The pugilistic and embattled attorney Michael Avenatti pleaded not guilty Tuesday to defrauding his most famous client, porn star Stormy Daniels, and seized the spotlight to toss a barb at President Trump, the AP reports. Avenatti barely spoke during his 10-minute appearance before a federal judge in New York, except to answer a few brief procedural questions. His lawyer entered the plea on his behalf on charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Avenatti was indicted last week on charges that he cheated Daniels out of $300,000 she was owed for her book, Full Disclosure, which was published in October. Bail was set at $300,000. Avenatti, who surrendered to federal authorities in the early morning, agreed to have no contact with Daniels while the case is pending.
Later, Avenatti was asked by reporters to comment as he walked to courthouse elevators. "Anybody know when the president and Don Jr. are going to be arraigned?" he quipped. It was the continuation of a feud he has carried on with the president and his son during television appearances and through social media. Avenatti also faces charges in California of stealing millions of dollars from clients, including much of the $4 million owed to a paralyzed man, dodging taxes, defrauding banks, and lying during bankruptcy proceedings. And in a third case, he's charged in New York with attempting to extort millions of dollars from Nike. After a court appearance in the Nike case Tuesday after entering his plea in the Daniels case, Avenatti told reporters outside the courthouse that he's facing the fight of his life "against the ultimate goliath, the Trump administration." (Read more Michael Avenatti stories.)