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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Michael Avenatti, who rose to fame last year as a lawyer for Stormy Daniels, was arrested yesterday and charged with attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike.

Why it matters: Lost in the Avenatti headlines is the fact that Nike may have paid college athletes in the same manner as Adidas — the company at the center of the ongoing college basketball bribery scandal.

  • Without hard evidence, it'd be irresponsible to assume Nike's guilt, but does anyone really think Adidas was the only shoe company paying players? Who did you think they were bidding against? It wasn't themselves...

What's happening: According to the indictment, Avenatti met with an in-house lawyer for Nike last week, claiming to represent a former AAU coach who had evidence that Nike employees paid at least three players.

  • Avenatti allegedly threatened to make the payments public at an upcoming news conference unless Nike paid his client $1.5 million.
  • He also demanded that Nike hire him — yes, the guy literally trying to extort them — to conduct an "internal investigation" of the company, for which he would be paid more than $9 million. BOLD strategy, Cotton.
  • Avenatti's co-conspirator in the extortion scheme is celebrity attorney and CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos, the Wall Street Journal reports. In response to the news, CNN promptly fired him.

Just in: The AAU coach that Avenatti was representing is reportedly Gary Franklin Sr., who led a team known as California Supreme.

  • Recent alumni: Reigning No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton (also involved in Adidas scandal); Pacers rookie Aaron Holiday; UCLA freshman Shareef O'Neal (Shaq's son); Oregon freshman Bol Bol; many more.
  • Look: Franklin Sr. pictured with Ayton at last year's NBA draft.

Go deeper:

  • 🎬 Watch: The Netflix documentary "At All Costs" explores the high-stakes world of AAU basketball. One of the teams it focuses on? California Supreme. I watched this like a year ago — highly recommend.
  • Look: For all you visual learners out there, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York shared a timeline of what they believe happened.

Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."