Michael Cohen

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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed May 09, 2018 12:11 pm

You have reached AT&T Wireless

For English press or say 1

Para la prensa española 2

For mistress hush fund press or say 3

I’m sorry I didn’t quite get that.

Did you say you had sex with a porn star and need to cover it up.

If yes press or say 1.

A point: Cohen was pitching his — and Felix Slater’s — Ukraine peace plan to Michael Flynn during the same period Cohen was being paid by a Russian-linked firm, Columbus Nova:

Peter Spiegel

Novartis has put out an updated statement on Michael Cohen acknowledging the contract was for $100,000 EVERY MONTH for a year. So $1.2m


Trump’s lawyer pitched himself as a fixer to Novartis and got paid $1.2 million

Ed Silverman

he curious relationship between one of the world’s biggest drug makers and President Trump’s personal lawyer began early last year when Michael Cohen, a longtime fixer for the president, reached out to Novartis’s then-chief executive officer Joe Jimenez, promising help gaining access to Trump and influential officials in the new administration, according to an employee inside Novartis familiar with the matter.

Jimenez took the call and then instructed his team to reach a deal with Cohen. A one-year contract worth $1.2 million was signed with Cohen in February 2017. The company’s hope was that Cohen could help it navigate a bevy of uncertain issues facing the drug maker — from potential changes to the Affordable Care Act and tax reform to navigating reimbursement challenges for medicines.

“He reached out to us,” the Novartis employee said, providing STAT with the company’s version of events as it scrambles to contain the fallout from being entangled in the investigations surrounding Trump and his inner circle, including Cohen. “With a new administration coming in, basically, all the traditional contacts disappeared and they were all new players. We were trying to find an inroad into the administration. Cohen promised access to not just Trump, but also the circle around him. It was almost as if we were hiring him as a lobbyist.”

The employee could not explain why Novartis would have agreed to a deal with a lawyer with no background in health care and without deep Washington ties. The extent to which Novartis conducted any due diligence into Cohen or his track record as a Trump insider and Washington player is uncertain. Cohen and Jimenez could not be reached for comment.

In March 2017, a group of Novartis employees, mostly from the government affairs and lobbying teams, met with Cohen in New York to discuss specific issues and strategies. But the meeting was a disappointment, the insider explained, and the Novartis squad left with the impression that Cohen and Essential Consultants — the firm controlled by Cohen that Novartis was making payments to — may not be able to deliver.

“At first, it all sounded impressive, but toward the end of the meeting, everyone realized this was a probably a slippery slope to engage him. So they decided not to really engage Cohen for any activities after that,” the employee continued. Rather than attempt to cancel the contract, the company allowed it to lapse early in 2018 and not run the risk of ticking off the president. “It might have caused anger,” this person said.

As the contract expiration date neared earlier this year, Cohen then approached Vasant Narasimhan, who by then had succeeded Jimenez as Novartis chief executive, according to the employee. Narasimhan declined to renew the arrangement and the contract lapsed.

A Novartis spokesman on Wednesday maintained that Narasimhan had no involvement with the contract. “This episode was clearly a mistake,” the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, last November, several lawyers from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office approached Novartis regarding the agreement with Cohen. Among those interviewed was Jimenez. The company released a statement Wednesday morning saying it “cooperated fully” and “provided all the information requested. Novartis considers this matter closed as to itself and is not aware of any outstanding questions regarding the agreement.”

The Cohen contract was first disclosed on Tuesday night by Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, the adult film star whose real name is Stephanie Clifford and who was paid $130,000 by Essential Consultants to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump. Avenatti initially posted a document on his website indicating Novartis paid Cohen’s firm $400,000 from early 2017 through 2018.
https://www.statnews.com/pharmalot/2018 ... -novartis/

Cohen reached out to the drug giant after the election, a senior Novartis official said

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, contacted the drug giant Novartis after the 2016 election "promising access" to the new administration, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller later requested information from the company about the offer, a senior official inside Novartis told NBC News on Wednesday.

"He [Cohen] contacted us after the new administration was in place," the official said. "He was promising access to the new administration."

The disclosure came after an attorney representing the adult-film actress who says she had an affair with Trump released a summary of bank transactions that he says shows payments from various companies to a company controlled by Cohen.

That lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said the transactions suggest that Cohen was "selling access to the president of the United States." Cohen, his attorney and the White House did not respond to a request for comment.

According to Avenatti, at least $4.4 million flowed through Essential Consultants, the company Cohen created in October 2016 and then used to pay porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money.

Among the transactions that Avenatti said he uncovered:

Columbus Nova, a U.S.-based firm with ties to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, made about $500,000 in payments between January and August 2017. In a statement, Columbus said it hired Cohen as a consultant "regarding potential sources of capital and potential investments in real estate and other ventures."
Novartis made at least four payments of just under $100,000 each in late 2017 and early 2018. In a statement, Novartis said it had an agreement with Essential Consultants, "focused on U.S. healthcare policy matters," and that the contract was worth $1.2 million over a period of one year.
AT&T made four payments of $50,000 each to Essential in late 2017 and early 2018. In a statement, AT&T said it engaged the firm in early 2017 to "provide insights into understanding the new administration."
Korea Aerospace Industries made a $150,000 payment to Essential in November 2017. KAI said in a statement to Reuters that it had a contract with Essential for "legal consulting concerning accounting standards on production costs."
Avenatti did not disclose how he got the information or any other evidence that Cohen might be selling access to Trump.

Getting into a cab in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, Cohen told reporters that Avenatti's report "is inaccurate," but provided no specifics. NBC News reviewed financial documents that appear to support Avenatti's accounting of the transactions involving the four companies.

In a statement, Novartis said it received an inquiry from investigators working for special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, about its dealings with Essential Consultants in November 2017.

"In February 2017, shortly after the election of President Trump, Novartis entered into a one-year agreement with Essential Consultants. With the recent change in administration, Novartis believed that Michael Cohen could advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain U.S. healthcare policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act," the company said in a statement.

"The agreement was for a term of one year, and paid Essential Consultants 100,000 USD per month. In March 2017, Novartis had its first meeting with Michael Cohen under this agreement. Following this initial meeting, Novartis determined that Michael Cohen and Essential Consultants would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated related to U.S. healthcare policy matters and the decision was taken not to engage further.

"As the contract unfortunately could only be terminated for cause, payments continued to be made until the contract expired by its own terms in February 2018."

He contacted us after the new administration was in place. He was promising access to the new administration.

AT&T sent an email to its employees on Wednesday with details about its dealings with Cohen.

"In early 2017, as President Trump was taking office, we hired several consultants to help us understand how the President and his administration might approach a wide range of policy issues important to the company, including regulatory reform at the FCC, corporate tax reform and antitrust enforcement," said the email, which was obtained by NBC News.

"Companies often hire consultants for these purposes, especially at the beginning of a new Presidential Administration, and we have done so in previous Administrations, as well.

"Cohen was one of those consultants," the email continued. " Cohen did no legal or lobbying work for us, and our contract with Cohen expired at the end of its term in December 2017. It was not until the following month in January 2018 that the media first reported, and AT&T first became aware of, the current controversy surrounding Cohen."

Columbus Nova, in its Tuesday night statement, took issue with Avenatti's claim that it was controlled by Vekselberg, one of the richest men in Russia, with a multibillion-dollar oil and aluminum fortune.

Vekselberg is one of the oligarchs recently sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department. Separately, according to the New York Times, citing people familiar with the matter, he was searched and questioned by agents working for Mueller when he got off a plane in the U.S. earlier this year.

Image: Russian President Vladimir Putin with Renova CEO Viktor Vekselberg

An attorney for Columbus Nova, where Vekselberg's cousin Andrew Intrater is the CEO, said claims Vekselberg "used Columbus Nova as a conduit for payments to Michael Cohen are false. The claim that Viktor Vekselberg was involved or provided any funding for Columbus Nova's engagement of Michael Cohen is patently untrue."

No one has been charged with a crime in connection with the Essential Consultants transactions, but Avenatti said the large payments, their timing and the disparity of the companies' interests are red flags of a pay-to-play scheme by a man often described as Trump's "fixer."

"We now have multiple different things supposedly that Michael Cohen was doing for all these companies. Now we hear from Novartis that he was hired on health care matters — evidently he's a doctor," Avenatti said facetiously on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"One of the companies mentioned they hired him for real estate matters — he's a real estate agent? Another company stated that they hired him for accounting advice, evidently he's an accountant. So he's a lawyer, a doctor, an accountant, and a real estate agent.

"I'm just a lawyer. I'm not that bright I guess," Avenatti added.

