Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen received hundreds of thousands of dollars from a company controlled by Putin-aligned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, reports The Daily Beast.
The allegations were initially made Tuesday by Michael Avenatti, porn actress Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, and confirmed by DB.
According to a dossier published by Avenatti on Tuesday evening, “Vekselberg and his cousin Mr. Andrew Intrater routed eight payments to Mr. Cohen through a company named Columbus Nova LLC beginning in January 2017 and continuing until at least August 2017.”
According to The New York Times, Vekselberg was recently questioned by federal agents working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN reported that those queries involved the oligarch’s payments to Cohen.
This is incredible (My bold).
More from the Avenatti dossier:
Additional Possible Fraudulent and Illegal Financial Transactions
•From October 2016 through January 2018, Mr. Cohen used his First Republic account to engage in suspicious financial transactions totaling $4,425,033.46.
•Chief among these suspicious financial transactions are approximately $500,000 in payments received from Mr. Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian Oligarch with an estimated net worth of nearly $13 Billion. Mr. Vekselberg and his cousin Mr. Andrew Intrater routed eight payments to Mr. Cohen through a company named Columbus Nova LLC (“Columbus”) beginning in January 2017 and continuing until at least August 2017.
•Columbus Nova is a private equity firm founded in 2000 with over $2 billion in assets.Mr. Intrater is the CEO of Columbus Nova.Columbus Nova is the U.S. investment vehicle for Renova Group, a multi-national company controlled by Mr. Vekselberg. Renova group holds investments in various interests, including mining, oil, and telecommunications.
•Mr. Cohen inexplicably accepted these payments while he was the personal attorney to the President and holding himself out at times as employed by the Trump Organization (with few other clients). This was occurring at the same time significant questions were being raised relating to (a) the involvement of Russia and Vladimir Putin in the 2016 Presidential Election and (b) the extent of the relationship between Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump. AVENATTI & ASSOCIATES, APC -PROJECT SUNLIGHTPage 4
•Also included in these suspicious financial transactions are four payments in late 2017 and early 2018 totaling $399,920 made by global pharmaceutical giant Novartis directly to Essential in four separate transactions of $99,980 each (just below $100,000). Following these payments, reports surfaced that Mr. Trump took a dinner meeting with the incoming CEO of Novartis before Mr. Trump’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in late January 2018. https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/during-davos-trip-trump-takes-meeting-novartis-bayer-ceos-and-other-execs.
•In addition, Essential received $200,000 in four separate payments of $50,000 in late 2017 and early 2018 from AT&T.
•Essential also received a $150,000 payment in November 2017 from Korea Aerospace Industries LTD.
Interesting side questions:
1. How does Michael Avenatti know all this?
2. Who is paying Avenatti to represent Stormy Daniels? They have both acknowledged that she is not paying the legal fees.
Michael Cohen is beginning to look more and more like an idiot who has no idea how to funnel money.
The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that AT&T confirms the $200,000 in payments to Trump's laywer and the explanation is:
AT&T Inc. said it hired a consulting firm created by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in 2017 to gain “insights” into the administration.
Mr. Cohen’s consulting firm “was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration,” AT&T said on Tuesday. “They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017.”
According do the Avenatti dossier, AT&T had made four monthly payments of $50,000 from October 2017 through January 2018 to Essential Consultants LLC.
It is possible that Cohen was operating on his own without the knowledge of Trump. That is ceratinly what Trump will claim. But did Cohen record any incriminating conversations that are now in the hands of the government?
Oh my, Avenatti just tweeted this.
UPDATE 7We are just getting started...— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 8, 2018