other representation. But she urged that “we should all reserve judgment” until an investigation is completed.

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