"Where did the money go?" he asked. "Did all of it go to Michael Cohen? Did some of it go back to the Trump organization? Did some of it ultimately find its way back to the president?"

NBC News asked Cohen, the White House and the various companies for comment on Avenatti's accusation about the purpose of the payments but none had an immediate response.

Avenatti's summary also listed a series of smaller transactions involving international companies and individuals. Among them, the document says $3,698 came to Cohen from a corporate consulting firm in Singapore, $10,980 from a Hungary business, and $4,250 from a Malaysia consulting firm. NBC News has contacted those companies but has not received a response.

The smallest amount listed was $980 from two individuals in Kenya, Netanel Cohen and Stav Hayun. But the man who got those funds said Avenatti has the wrong Cohen.

"I am a Avionic technician in El Al airlines. So, no, not a lawyer," said Michael Cohen, 26, from Ashdod, Israel. "No, I never talk with or meet Trump."

He said that his brother Netanel wired him the money when he was living in Kenya to repay a debt. "He owed me some money," he said.

The 26-year-old Michael Cohen said he had no idea how the mixup could have occurred, but said he's been getting lots of attention. "My whole family was surprised. Friends called me, It was a crazy day," he said.

Cohen the Trump lawyer is the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan, and the FBI raided his law office and hotel room last month, seeking information about the $130,000 payment he made to porn actress Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Image: Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti

Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaks outside US Federal Court with her lawyer Michael Avenatti, from right, in New York on April 16, 2018.Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / AFP - Getty Images file

The FBI has also monitored his phone calls with a pen register, meaning that the incoming and outgoing phone numbers were recorded but not the content of the calls.

Clifford claims she had a sexual affair with Trump a decade ago; the White House has said Trump denies it. In the fall of 2016, as the election approached, Cohen brokered a non-disclosure agreement with Clifford and wired her $130,000 from Essential Consultants' account at First Republic Bank.

Cohen has long maintained that he put up the money and that he was not reimbursed by the Trump campaign or by the Trump Organization. But one of Trump's lawyers, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, revealed last week that Trump had paid the $130,000 back to Cohen, providing dueling accounts of when Trump learned about the transaction.

Clifford has sued Trump and Cohen, claiming the non-disclosure agreement is invalid because he never actually signed it, and she has also sued the president for defamation for casting doubt on her account of being threatened by an unknown man several years ago to keep quiet about Trump.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald ... mp-n872731

Michael Cohen, and the Trump team’s perpetually sloppy ties to Russians

A line has now been drawn, however tenuous, between President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen and a Vladimir Putin-aligned Russian oligarch. Stormy Daniels's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, suggests it means Russia may have “replenished the account” Cohen used to pay off Daniels. For now that seems to be pure speculation.

If nothing else, though, the episode reinforces the remarkable sloppiness of those around Trump when it comes avoiding ties to Russians. And this one might actually be worse than many of its predecessors.

The situation is pretty complicated, but here are the basics: The company that retained Cohen's Essential Consultants LLC shell company, Columbus Nova, insists it was a legitimate real estate-related business arrangement and emphasizes that it is American owned and operated. That's despite its American owner, Andrew Intrater, being the cousin of Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, and Columbus Nova being an affiliate of Vekselberg's Renova Group. Both men have been interviewed by Robert S. Mueller III's investigators, but that in itself is not damning. (Mueller is nothing if not thorough, and he may have been asking the same questions we're now asking.)

The timeline here is key. According to Avenatti, Columbus Nova paid Cohen $500,000 between January 2017 and August 2017. That means the arrangement was forged after the 2016 election — even as Russian election interference was big news and the Russia investigation was getting off the ground.

And it's not like Cohen wouldn't have known Columbus Nova had ties to Russians. The New York Times reports, in fact, that Cohen met with both Intrater and Vekselberg when the two cousins attended Trump's inauguration:

[Intrater] and Mr. Vekselberg attended the event together and met with Mr. Cohen there, according to a person briefed on the matter. Columbus Nova retained him as a consultant soon afterward.

Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20. Exactly two weeks earlier, the U.S. intelligence community released its big report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Between that release and the inauguration, on Jan. 10, Trump tweeted what would become his refrain about the Russia investigation: That it was a “FAKE NEWS — A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!”

That same day, then-attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions was asked (and appeared to falsely deny) whether he or anyone on the Trump campaign had communicated with Russia during the campaign. And a couple days later, the administration was falsely denying incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

We may not have known the scope of the Russia investigation and how much it would eventually close in on Trump, but we knew there were big questions. What's more, people around Trump like Sessions and Flynn were put in the position of denying coordination with the Russians just days before. Against that backdrop, Cohen decided to enter into an arrangement with a company affiliated with a Russian oligarch after having met with that oligarch at Trump's inauguration.

The least nefarious explanation, as it often has been throughout the Russia saga, is that Cohen was being careless and failing to avoid what could be a problematic tie. And he wouldn't be the first to offer the ignorance defense. Sessions says he didn't think to mention his meetings with Russia's ambassador. Flynn quibbled with the definition of “sanctions” after falsely denying he'd discussed them with the ambassador. And Donald Trump Jr. insists he wasn't trying to collude with Russia by taking that meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer — contending he was doing what anyone else would have done in the heat of a campaign.

But even more than in these examples, Cohen should have been going into this arrangement with his eyes pretty wide open when it came to whether it might be problematic. And he did it anyway.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the ... 388da3a758

Vekselberg is also President of the Skolkovo Foundation - a Moscow-based non-profit supporting entrepreneurship, innovation and encouraging venture capitalism - and he was appointed in 2010, by then-President Dmitry Medvedev

Michael Cohen & AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson entered Trump Tower 8 minutes apart on Jan 12, 2017. Eric Trump entered soon after. Who here thinks the Trumps not only knew of Cohen's scheme, but were also getting a cut? Yeah, me too.

Gregory Korte

A January 12, 2017 pool report from Trump Tower shows Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson entering 8 minutes apart. AT&T would go on to hire Cohen "to provide insights into understanding the new administration."

Susan Simpson

Just months ago, in 2018, Cohen went to Novartis and asked them to renew the contract where they pay the president's personal attorney $1.2 million to do nothing.

Polly Sigh

Stormy lawyer @MichaelAvenatti says transactions suggest Cohen 'selling' Trump access – Novartis confirms: A senior Novartis official told @nbcnews that Cohen reached out shortly after Trump's election "promising access" to the new administration.
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They could still get him out of office.
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Don’t forget that.
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed May 09, 2018 4:42 pm

Pay for Play in the Trump Era, To the Soundtrack to Goodfellas
By Josh Marshall | May 9, 2018 4:29 pm

In some ways the more fascinating aspect of the fallout from yesterday’s Michael Cohen revelations is seeing Fortune 500 companies struggle to explain how and why they found themselves connected, albeit simply through a shell company, with the President’s payoffs to Stormy Daniels and his fixer’s pay-offs from a Russian oligarch. I think the evolving Novartis story is going to be a good example of the difference between the press release business press and the national political press in full scandal mode. Novartis’s explanation simply makes zero sense – it’s telling that they thought it would survive first contact with any scrutiny. I suspect we’ll find out that that’s the case because it’s a hastily contrived cover story. Even now, the story seems to be evolving toward a more plausible and problematic destination.

Here’s Novartis’s official explanation.

In February 2017, shortly after the election of President Trump, Novartis entered into a one year agreement with Essential Consultants. With the recent change in administration, Novartis believed that Michael Cohen could advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain US healthcare policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act. The agreement was for a term of one year, and paid Essential Consultants 100,000 USD per month. In March 2017, Novartis had its first meeting with Michael Cohen under this agreement. Following this initial meeting, Novartis determined that Michael Cohen and Essential Consultants would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated related to US healthcare policy matters and the decision was taken not to engage further. As the contract unfortunately could only be terminated for cause, payments continued to be made until the contract expired by its own terms in February 2018.

The engagement of Essential Consultants predated Vas Narasimhan becoming Novartis CEO and he was in no way involved with this agreement. Contrary to recent media reports, this agreement was also in no way related to the group dinner Dr. Narasimhan had at the World Economic Forum in Davos with President Trump and 15 Europe based industry leaders. Suggestions to the contrary clearly misrepresent the facts and can only be intended to further personal or political agendas as to which Novartis should not be a part.

In terms of the Special Counsel’s office, Novartis was contacted in November 2017 regarding the company’s agreement with Essential Consultants. Novartis cooperated fully with the Special Counsel’s office and provided all the information requested. Novartis considers this matter closed as to itself and is not aware of any outstanding questions regarding the agreement.

