Lawyer Michael Avenatti's co-conspirator in his alleged attempt to extort more than $20 million from Nike is CNN contributor and Democratic donor Mark Geragos, a lawyer who has gained celebrity for defending the likes of pop star Michael Jackson for child molestation, actor Jussie Smolett when he claimed to be victim in a hate crime, and Chris Brown for assault.
Geragos was unnamed in the criminal complaint released Monday by federal prosecutors, but was with Avenatti during his March 19 New York City meeting with Nike, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Geragos is perhaps best known for his legal commentary on CNN, but he has also been a consistent donor for Democratic candidates.
He contributed over $5,000 to now-Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris when she was running to be reelected attorney general of California. He has also given money to Democrats such as House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (Calif.), presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), and Sen. Chris Coons (Del.).
Geragos was not arrested by authorities on Monday, but was present at the meeting that sparked the investigation, according to the Wall Street Journal report.
The co-conspirator in that matter is attorney Mark Geragos, two people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Geragos couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. […]
According to the complaint filed in New York, Mr. Avenatti and Mr. Geragos, the alleged co-conspirator, met with lawyers for Nike in New York on March 19 and threatened to release damaging information unless the company agreed to pay the two lawyers millions of dollars and another $1.5 million to the client Avenatti claimed to represent.
There were reports on Monday afternoon that CNN had dropped Geragos as a contributor. A spokesman for the network did not respond to a Washington Free Beacon inquiry.