Stormy Daniels’ lawyer just found $500,000 payment from Russian oligarch to Trump lawyer

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While the nation watches in horror as President Trump tears up the world’s most successful arms-control program out of sheer spite and threatens to plunge the Middle East into chaos once again, his legal problems are getting much, much, worse.

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing the President’s ex-mistress Stormy Daniels, announced this afternoon that a “preliminary investigation” had discovered that the President’s embattled and comically inept lawyer Michael Cohen had received a secret payment of $500,000 from a company controlled by the fourth-richest man in Russia – a man with close ties to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

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That oligarch is allegedly Viktor Vekselberg, a Ukranian-born Russian businessman worth $13.6 billion dollars. He both attended the Trump inauguration and has already been interviewed by Special Counsel Mueller.

Avenatti’s report (available here) details how “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.” Those payments were made to Essential Consultants, LLC – the same company that Cohen used to funnel the hush money to Stormy Daniels.

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That would place the payments just two months after Cohen paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money to keep her affair with Trump under wraps. Avenatti’s team identified an additional fifteen or so “suspicious or possibly fraudulent” payments to Cohen over the past few years, all run through shell corporations and through a variety of bank accounts.

The implication of all this, of course, is that a Russian oligarch either helped pay off the President’s ex-mistress or rewarded Cohen for using his own personal funds to do so, elevating what was once a fairly petty squabble over a non-disclosure agreement into a potentially devastating blow that opens a whole new closet of skeletons for Special Counsel Mueller and his team of experts to dig through.

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Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti are going to bring this presidency to its knees, and all the screenwriters in Hollywood couldn’t write a better twist.

Read the entire report here.

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Colin Taylor

Managing Editor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.

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