The first thing to note is that whereas last night we thought Novartis had paid Cohen slightly less than $400,000 it turns out they paid him $1.2 million. So there’s $800,000 that went through a channel other than what we heard about last night.

But let’s consider this explanation.

They signed Cohen up because they thought he could advise them on US health care policy. Obviously, Cohen doesn’t know the first thing about healthcare policy. He’s just someone who’s close to Trump. What is important to keep in mind here is that when Trump came into office the pharmaceutical companies were terrified and flying blind as to what would happen under President Trump. There was actually an out of the blue statement Trump made in the second week of January 2017 about cracking down on the Big Phrma that had the big companies terrified. He told a press conference on January 11th that the pharmaceutical companies were “getting away with murder.” He had repeatedly talked about reining in drug prices on the campaign trail. But in January he seemed to be upping the ante dramatically. It even crosses my mind, in retrospect, whether this comment wasn’t intended to scare companies into Cohen’s arms.

So they sign up Cohen, based it seems simply on being a friend of the President. Then they meet with Cohen, decide he can’t deliver and have no more communication with him. Notwithstanding this, they decide to pay him the entire $1.2 million. “As the contract unfortunately could only be terminated for cause, payments continued to be made until the contract expired by its own terms in February 2018.”

No, that’s not how it works. Not remotely. If you find out someone is not able to do the job, you don’t pay them for a year. Also, what was it they thought Cohen could do that it turned out he couldn’t. The simplest Google search would tell you that Cohen knows absolutely nothing about health care policy.

A fuller story starts to emerge in this story from StatNews, a still relatively new digital health care policy publication. StatNews spoke to an “employee inside Novartis familiar with the matter.”

The real story is a bit different.

According to this account, early in 2017, probably in January, Cohen cold-called then-CEO Joe Jimenez and pitched himself as a way to buy access to Trump and the Trump inner circle. Jimenez instructed his team to cut a deal with Cohen, which they did. That was a year’s consulting contract for $1.2 million.

Then a month later, in March 2017, a group of Novartis employees from DC went to New York to meet with Cohen. These are people from the so-called ‘government relations’ office.

Here are the key two grafs …

In March 2017, a group of Novartis employees, mostly from the government affairs and lobbying teams, met with Cohen in New York to discuss specific issues and strategies. But the meeting was a disappointment, the insider explained, and the Novartis squad left with the impression that Cohen and Essential Consultants — the firm controlled by Cohen that Novartis was making payments to — may not be able to deliver.

“At first, it all sounded impressive, but toward the end of the meeting, everyone realized this was a probably a slippery slope to engage him. So they decided not to really engage Cohen for any activities after that,” the employee continued. Rather than attempt to cancel the contract, the company allowed it to lapse early in 2018 and not run the risk of ticking off the president. “It might have caused anger,” this person said.

The language is delicate but to me pretty clear. “[E]veryone realized this was a probably a slippery slope to engage him.” Here’s the translation: everyone could see that Cohen was dirty and were worried that working with him could be dangerous – “a slippery slope.” A slippery slope into what exactly? Not getting as much access as they thought? I doubt it. The DC lobbying world may be ethically compromised or bought and paid for. But there are ways you do things to stay on the right side of the public opinion, watchdogs and the law. There are ways you can operate that can get you into trouble very quickly. My sense is that these folks had little confidence that Cohen understood those lines or cared about following them.

They decided it was better not to deal with him at all. This to me seems pretty plausible. The next part also seems plausible. Why’d they keep paying Cohen? Because they were afraid of pissing off Trump. This is very plausible. Did Cohen give them some reason to think this? Again, very plausible.

I do not think we’ve heard the end of this story.
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/pa ... re-1128871
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed May 09, 2018 7:40 pm

Trump Lawyer Helped Recruit Corporate Client With Ties to Kushner Probe

U.S. Immigration Fund LLC, which supplied Chinese investors to Kushner Cos., is among clients Michael Cohen delivered to Squire Patton Boggs

Julie Bykowicz May 9, 2018 5:46 p.m. ET
After Donald Trump’s election, Michael Cohen began generating business both through his relationship with Squire Patton Boggs and through his own firm, Essential Consultants LLC. Above, Mr. Cohen, center, leaving a New York City courthouse last month.
Under a 2017 contract with Squire Patton Boggs, Mr. Cohen was paid $500,000 a year to help it drum up business, prosecutors said in a recent filing in federal court in New York, where Mr. Cohen is under investigation for potential bank fraud and campaign-finance violations. He also received a cut of any fees it collected from clients he referred.

Among five clients Mr. Cohen delivered to Squire Patton Boggs—before the firm terminated the contract with him in early March—was U.S. Immigration Fund LLC, according to court filings and Nicholas Mastroianni II, U.S. Immigration Fund’s chief executive. The Florida company connects businesses with foreign investors through a U.S. visa program.

After Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Cohen began generating business both through his relationship with Squire Patton Boggs and through his own firm, Essential Consultants LLC.

Mr. Cohen formed Essential Consultants in October 2016 and used it to pay $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford, an adult-film actress known professionally as Stormy Daniels, to prevent her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual relationship with the president. Mr. Trump denies that relationship.

Federal agents and prosecutors in New York are examining whether Mr. Cohen violated any laws in his efforts to raise cash and conceal negative information about Mr. Trump, including the payment to Ms. Clifford, The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided Mr. Cohen’s premises last month.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections, referred the ​Cohen investigation to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, the Journal previously reported.

Mr. Cohen didn’t respond to a request for comment.

U.S. Immigration Fund last year organized a trip to China for several Kushner Cos. officials, including Mr. Kushner’s sister Nicole Meyer, to seek investors for commercial-and-residential towers in Jersey City, N.J., the Journal has reported. Ms. Meyer pitched potential investors on participating in a program known as EB-5, which provides permanent U.S. residency to immigrants who invest at least $500,000 in certain job-creating businesses.

Kushner Cos. relied on U.S. Immigration Fund, which has pooled foreign funds for some of the largest developments in the EB-5 program, and a Chinese company to arrange the investor presentation. The project had been listed on U.S. Immigration Fund’s website, but the company ended its involvement with the Kushner Cos. development after the negative publicity from the presentation, Mr. Mastroianni said.

After company officials returned to the U.S., the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened investigations into the Kushner Cos. use of EB-5, the Journal has reported.

Prosecutors in the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office have obtained video footage of Ms. Meyer’s investor presentation in China, which also featured a photo of Mr. Trump and references to the president and Mr. Kushner, according to people familiar with the matter. Though aspects of Ms. Meyer’s presentation were made public through news reports at the time, there was no full accounting of her remarks, and investigators were able to review her presentation by obtaining a cellphone video from her husband, who also attended the trip.

Through its general counsel, Kushner Cos. has said it “fully complied with its rules and regulations and did nothing improper” with regard to the EB-5 program.

A spokesman for the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office, John Marzulli, said, “I can’t confirm or deny an investigation.”

Federal prosecutors handling the investigation suggested to Kushner Cos. in recent weeks that the company isn’t a target of their probe in the EB-5 case, according to a person briefed on the matter, and have told company officials that their involvement in the future will likely be limited to serving as possible witnesses.

People familiar with the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office, however, say the office doesn’t consider anyone a target of an investigation until the office is poised to charge them.

U.S. Immigration Fund had partnered with Kushner Cos. on another Jersey City project a few years earlier, raising $50 million for a luxury apartment complex that was spearheaded by Jared Kushner, according to U.S. Immigration Fund’s website. Mr. Kushner was CEO of the company until he resigned to accept his White House position.

Mr. Mastroianni, U.S. Immigration Fund’s CEO, said in an interview that he met with Mr. Cohen in the attorney’s Rockefeller Center office last year. Mr. Cohen put him in touch with Edward Newberry, a top lobbyist in the Washington, D.C., office of Squire Patton Boggs, Mr. Mastroianni said.

Squire Patton Boggs has received $370,000 from U.S. Immigration Fund to lobby Congress and the administration on reforming the EB-5 visa system, according to lobbying reports. The firm hasn’t represented the company on any legal matters, according to a firm spokesman.

U.S. Immigration Fund and developers have beat back efforts by lawmakers to change EB-5 rules to ban the program’s use to finance projects in wealthier areas instead of in rural and high-unemployment areas.

Squire Patton Boggs described its work for the company as lobbying on “reform of the immigrant investor EB-5 program,” in the firm’s June 2017 lobbying registration statement.

Mr. Mastroianni donated $150,000 last year to a joint fundraising committee in support of Mr. Trump’s re-election, according to Federal Election Commission records. Mr. Mastroianni’s family also gave $100,000 to Mr. Trump’s inauguration fund, records show.

