April trial date set for Avenatti in Stormy Daniels' case

NEW YORK — An April trial date has been set for attorney Michael Avenatti to face charges that he ripped off his star client, Stormy Daniels.

U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts set the April 21 trial date Tuesday at a Manhattan hearing.

Avenatti's lawyer, Dean Steward, told Batts he'll file a "vindictive prosecution" motion, requesting dismissal. A prosecutor called the claim "frivolous."

Outside court, Avenatti lashed out against President Donald Trump, calling him the "biggest criminal in America."

Avenatti has pleaded not guilty to charges that he cheated Daniels, a porn actress, of $300,000 she was owed from a book deal.

Avenatti also has denied charges in Manhattan that he tried to extort Nike for $25 million and charges in Los Angeles that he defrauded clients of millions of dollars.

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