The Qatari foreign lobbying scandal that began with a random allegation against President Trump’s failed national security advisor which we broke last week has just spread like wildfire to embattled Trump Family fixer Michael Cohen.
Former Qatari diplomat and Qatar Investments director Ahmed Al-Rumaihi just admitted to The Intercept that President Trump’s personal lawyer Cohen spent a week soliciting a $1 million bribe from him, which resulted in a Trump Tower meeting, arranged by General Flynn on December 12th, 2016. Ryan Grim wrote:
When Al-Rumaihi asked Cohen more generally about important projects that the investment fund should back, Cohen said there were plenty of options. But Cohen said he would need $1 million first, as part of his fee, al-Rumaihi told The Intercept.
The Qatari told Cohen, “ok” at the time, but told Grim that they have a policy of not paying middlemen, although Trump’s lawyer may have been operating under a different assumption. Of course, Qatar pays political middlemen all of the time and their recently increased lobbying efforts are no secret.
Qatar spends big bucks on infrastructure projects, like this Russian airport they bought only months before their meeting with Cohen. It was no secret that the Trump transition team was hunting for splashy deals and headlines they could get written about them, no matter how little substance existed.
The Qataris now say that they only delivered a false promise after the Trump Tower meeting, in the form of an announcement from the head of the QIA that was leaked “on the background” to Reuters and other outlets.
That’s when Al-Rumaihi says that Cohen proposed to make the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar his partner by delivering “know-how” in exchange for the profits.
As the conversation turned to the infrastructure fund, Cohen suggested that Qatar could revitalize some Midwestern towns, saying, according to al-Rumaihi, “‘For example, we can find a steel factory that is about to shut down. You guys can invest. I’ll give you some names to appoint as partners. You guys put in the money, we will put in the know-how, and share the profits 50-50. We can perhaps get a federal government ‘off-take agreement’ for 10 to 15 years. It will revitalize the city, great PR, you guys will look like you’re saving the city, everybody wins.’”
Al-Rumaihi surmised that the biggest winners would be the silent “partners,” who would put in “know-how,” rather than money and walk away with half the profits.
However, Ahmed Al-Rumaihi’s disclosures to The Intercept do not answer all or really any of the bigger questions about a meeting at Trump Tower just four days after that country’s Rosneft oil deal began closing.
It’s no surprise that President Trump’s personal lawyer was soliciting a bribe from the energy-rich nation of Qatar.
Michael Cohen took in cash from a select list of unsuspecting corporations with the same kind of slick sales pitch that he could turn his presidential access into business results as diverse as telecom, big pharma, and aerospace.
The Qatari Foreign Minister was really the big fish in the room for this meeting, and while the President’s lawyer might’ve been soliciting a million dollar bribe, there would be no reason for a member of the royal family to visit Trump Tower to discuss paying him off.
So we still don’t know the complete events or results of the meeting at Trump Tower which lasted nearly eighty minutes, but Trump’s disgraced former National Security Advisor does; he’s been cooperating with Speical Counsel Mueller for six months.