Separately, it emerged Tuesday that Mr. Cohen’s own firm, Essential Consultants, received $500,000 in 2017 from an investment fund linked to a Russian oligarch and additional large payments from companies including AT&T Inc. and Novartis AG , according to a person familiar with the matter and spokespeople for the companies.

The payments were revealed in a memo released Tuesday by Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for Ms. Clifford. Mr. Avenatti declined to comment.

It is unclear where Mr. Avenatti got the information about Mr. Cohen’s bank transactions. The Treasury Department’s inspector general is investigating whether suspicious-activity reports related to Mr. Cohen were “improperly disseminated,” a spokesman for that office said Wednesday.

Under federal law, banks are required to flag transactions that appear to have no business or apparent lawful purpose or that deviate inexplicably from a customer’s normal bank activity. Suspicious-activity reports are filed to the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, where federal investigators can access them.

It is a crime to disclose the existence of a suspicious-activity report or related information to any third parties.

AT&T Inc. said Tuesday it paid Essential Consultants in 2017 for “insights” into the Trump administration at a time when the telecommunications giant needed government approval for an $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc.

Mr. Avenatti’s memo also alleged that Novartis AG made several payments to Mr. Cohen. The pharmaceutical company said in a statement that it entered a one-year contract with Mr. Cohen’s Essential Consultants in February 2017, and paid it $1.2 million. He was to provide advice related to U.S. health-care policy matters, the company said, adding that it cooperated with the special counsel’s request for information last November.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-lawy ... 1525902417
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu May 10, 2018 12:43 am

Firm Tied to Russian Oligarch Made Payments to Michael Cohen

May 8, 2018

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s lawyer and fixer. His shell company received payments from a firm linked to a Russian oligarch, as well as corporations with business before the Trump administration.Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters
A shell company that Michael D. Cohen used to pay hush money to a pornographic film actress received payments totaling more than $1 million from an American company linked to a Russian oligarch and several corporations with business before the Trump administration, according to documents and interviews.

Financial records reviewed by The New York Times show that Mr. Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer and longtime fixer, used the shell company, Essential Consultants L.L.C., for an array of business activities that went far beyond what was publicly known. Transactions adding up to at least $4.4 million flowed through Essential Consultants starting shortly before Mr. Trump was elected president and continuing to this January, the records show.

Among the previously unreported transactions were payments last year of about $500,000 from Columbus Nova, an investment firm in New York whose biggest client is a company controlled by Viktor Vekselberg, the Russian oligarch. A lawyer for Columbus Nova, in a statement on Tuesday, described the money as a consulting fee that had nothing to do with Mr. Vekselberg.

Other transactions described in the financial records include hundreds of thousands of dollars Mr. Cohen received from Fortune 500 companies with business before the Trump administration, as well as smaller amounts he paid for luxury expenses like a Mercedes-Benz and private club dues.

References to the transactions first appeared in a document posted to Twitter on Tuesday by Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star who was paid $130,000 by Essential Consultants to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Mr. Trump. The lawyer’s seven-page document, titled “Preliminary Report of Findings,” does not explain the source of his information but describes in detail dates, dollar amounts and parties involved in various dealings by Mr. Cohen and his company. Most of the transactions involved two banks: First Republic Bank and City National Bank.

The Times’s review of financial records confirmed much of what was in Mr. Avenatti’s report. In addition, a review of documents and interviews shed additional light on Mr. Cohen’s dealings with the company connected to Mr. Vekselberg, who was stopped and questioned at an airport earlier this year by investigators for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel examining Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Viktor Vekselberg, left, the Russian oligarch, with Marat Khusnullin, deputy mayor of Moscow, before the inauguration ceremony of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia this week.Alexey Filippov/Sputnik, via Associated Press
Taken together, The Times’s findings and Mr. Avenatti’s report offer the most detailed picture yet on Mr. Cohen’s business dealings and financial entanglements in the run-up to the election and its aftermath. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating Mr. Cohen for possible bank fraud and election-law violations, among other matters, according to people briefed on the investigation. Stephen Ryan, a lawyer representing Mr. Cohen, declined to comment.

Ms. Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels, is suing Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump to break her nondisclosure agreement related to the $130,000.

It is unclear whether that or any of the other transactions were improper, but Mr. Avenatti has asserted that Mr. Cohen’s use of Essential Consultants potentially violated banking laws. The financial records indicate that at least some of the money that passed through Essential Consultants was from sources and in amounts that were inconsistent with the company’s stated purpose.

Mr. Cohen also used the company to collect $250,000 after arranging payments in 2017 and 2018 by a major Republican donor, Elliott Broidy, to a former Playboy model he allegedly impregnated, according to news reports last month.

Among the other payments to Mr. Cohen’s company described in the financial records were four for $99,980 each between October and January by Novartis Investments S.A.R.L., a subsidiary of Novartis, the multinational pharmaceutical giant based in Switzerland. Novartis — whose chief executive was among 15 business leaders invited to dinner with Mr. Trump at the World Economic Forum in January — spent more than $10 million on lobbying in Washington last year and frequently seeks approvals from federal drug regulators. Novartis said in a statement that its agreement with Essential Consultants had expired.

In addition, Korea Aerospace Industries paid Mr. Cohen’s company $150,000 last November, according to the records. The company, an aircraft manufacturer, has teamed with the American defense contractor Lockheed Martin in competing for a multibillion-dollar contract to provide trainer jets for the United States Air Force that is expected to be awarded this year. A representative for Korea Aerospace declined to comment.

AT&T made four payments totaling $200,000 between October 2017 and January 2018, according to the documents. AT&T, whose proposed merger with Time Warner is pending before the Justice Department, issued a statement on Tuesday evening confirming that it made payments to Mr. Cohen’s firm.

“Essential Consulting was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration,” the statement said. “They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017.”

The payments by Columbus Nova occurred between January and August of last year. Andrew Intrater, the company’s American chief executive and Mr. Vekselberg’s cousin, donated $250,000 to Mr. Trump’s inauguration, campaign finance records show. He and Mr. Vekselberg attended the event together and met with Mr. Cohen there, according to a person briefed on the matter. Columbus Nova retained him as a consultant soon afterward.

The consulting deal was worth $1 million and was supposed to last for a year, according to documents reviewed by The Times. But Columbus Nova decided to end the agreement midway through after it yielded a few investment ideas but no actual deals.

A person close to Mr. Intrater said that the executive had no idea Essential Consultants was used for the separate payment to Ms. Clifford, and that he hired a number of other consultants at the time for similar prices.

“Columbus Nova is an investment management company solely owned and controlled by Americans,” said Richard Owens, a lawyer for Mr. Intrater and Columbus Nova, adding that Mr. Vekselberg has never owned the firm. “After the inauguration, the firm hired Michael Cohen as a business consultant regarding potential sources of capital and potential investments in real estate and other ventures.

“Reports today that Viktor Vekselberg used Columbus Nova as a conduit for payments to Michael Cohen are false. The claim that Viktor Vekselberg was involved in or provided any funding for Columbus Nova’s engagement of Michael Cohen is patently untrue,” Mr. Owens said. “Neither Viktor Vekselberg nor anyone else outside of Columbus Nova was involved in the decision to hire Cohen or provided funding for his engagement.”

A lawyer for Mr. Vekselberg did not respond to a request for comment.

In addition to questioning Mr. Vekselberg, Mr. Mueller’s investigators have also interviewed Mr. Intrater, though there is no indication that either man is suspected of wrongdoing, The Times reported last week.

The person close to Mr. Intrater said that he was encouraged to attend the inauguration by an American friend, unrelated to Mr. Cohen, and that he had wanted to use the trip as an opportunity to meet with business associates in Washington.

Mr. Vekselberg has invested in Columbus Nova’s private equity funds through his sprawling Russian-based conglomerate, the Renova Group, which operates in the energy sector and elsewhere. Mr. Vekselberg was one of seven Kremlin-linked oligarchs hit with sanctions in April by the Trump administration, which also imposed the penalties on the Renova Group.

Renova has had a financial relationship with VTB, one of the largest state-owned banks in Russia, according to documents that were part of the “Panama Papers” leak of files from an offshore law firm. The documents show that Mr. Vekselberg’s companies received at least $350 million in loans or investments from VTB and a subsidiary, VTB Capital. The current state of the debt is unclear, though one document suggests it was discharged in 2010.

Mr. Cohen created Essential Consultants in Delaware less than two weeks before he completed his deal with Ms. Clifford, who is now contesting her contract with Mr. Cohen as invalid. Mr. Cohen initially said he paid her out of his own pocket by way of a home equity line of credit.

But last week, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York said that Mr. Trump had reimbursed Mr. Cohen through several $35,000 monthly transactions that amounted to more than $400,000 — covering the payment to Ms. Clifford and, he said, other “incidental expenses.”

