August 14, 2022

Michael Cohen’s team just responded to the news that he received secret Russian payments

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Today, as news of Trump’s nihilistic betrayal of the crucial Iran nuclear deal swept across the world, another major domestic bombshell dropped when Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for the president’s alleged adult film star mistress Stormy Daniels, revealed that he has discovered a $500,000 payment from a Russian oligarch to Trump’s personal attorney and bagman Michael Cohen.


This is the same Cohen who arranged the $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels. The Russian oligarch in question is allegedly Viktor Vekselberg, the 4th richest man in Russia and a close associate of President Vladimir Putin.

Avenatti also included a report which goes into further detail about the payment.  According to the document: “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.” The report adds that the payments in question were funneled to Essential Consultants, LLC, which is (perhaps not coincidentally) the company through which Cohen paid Stormy Daniels.

The money began to be delivered in January 2017, meaning a few short months after Cohen claims he put up the equity on his house to pay Daniels. The house part of his story never made sense. Why would Trump’s lawyer float his own house to pay off Trump’s mistress? Now it appears we have a possible answer: he knew a Russian oligarch would reimburse him before too long.

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In other words, it appears that Cohen may have used a Russian oligarch to bankroll the hush money that helped silence Stormy Daniels in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election. If true, it would be a stunning example of outright collusion, the kind that could sink a presidency.

Now, Michael Cohen’s attorney has addressed Avenatti’s allegations. He said he has no intention of discussing the $500,000.

“I understand the shorthand you’re using, but it wasn’t a payment,” he said before hanging up on Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic. In other words, it’s exactly the kind of response an attorney would give when questioned about illegal activity by his client. The truth is finally starting to emerge, and things look very bad for the Trump administration.

Robert Haffey

Robert Haffey is a political writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.

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