Donald Trump’s personal lawyer just got caught selling access to a Russian oligarch and his US citizen cousin to get them a Trump Tower meeting with the presidential transition team.
Embattled attorney Michael Cohen got caught by Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti two weeks ago taking a $500,000 cash payment from Columbus Nova, the US investment arm of sanctioned Russian oligarch Victor Veskelberg’s Renova Group. Columbus Nova’s CEO Andrew Intrater also donated $500,000 to the Trump Inaugural committee and scored a pair of tickets which he shared with his cousin Vekselberg.
Now, the New York Times has proof that the Russian oligarch and his cousin went to Trump Tower on January 9th, 2017 just eleven days before the inauguration, and Columbus Nova’s CEO has confirmed it:
In Mr. Cohen’s office on the 26th floor, he and the oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, discussed a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Trump, according to Andrew Intrater, an American businessman who attended the meeting and invests money for Mr. Vekselberg.
The disclosure of the meeting sheds additional light on the intersection between Mr. Trump’s inner-circle and Russians with ties to the Kremlin.
The Times’ reporting demonstrates that Cohen was acting to advance the political interests of a foreign principal which requires lobbyist registration under the federal FARA law. Swiss pharma company Novartis also hired Trump’s personal lawyer for policy advice, which triggered the same foreign lobbyist registration requirements.
The very day after Cohen’s meeting with Vekselberg he lied to Yahoo! News and also on the Hannity (his secret client) radio program, saying that he had no Russian Kremlin contacts when he very obviously did.
Michael Cohen was involved in two of those meetings, with Russians and Qataris, who just happen to be the buyer and seller in the massive oil deal described in Christopher Steele’s Trump Russia dossier.
This is also the third significant meeting unearthed in the last thirty days between Trump’s campaign or transition and a foreign power – the government of Qatar – or the emissary of a foreign government -their rivals, the UAE – which raises the specter of criminal campaign law or lobbying violations.
That is why Republicans are shouting apoplectically at the unfairness of the rule of law and circling the wagons around the most obviously corrupt politician in American history.
Because Special Counsel Mueller has to know about these Trump Tower meetings to sell our country’s foreign policy for thirty pieces of silver, and all public indications show that he is busy tightening the noose of criminal allegations around the neck of Trump crime family.