A prominent attorney and potential 2020 presidential candidate is struggling to find his way back into the political fray after a recent arrest on suspicion of domestic assault and public allegations of improper legal representation by his most identifiable client.
While he was a frequent fixture on cable news networks earlier this year, he has been absent from the public arena in recent weeks. One-time supporters are now speaking out about his pronounced slump.
“As a friend, I’m concerned about him,” said Ohio Democratic Party leader David Betras. “When I call him to say, ‘Hey, how you doing?’ it’s pretty obvious he’s going through a pretty rough time now. I’m more worried about these pending charges. Domestic abuse? That’s pretty bad for a run for president.”
He said a conviction on such a criminal count would mean Avenatti would lose his support.
Roger Salazar, who has served on the attorney’s communications team ahead of a possible White House bid, said he has stepped down from his paid position.
“Michael’s got a very important voice with respect to holding Trump’s feet to the fire,” he said. “He doesn’t need me to speak for him. I’m not engaged at this point. I’m not working for Fight PAC any longer.”
Speaking in his own defense, however, Avenatti remains defiant.
“I think the field is shaping up to be even more advantageous for someone like me, not less,” he said. “I think my chances have only gone up, not gone down.”