(TNS) The lawyer in porn star Stormy Daniels’ dismissed case against President Donald Trump was heavily in debt when he attempted to extort Nike, according to federal prosecutors.

“The Government expects that the evidence at trial will show that, at the time of his charged conduct, the defendant was in significant debt,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Podolsky wrote in a filing to a Manhattan federal court this week, the New York Post reported.

In total, the government estimates that Michael Avenatti was at least $15 million in debt when he tried to extort Nike for $25 million.

And this is the guy Democrats thought could whip the president next year.

“Specifically, the Government presently estimates that the defendant’s debts at that time were, conservatively, in excess of $15 million,” Podolsky continued, telling the judge the prosecution seeks to present evidence to “establish [Avenatti’s] desperation for money at the time and thus motive.”

Also, according to The Post, prosecutors further claim “Avenatti’s financial troubles also include payments owed to two ex-wives, a former law partner and his celebrity onetime lawyer, Mark Geragos.”

In a statement to Reuters, Avenatti did what he does best: Deny everything.

“Any claim that I was $15 million in debt is completely bogus, ludicrous and absurd. I can’t wait for the trial in this case, at which point the TRUTH and FACTS will come out and I will be fully exonerated,” he said.

Avenatti was busted in March for allegedly attempting to extort tens of millions out of Nike, Inc. by threatening to release some damaging information about the company.

He was charged with wire fraud and extortion less than an hour after he took to Twitter to announce he would hold a news conference and expose “criminal conduct (that) reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.”



His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 22.

“For Avenatti, it is the first of three scheduled trials in the next five months. He has denied all charges,” the AP reported.

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