Reporting was contributed by Matt Apuzzo, Emily Flitter, Adam Goldman, Sharon LaFraniere, William K. Rashbaum and Katie Thomas.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/us/p ... ments.html

How Michael Cohen cashed in

'It's a little bit like Lucy hanging out behind her table and charging people five cents for wisdom,' said Rich Gold, a longtime Democratic lobbyist.


Michael Cohen made more than $2 million working as a Trump whisperer. But he's far from the only one.

President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer and fixer is the latest member of the president's inner circle to cash in on connections by selling insight into how Trump operates. The president's 2016 victory rattled corporations enough that clients were eager to pay top dollar to anyone who could help them understand the administration in its first months.

Many of those insiders have become lobbyists, joining established Washington firms or starting their own shops. Gotham Government Relations and Communications, a New York law and lobbying firm that orchestrated Trump's campaign announcement in 2015, opened a Washington office after Trump's victory. So did Brian Ballard, a Florida lobbyist who had raised millions for Trump's campaign.

Others, including Cohen and former Trump campaign chief Corey Lewandowski, avoided registering as lobbyists but took on work helping corporate clients understand Trump’s thinking.

"It's a little bit like Lucy hanging out behind her table and charging people five cents for wisdom," said Rich Gold, a longtime Democratic lobbyist, referring to the "Peanuts" character.

But Trump has proved difficult to predict or sway.

AT&T has found itself fending off Justice Department opposition to its merger with Time Warner despite inking a deal with Cohen in 2017. The pharmaceutical company Novartis said Wednesday that it determined after signing him that Cohen couldn’t deliver the services he had promised.

Both companies said Wednesday they were contacted by special counsel Robert Mueller about their relationships with Cohen.

"These people who say or look like they're close to Trump on paper in actuality don't know what he's going to do," said Ivan Adler, a headhunter who specializes in filling lobbying jobs.

In addition to AT&T and Novartis, Korea Aerospace Industries and Columbus Nova, an investment firm, have confirmed they hired Cohen as a consultant after Trump's election. The admissions came after Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels, accused them on Tuesday of paying Cohen through the same limited-liability company used to pay Daniels. (Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, says she was given $130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.)

It's not clear what Cohen did for the companies. Avenatti has suggested Cohen may have lobbied the White House without registering to do so, though there’s no evidence his work met the legal definition of lobbying.

“If Michael Cohen, the personal attorney to the president, was selling access to the highest office in the land, without complying with the appropriate rules and regulations, serious consequences should result,” Avenatti told POLITICO.

Insiders like Cohen offered corporations insight on who in Trump's orbit was up and who was down at any given moment, one Republican consultant said.

“Everyone was hiring ‘Trump whisperers’ in 2017 — every single hanger-on in the Trump orbit made a fortune in 2017,” one Republican consultant said. “And not necessarily to influence them, just to try to figure out who are the right people to talk to.”

"The question was ‘Who is the real influence?’" the consultant said. "Is it Gary Cohn? Steve Bannon? Wilbur Ross? How do we get to Jared and Ivanka? Does anyone know Dina Powell? Does anyone listen to Steven Mnuchin? There’s no point talking to Reince Priebus, right? Every single client we had was trying to figure it out."

In a memo to employees on Wednesday, AT&T said that it had "hired several consultants," including Cohen, after the election "to help us understand how the President and his administration might approach a wide range of policy issues important to the company, including regulatory reform at the FCC, corporate tax reform and antitrust enforcement." Cohen did no lobbying or legal work for AT&T, the company said.

Novartis agreed to shell out $100,000 a month to Cohen for advice on how to deal with Trump — a substantial amount even for a company that spent more than $8.6 million last year on Washington lobbying, with nearly a dozen lobbying firms on retainer.

After meeting with Cohen in March 2017, though, Novartis determined Cohen "would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated related to US healthcare policy matters and the decision was taken not to engage further," Sofina Mirza-Reid, a Novartis spokeswoman, said in a statement on Wednesday. "As the contract unfortunately could only be terminated for cause, payments continued to be made until the contract expired by its own terms in February 2018."

Presidential confidants making use of their connections — even without formally lobbying — is not unique to the Trump era. Jim Messina, a former top aide in Barack Obama's White House, started his own consulting firm, the Messina Group, after managing Obama's reelection campaign. Like Lewandowski, he never registered as a lobbyist.

"I hope you will also mention that Seems [sic] to be the same relationship that Jim Messina had with the Obama WH," Lewandowski wrote in an email to POLIITICO.

Lewandowski co-founded a lobbying firm, Avenue Strategies, weeks after Trump's victory but quit last year after several stories raised questions about him cashing in on his access. He now offers insight into the Trump administration through a new firm, Lewandowski Strategic Advisors, doing work that he says doesn't meet the definition of lobbying.

Other Trump insiders have gone to work for established Washington firms such as Mercury and Holland & Knight.

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and the husband of White House communications official Mercedes Schlapp, is another lobbyist source of Trump intelligence. Schlapp's firm, Cove Strategies, which represents blue-chip clients such as Comcast, Verizon and Walmart, raked in cash accordingly, with more than $1 million in lobbying revenue last year compared to $630,000 in 2016.

Not every Trump campaign veteran who offered a glimpse into Trump's decision-making process after the election has been able to command the fees that Cohen has.

Michael Caputo, who served as a senior adviser to the Trump campaign before resigning for sending a tweet celebrating Lewandowski's firing as campaign manager, sent a letter last year to Washington firms offering to strike up a partnership.

"Understanding how Donald Trump ascended to the White House — and how he will likely operate — will be unique and vital counsel for your clients in the years ahead," Caputo wrote in the letter.

Caputo has lobbied for a couple of clients since Trump took office and made $7,500 a month offering what he described as insight into "the inputs that go into the president's decision-making" for another. But he said he's not in the business of telling clients how the president might approach a particular issue.

"I really think nobody can truly understand how the president thinks," Caputo said. "He's a very unique individual."
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/ ... ess-579437

Russian tycoon known for Faberge eggs tied to Cohen payment

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, poses for a photo with Renova CEO businessman Viktor Vekselberg during an awarding ceremony in Moscow’s Kremlin, Russia. Outside the rarified sphere of the super-rich, tycoon Viktor Vekselberg is mostly known in Russia for spending more than $100 million to bring cultural artifacts back to their homeland, including an array of Faberge eggs glittering with gold and jewels. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File) (Associated Press)
MOSCOW — Outside the rarified sphere of the super-rich, tycoon Viktor Vekselberg is mostly known in Russia for spending more than $100 million to bring cultural artifacts back to his homeland, including an array of Faberge eggs glittering with gold and jewels.

By Vekselberg’s standards, the money he laid out wasn’t all that much: His fortune has been estimated at about $14.6 billion.

But after his holding company Renova was hit by U.S. sanctions against Russia in April, his worth appeared to shrink markedly, and he reportedly has asked the Russian government for help to stay afloat.

Now Vekselberg is facing new scrutiny.

U.S. news reports said he has been questioned by the staff of Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and any possible coordination with associates of President Donald Trump. And documents reviewed by The Associated Press suggest that a company associated with Vekselberg routed money to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s consulting firm in 2017.

Vekselberg, 61, was born in Soviet Ukraine. After graduating from the Moscow Transportation Engineering Institute, he reportedly made his first significant money by selling copper salvaged from scrapped cables during the period of economic reforms under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

He built his fortune by investing in the aluminum and oil industries, taking advantage of the wide open and often questionable privatization of state companies after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

He secured a controlling interest in the Tyumen Oil company, one of Russia’s largest oil operations, and his holding company, Renova Group, and two other holding companies later merged their assets and established the TNK-BP joint venture with British Petroleum, which later was acquired by state oil giant Rosneft. More recently, he has expanded his assets to include industrial equipment and high technology.

Renova has sizable investments in the U.S. through the investment management company Columbus Nova. The firm’s operations include tech investments, real estate management and merchant banking, according to corporate and web documents.

Columbus Nova was described in a 2007 corporate document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as an “affiliate” of Renova. Columbus Nova is headed by Andrew Intrater, who is described as a cousin of Vekselberg in the documents reviewed by AP and in other media reports.

Intrater donated $250,000 to Trump’s inauguration in 2017, presidential finance documents show.

Before reportedly retaining Cohen, Vekselberg’s firm and Columbus Nova corporate entities have spent nearly 15 years trying to gain influence in Washington. Renova, Columbus Nova and its real estate arm combined to pay nearly $1.8 million to lobbyists between 2001 and 2015, at first concentrating on “encouraging trade and cultural exchanges” between the U.S. and Russia and later on small business issues.

A spokeswoman for the Carmen Group Inc., a lobbying operation paid more than $1.7 million by the Vekselberg-linked firms, declined to explain its work, saying, “we do not comment on client matters.”

Vekselberg was one of a group of Russian business leaders who met with former President Barack Obama in Moscow in 2007 during Obama’s visit with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev as well as then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Vekselberg was also in attendance when Putin sat during a Moscow gala in 2015 with retired U.S. Army Gen. Michael Flynn, who was Trump’s national security adviser before he was fired. Flynn is now cooperating with the special counsel probe.

Official documents reviewed Tuesday by the AP appeared to show that a company associated with Vekselberg routed eight payments totaling about $500,000 to Essential Consultants, established by Cohen between January and August 2017.

Vekselberg’s spokesman, Andrey Shtorkh, told the AP on Wednesday that “neither Viktor Vekselberg nor Renova has ever had any contractual relationship with Mr. Cohen” or his consulting company. In a statement on its website, Columbus Nova said it has managed assets for Renova, but has never been owned by Vekselberg.

As a wealthy and powerful Russian, Vekselberg is presumed to operate with the tacit approval of Putin. How deep his relations are with the Kremlin is an open question.

Anders Aslund, an expert on Russia’s economy, was quoted by the Russian business portal RBC as saying that Vekselberg’s ending up on the U.S. sanctions list was a surprise because “he has a good reputation. ... He isn’t perceived to be especially close to Putin.”

But he apparently is close enough to the top to be willing to ask for help after the sanctions slashed the value of his holdings. According to the business newspaper Kommersant, he recently asked for state-owned banks to refinance 820 million euros ($967 million) in debt that he owes to Western banks and for preferential treatment in receiving state orders.

Vekselberg got wide public attention for buying nine Faberge eggs from the estate of Malcolm Forbes and bringing the czarist-era baubles back to Russia for display in a private museum.

He also heavily funded the establishment of a Jewish museum in Moscow and financed the return to a Moscow monastery of church bells that had been scrapped under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/eu ... 4a501f6991
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu May 10, 2018 2:06 am

Justin Elliott

New: The Russian oligarch-linked firm that paid Michael Cohen, was also represented by another Trump personal lawyer: Marc Kasowitz
Russian Oligarch-Linked Firm That Paid Michael Cohen Was Also Represented by Trump Lawyer Marc Kasowitz

The investment firm that the two Trump attorneys worked for, Columbus Nova, calls it a “coincidence.”

by Justin ElliottMay 9, 6:14 p.m. EDT

Michael Cohen leaves the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on April 26. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The news on Tuesday that the same shell company that Michael Cohen, a longtime personal lawyer for Donald Trump, had used to pay $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels had also received about $500,000 in 2017 from a firm linked to a Russian oligarch set off a frenzy of commentary on Twitter and cable TV.

At the heart of the story is an investment firm called Columbus Nova, which has close links to Renova Group, a conglomerate founded by Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg. A Columbus Nova spokesman has said the payments to Cohen were for unspecified investment consulting.

Now there’s a new wrinkle: Another longtime Trump personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, also represented Columbus Nova in recent years in a commercial case. A spokesman for Kasowitz said the case settled in early 2017.

As ProPublica reported last year, Cohen spent a short period in February 2017 working at the offices of Kasowitz Benson Torres in midtown Manhattan, alarming several lawyers at the firm who worried about the brash attorney’s reputation. That was at the beginning of the period, between January and August 2017, when Columbus Nova made its payments to Cohen.

Cohen told ProPublica last year that he used Kasowitz’s offices “because we were working on several matters together after the inauguration.” Both he and Kasowitz have declined to specify what they collaborated on.

A Columbus Nova spokesman said that the investment firm was not introduced to Cohen by Kasowitz. The spokesman said Kasowitz worked on only one commercial matter for Columbus Nova and that it was a coincidence that the firm had used two lawyers who also represent Trump.

Asked whether any of Cohen’s brief time at the Kasowitz offices related to matters for Columbus Nova, Renova, or Vekselberg, a Kasowitz spokesman said “no.” The spokesman added, “The firm did not do any substantive work with Michael Cohen after he left the Trump Organization.” Cohen resigned from the Trump Organization in January 2017.

Cohen didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Any work Cohen did with Kasowitz in 2017 could take on new relevance since the FBI raided Cohen’s home and office last month. Kasowitz, who was Trump’s lead lawyer in the Russia investigation for a brief period last year, has reportedly still been involved in advising the president in the case.

Kasowitz continues to represent Trump in other matters. That includes a suit by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” who claims Trump defamed her by calling her a liar after she asserted that he had made unwanted sexual advances. Kasowitz Benson Torres specializes in commercial litigation and has represented many large U.S. and foreign companies.

Kasowitz’s work for Columbus Nova stretches back to at least 2010 in related cases filed in New York and Illinois. In Illinois, Fifth Third Bank sued Columbus Nova and several affiliated entities, alleging that they had caused the bank to lose tens of millions of dollars on loans to a life insurance financing program that was “permeated … by fraud and embezzlement.” In the New York case, Kasowitz and three other attorneys at his firm filed a separate suit alleging that it was Fifth Third Bank that had committed fraud and caused losses.

The name of Andrew Intrater, the CEO of Columbus Nova and the cousin of Vekselberg, comes up repeatedly in the litigation.

Kasowitz’s spokesman said the litigation settled in 2017. The terms do not appear to be public.

“The firm represented Nina Investments LLC and its affiliates, Santa Maria Overseas, Ltd., Columbus Nova Investments IV, Ltd., and Renova U.S. Management LLC, in a commercial litigation with Fifth Third Bank, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, over a failed investment in a company called Concord Capital Management, LLC,” the Kasowitz spokesman said. “The litigation was commenced in 2010 and settled in early 2017.”

A spokesman for Renova, Andrey Shtorkh, told ProPublica that he is not familiar with Kasowitz. He described Renova Group as a client of Columbus Nova. However, Renova’s website previously described Columbus Nova as one of its holdings. Columbus Nova’s website previously described itself “as the US investment vehicle for the Renova Group.”

Vekselberg was among those hit with sanctions last month by the Trump administration in response to “malign activity around the globe” by the Russian government. The New York Times subsequently reported that Vekselberg was questioned by investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller.

Along with the payments from Columbus Nova, Cohen also received payments from corporations including AT&T and Novartis. AT&T said it hired Cohen “to provide insights into understanding the new administration.” ProPublica recently reported that Kasowitz used his access to the Trump administration to help another client, a New York investor, with a casino in Vietnam.

https://www.propublica.org/article/colu ... c-kasowitz

As @eisingerj and I reported last year, Michael Cohen spent a brief time working at the offices of the Kasowitz firm in early 2017 for still unexplained work. Several lawyers at the firm were alarmed by Cohen's presence. https://www.propublica.org/article/trum ... -clearance

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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu May 10, 2018 11:15 am

Michael Avenatti

Verified account

2h2 hours ago
On April 9, the FBI raided Mr. Cohen’s home, office and hotel room. Within 48 hours, Mr. Cohen sent the below email to Mr. Davidson. Why? They had no ongoing legal matter at the time. Was it part of an attempt by Mr. Cohen to obstruct justice or worse? #basta
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu May 10, 2018 3:58 pm

2 Huge Stories just broke:

- #1 AT&T allegedly paid Cohen $600k, not $200k

- #2 Novartis paid $1 million, not $400k to Cohen

Caroline O.

NEW: Internal documents reveal that Michael Cohen’s $600,000 deal with AT&T specified he would provide advice on the company's $85 billion proposed merger with Time Warner, which required the approval of federal antitrust regulators.

Jason Leopold

Cohen’s $600,000 deal with AT&T specified he would advise on Time Warner merger, internal company records show
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 11, 2018 8:50 am

Michael Cohen is a screwup as a fixer

Michael D'Antonio
Late night roasts Cohen for Russian payment
(CNN)As a fixer, Michael Cohen is a disaster.

Charged with protecting then-candidate Donald Trump from the negative publicity that would arise from his alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, he created Essential Consultants, a company which tried -- and, as the last few months prove, failed -- to buy her silence for $130,000.

And after Trump became president, Cohen kept using Essential Consultants to do business with clients who sought his advice on financial matters and dealings with the Trump administration. Millions of dollars flowed into the firm from companies that believed, for the right price, the President's fixer could assist them.

If Trump wants to end Stormy Daniels scandal, he should follow her advice, or tell the truth
Now it seems the firm that Cohen used to help get Trump elected could threaten the presidency.

We know that Cohen is the man behind Essential Consultants because he signed the paperwork that established it as a limited liability company. The rules governing LLCs allow those who create them to hide their identities. Cohen's signature is the sign of an amateur at work and belies his claim to be Trump's best problem solver.
But let's break down Cohen's fixer issues even further. Essential Consultants' first product, the hush agreement with Daniels, may not have been fully executed and is now subject to Stormy Daniels' legal challenge, which is being pursued by attorney Michael Avenatti.

To watch Avenatti at work, in the legal system as well as the court of public opinion, is to witness a craftsman at the height of his abilities. Given the opening provided by Cohen's contract, Avenatti has gathered evidence to construct a clear narrative with steady revelations that threaten both Cohen and Trump. Avenatti's ability to capture attention rivals even Trump's, as he hints at bombshell revelations and then delivers on his promises.
Anderson Cooper: It seems moronic for Cohen
Anderson Cooper: It seems moronic for Cohen 01:49
Avenatti's most recent disclosures show that Cohen used Essential Consultants to bill corporate clients, including one, Columbus Nova, an investment firm run by Andrew Intrater, a cousin of Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. As a friend of Vladimir Putin, Vekselberg, who was recently subject to US sanctions, is the kind of character both Cohen and Trump should avoid at all costs. Instead Cohen allegedly accepted $500,000 from Columbus Nova.
According to Avenatti, Essential Consultants LLC also took in more than $4 million since it was created at the close of the 2016 election. Avenatti claims that $187,500 came from Republican donor Elliott Broidy. The Wall Street Journal reports that Essential Consultants then paid $1.6 million in hush money to Playboy model Shera Bechard, who had an abortion after, she alleges, Broidy impregnated her.
The agreement that was supposed to cover up the alleged Broidy/Bechard affair employs the same pseudonyms, "David Dennison" and "Peggy Peterson," that were used to hide the identities of the principals in agreement between Daniels and Trump. This practice suggests that Cohen was using legal boilerplate and was too lazy to even create original fake names.
Meanwhile, several of the other payments that Avenatti alleges Cohen received show that he had been trying to cash in on his relationship with Trump. One of Essential Consultants' clients, the communications giant AT&T, said it paid the LLC at least $200,000 for "insights into the new administration." Notably, at the time, AT&T was in need of government approval for its potential merger with CNN's parent company, Time Warner.
Michael Cohen is learning the brutal truth about Trump
According to the health news journal STAT, Cohen offered Essential Consultants' services to the drug giant Novartis, which is regulated by the US government. After acknowledging the company dumped $1.2 million into Essential Consultants, a spokesman said, "This episode was clearly a mistake."
Only a naïf would fail to see that Cohen was selling himself as a conduit to the new administration, which would make him the kind of swamp monster Trump promised to evict from the shadowy pools of politics. Even worse for the President is the scent of foreign interference created by Essential Consultants' association with Vekselberg.

Why would Columbus Nova pay Cohen? The better question would be why would Cohen take the money and use Essential Consultants to do it? Here it helps to understand Cohen's past and his personality.

Cohen has a long record of contacts with rich immigrants from the former Soviet Union and, according to The New York Times, built his own "shadowy" business empire with their help. For example, he teamed up with his father-in-law to lend $25 million to a Ukrainian businessman known for defaulting on loans. According to the Times, he was also part owner of a Brooklyn catering hall that served as an office for "two of New York's most notorious Russian mobsters."
The shadowy associations were consistent with Cohen's image as the tough guy who goes after the boss's critics and deals with threats, perceived and real, to the Trump empire.

At times, Cohen has seemed to enjoy being a figure whose very name should provoke fear in the hearts of those who would challenge his client. The most notable example of his method was a profane tirade he issued against a journalist whom he promised to harass "for as long as you're on this frickin' planet" if he published a salacious story about Trump.
The bullying was a fairly effective homage to Trump, but in his other attempts to copy his employer, Cohen proved to be inept. Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of Essential Consultants.

In his decadeslong career marked by bankruptcies and controversies, Trump was exceedingly careful about protecting himself. Indeed, the very fact that he used Cohen as a so-called fixer indicates that he was willing to pay good money so that he could act with impunity -- and without the kind of consequences Cohen faces in his battle with Avenatti.

The saga of Essential Consultants proves that Cohen is no Trump. He may not even be a very good Cohen. If he were, the stuff he was supposed to fix would have stayed fixed. Instead, he has set his own life on fire, and the flames now threaten the President.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/10/opinions ... index.html
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 11, 2018 8:59 am

Michael Cohen just got caught making the same mistake as General Flynn

By Grant Stern May 11, 2018

President Trump’s bagman and personal attorney Michael Cohen is caught in a whirlwind of corruption revelations stemming from the Stormy Daniels hush money case and the unconscionable multimillion dollar payoffs he took into his “real estate consulting” company, Essential Consultants, LLC. Now, a legal news outlet just identified a serious crime that Michael Cohen probably committed by taking money from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, a Swiss company.

Federal law requires persons who engage in American political activities for foreign corporations to register as a lobbyist under the LDA or register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

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FARA happens to be the same federal law which has ensnared two other high profile cooperators and one current defendant in the Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia probe. Law&Crime reports:

Law&Crime spoke at length on the subject with Joshua Ian Rosenstein of the D.C.-based law firm Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock. Rosenstein is an expert in FARA and Lobbying Disclosure (LDA) compliance.

“Novartis AG is a Swiss company, and from public reporting—and from Novartis’s own statements, it appears that the foreign company was directly involved in the agreement with Mr. Cohen,” he said. “Foreign corporations undertaking political activities in the US are treated as foreign principals under FARA.”

He said that, given Novartis’ status as a Swiss company, public reporting and Novartis’ statements, it seems likely that Novartis would be treated as a foreign principal in this case.

Persons who take political action on behalf of a foreign principal – like a corporation, government or political party meet the requirements to register, and violations of the FARA are criminal offenses punishable by up to five years imprisonment, but a late registration doesn’t automatically result in prosecution.

For example, Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort is facing criminal charges for failure to register as an agent of the Ukrainian Party of Regions, as well as associated money laundering charges.

That’s what led Manafort’s former partner Rick Gates, who faced those same charges, to enter a plea bargain that made him a cooperating witness in the Russia probe.

But Cohen’s case is more like Gen. Mike Flynn, who faced the prospect of charges for failure to register under FARA when he got paid by a Dutch company with a Turkish national as his foreign principal.

The secret payments Flynn accepted to work on behalf of Turkey ultimately led Trump’s former National Security Advisor cut a deal to cooperate with prosecutors before any indictments landed.

On April 11th, Michael Cohen reportedly began teetering on the brink of snitching against Trump. Reports indicate that Felix Sater – his childhood friend and Russian mafia-connected Trump Organization dealmaker – turned on Trump just three days before the FBI raid ripped the lid off of his hush money and bribery company.

Cohen is drowning in bad debt from his shady taxi business and just pledged his personal home, an opulent Park Avenue apartment with plumbing problems, as mortgage collateral. He appears to be busy fighting for his financial life.

Two months ago, Mike Flynn had to sell a beloved home in Virginia to pay his legal bills, even after he began cooperating with Mueller’s probe and pled guilty.

If federal prosecutors do choose to charge Michael Cohen with FARA violations, there’s a solid chance that that could be the end game for Trump’s personal lawyer to turn state’s evidence and testify against his boss, the President.

Read Michael Avenatti’s reaction to the news that Michael Cohen may have violated federal foreign agency registration requirements:
https://washingtonpress.com/2018/05/11/ ... l-flynn-2/
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 11, 2018 2:16 pm

Michael Avenatti

Let this serve as formal notice - there is significantly more evidence and facts to come relating to Mr. Cohen's dealings and Mr. Trump's knowledge and involvement. You can come clean now or wait to be outed. Your choice. We have only just begun...#Basta

Shane Goldmacher

There are just SO many layers of allegations to this letter:

—Schneiderman victims to go lawyer
—Lawyer skips DA, goes to NY Post columnist
—NY Post columnist goes to Donald Trump
—Michael Cohen calls lawyer
—Cohen files seized years later\


Michael Avenatti

Knowing what we know now, no wonder Mr. Cohen was doing everything he could to interfere with Ms. Daniels' efforts to get new counsel. He was desperate to avoid the cover-up from surfacing and was afraid that competent counsel would expose him and Mr. Trump. #MoreToCome #Basta

And BTW, look at the subject line Mr. Cohen drafted. He has claimed in the case that DD was never a party to the NDA. But he specifically described it as the "PP vs DD NDA" in this email (his words).

Lawyer: I Discussed Accusations Against Schneiderman With Michael Cohen
By Tierney Sneed | May 11, 2018 12:43 pm

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's attorney, walks to the Loews Regency hotel on Park Ave on April 13, 2018 in New York City. Following FBI raids on his home, office and hotel room, the Department of Justice announced that they are placing him under criminal investigation. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)Yana Paskova/Getty Images North America
Michael Cohen was aware of and discussed accusations of violent behavior against ex-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a lawyer alleged in a letter filed Friday morning in the litigation over the FBI raid of Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room.

Peter Gleason, a New York attorney who is not a party to the case, said in the letter that two woman came to him — one around 2012 and another in 2013 — alleging they had been “sexually victimized” by Schneiderman, who stepped down as attorney general this week amid allegations that he was physically violent with multiple woman he dated. (Schneiderman has denied the claims.)

Gleason said that former tabloid reporter Steve Dunleavy recommended he bring the evidence to Donald Trump. Gleason infers that Dunleavy did bring them to Trump-world, as the lawyer said Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, called him and they discussed the allegations.

Gleason told the New York Times that his conversation with Cohen happened shortly before Trump tweeted vague insinuations about Schneidman.

“Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone — next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner,” Trump tweeted in 2013.

Gleason said in the letter that he advised the two woman not to bring their allegations to law enforcement because he claimed that Manhattan prosecutors had ignored corruption claims he had brought to them in the past. He told the New York Times that Cohen suggested to him that if Trump ran for New York governor, as he was contemplating at the time, he’d seek to bring light to the allegations against Schneiderman.

Gleason is now asking the U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood — who is overseeing the handling of materials seized from Cohen’s residence, office and hotel room — to place a protective order on any materials pertaining to his conversations with Cohen about the allegations. Wood has already appointed a special master to sort through records seized by the FBI potentially protected by attorney-client privilege.

Wood on Friday afternoon ordered that Gleason file a legal memorandum supporting his request.

Gleason did not respond to an email and text from TPM seeking more information about his claims. Cohen, Cohen’s attorney, the White House, and the private attorney representing President Trump in the Cohen search warrant matter also did not respond to TPM’s inquiries.

Gleason told the Times that the two woman who came to him were seperate that the four woman referenced in the New Yorker report that broke the allegations against Schneiderman this week.

Ronan Farrow, whom with Jane Mayer, reported the New Yorker story, denied on Twitter that any of his leads came from Gleason or Trump associates.

Gleason, a former police officer and firefighter, is perhaps best well known for his representation of Anna Gristina, who was prosecuted for running a prostitution ring that catered to Manhattan’s elite. She admitted to the allegations in a 2012 plea deal.

Gleason has also repeatedly run against Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, including last year. Additionally, Gleason is known for his collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia in his $2.5 million TriBeCa apartment.

Read the Gleason letter below:

Update: This story has been updated to include claims Gleason made in an interview with the New York Times, as well as an order from the judge overseeing the Michael Cohen matter.https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker ... rman-cohen


Peter Gleason: NY lawyer who offered his home as bail for alleged madam
Part lawyer, part saviour, Peter Gleason's involvement in the case of Anna Gristina has been controversial from the start
Matt Williams in New York
Thu 22 Mar 2012 16.22 EDT First published on Thu 22 Mar 2012 16.22 EDT

Peter Gleason said: 'I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is. My offer is that Mrs Gristina and her family move in.' Photograph: Allison Joyce/Reuters
Looking relaxed in an open-neck shirt in his Elvis-inspired living room, Peter Gleason shows little concern over betting his $2.5m apartment on the word of an alleged New York madam.

But then again, nothing about the lawyer's involvement in the case of Scottish-born Anna Gristina – the alleged mastermind of a high-end Manhattan prostitution ring – has been conventional.

Even before opting to put up his well-heeled apartment for her bail, the 48-year-old played an intriguing role in Gristina's tale – part lawyer, part crusader and, he has said, part saviour.

Incarcerated in New York's notorious Rikers Island prison after her arrest last month, Gristina's life was in danger after a story got round that she employed underage girls, Gleason said.

His solution was to hold a press conference at his client's next court appearance firmly denying the claims. He has said that the move saved her life.

"When I sat down with Anna at Rikers Island, I told her [that] if there is any truth in the allegations that there were underage girls involved, I want no part of this, and I want to say that to the press," he explained.

Since then, the alleged vice queen's life in prison has been a whole lot easier, Gleason said.

But that hasn't stopped him doing something unheard of in legal circles: offering to put up bail on behalf of his then-client in an attempt to spring her from prison.

Anna Gristina, who has been charged with promoting prostitution, appears in state supreme court
Anna Gristina (right). Photograph: Louis Lanzano/AP
Gristina has been told she must come up with $1m in cash or $2m in insurance bonds if she is to be released ahead of a potential trial.

Her lawyers have argued that the sum is far in excess of what could be expected of a mother-of-four on a charge of just one count of promoting prostitution.

But prosecutors insist that the 44-year-old woman from Kirkliston near Edinburgh, whom they accuse of amassing a $15m fortune arranging trysts for wealthy clients and high-end call girls at an Upper East Side apartment, is a "significant" flight risk.


Gleason disagrees. So much so that he is in the process of filing the paperwork necessary to put up his own home as collateral against the bail figure.

"It shows I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is. My offer is that Mrs Gristina and her family move in," he said.

The offer raised eyebrows in court amid queries over whether it violated ethical concerns. In the event, Gleason stepped down as pro bono counsel, to avoid a possible conflict of interest.

But the offer stands. And if the judge accepts the property as a bond, there is a strong chance Gleason will be playing host to his former client in the coming weeks.

Although somewhat pokier than her upstate ranch – shared with dogs and six pot-bellied pigs – Gristina's potential digs are a significant step up from her current one-room place.

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In the heart of New York's fashionable Tribeca district, the building, complete with doormen, is just a block away from where former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn was housed during his high-profile brush with city prosecutors.

His home for over a decade, Gleason, a former police officer and fireman, takes pride over the apartment, especially a living area he designed with a nod to his musical hero.

"The couch is the same colour as the shag carpet in Graceland. The room was designed with Elvis's jungle room in mind," he said.

Dotted around the apartment are bits of Elvis memorabilia, alongside law books and piles of old newspapers. Indeed, Elvis sits alongside Muhammad Ali and civil rights lawyer William Kunstler.

Gleason explains that all three are remembered for the risks they took and, in the case of Ali and Kunstler, for the way they stood up for justice. It is a feat he says he hopes to emulate in his support for Gristina.

"What I despise more than anything else is hypocrisy. If you are going to go after one alleged madam – and I stress alleged – why not go after a media conglomerate that is promoting prostitution."

The comment is aimed at the Village Voice, a publication which with he has been engaged in a long-running feud.

After the freesheet published a damaging profile of him in the run-up to a city council election that he subsequently lost, Gleason has been critical of its alleged profiting from classified ads that offer sexual services.

But he also reserves some venom for the double standards of a society which demonises the women caught up in sex and prostitution scandals while lionising the men.

"The women get arrested and do the time, and the men end up hosting a talk show," he says, with a nod to shamed former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who emerged from his own prostitution scandal to front a CNN show.

But intrigue continues to swirl over possible names in Gristina's little black book, if such a thing ever existed. If Gleason is aware of such a directory – much sought after by New York's district attorney, it has been reported – he is keeping it to himself. "I never asked her if there was a black book, and as far as I'm concerned there is no black book," he said. If that is the case, it will come as a bitter disappointment to prosecutors and a hungry New York media pack – and cause many to wonder what the point of the five-year investigation was.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/ ... are_btn_tw
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 11, 2018 3:14 pm

Alt-right web domain names registered to company that paid Cohen

Scrutiny over company payments to Cohen
(CNN)At least eight alt-right website domain names were registered to Columbus Nova, the company that paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen, according to internet records reviewed by CNN.

The domains, which include alternate-right.com, alt-rights.com and alternate-rt.com, were created in August 2016 during the presidential campaign season. That same month, CNN and other news outlets reported on the rising profile of the alt-right movement and its white nationalist connections.
Records show an employee, Frederick Intrater, whose brother Andrew Intrater is the CEO of Columbus Nova, used his company email address to register the web domains, and listed Columbus Nova as the registrant organization, along with the company's address.

US firm scrubs website, distancing itself from Russian oligarch
Frederick Intrater said in a statement that he used his own money to purchase the domains with the intention of later selling them for profit. He said he does not support white supremacy and added that he is Jewish and the son of a Holocaust survivor.

"I subsequently thought better of the idea of selling domain names which obviously now have connotations that are inconsistent with my moral beliefs," the statement reads, adding, "I never told my brother or anyone else at Columbus Nova that I had done this." