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Michael Cohen Took $4.4 Million From A Russian Oligarch And Other Major Corporations, According To Stormy’s Lawyer

by Tod Perry

May 9, 2018

In the history of the U.S. presidency, this may be a first: The lawyer of an adult film star may have uncovered some serious financial misconduct by the president’s inner circle. 

On May 8, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, dropped a Twitter bombshell alleging that President Donald Trump’s embattled lawyer, Michael Cohen, had accepted money from an oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The tweet was later followed up by a document that laid out a startling list of companies that paid Cohen over the past two years through a shell company, Essential Consultants, LLC. Shortly after the tweets, both The New York Times and NBC News confirmed Avenatti’s story.

Avenatti’s report shows Essential Consultants received the following payments:

• At least $500,000 from Columbus Nova, an investment firm controlled by Putin-linked Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg

$200,000 from AT&T, which currently has a merger with Time Warner before the justice department

• $99,980 from Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical company whose CEO dined with the president earlier in 2018

• $150,000 from Korea Aerospace Industries, a company that is currently working to secure a $16 billion military contract

In total, Essential Consultants racked up at least $4.4 million in payments from a time shortly before Trump was elected through January 2018.

AT&T claims that Cohen was hired to “provide insights into understanding the new administration” while Novartis thought Cohen “could advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain U.S. health care policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act.”

But it was later “determined that Michael Cohen and Essential Consultants would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated.” Novartis is apparently such a gentle pharmaceutical giant, it kept paying Cohen even though he couldn’t help.

While Avenatti was the first to break the Cohen news, special counsel Robert Mueller may be well ahead of the game. The FBI stopped Vekselberg earlier this year when his private jet landed in New York and asked him about his payments to Cohen as well as the $300,000 in political donations by his cousin Andrew Intrater. 

In November 2017, the Mueller investigation questioned Novartis about its relationship with Essential Consultants. “Novartis cooperated fully with the special counsel’s office and provided all the information requested,” a Novartis spokeswoman said in a statement. “Novartis considers this matter closed as to itself and is not aware of any outstanding questions regarding the agreement.”

Either it’s an incredible coincidence, critics say, that Cohen accepted large sums of money from people who are doing business with his client, the president of the United States, or there is something more nefarious happening behind the scenes.

Share image by IowaPolitics.com/Flickr.

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Michael Cohen Took $4.4 Million From A Russian Oligarch And Other Major Corporations, According To Stormy’s Lawyer