Sen. Ben Sasse excoriated Michael Avenatti after the attorney was found guilty of attempting to extort Nike.
The Nebraska Republican weighed in on Avenatti’s verdict in a statement on Friday. A New York federal court jury found Avenatti guilty of attempting to extort between $15 million and $22.5 million from the athletics company.
“Michael Avenatti is a D-list attorney but a grade-A scumbag. It’s hard to get airtime from the slammer, so Nike’s win is cable television’s loss. In the end, Michael Avenatti wasn’t a real attorney. He just played one on TV,” Sasse said.
Avenatti’s sentencing is scheduled for June 17, though Avenatti’s lead defense attorney, Scott Srebnick, has already promised to appeal.
Avenatti told Nike representatives that a client of his had evidence the corporation paid out large sums of money to college recruits to secure their commitment to select universities. Avenatti told the company it could pay him tens of millions of dollars to keep his client silent.
“While the defendant may have tried to hide behind legal terms and a suit and tie, the jury clearly saw the defendant’s scheme for what it was: an old-fashioned shakedown,” said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Avenatti and Sasse have traded barbs before. In October 2018, Avenatti called a Sasse a “one man moron who knows nothing about the law or the SCOTUS.”
Sasse = one man moron who knows nothing about the law or the SCOTUS.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) October 4, 2018
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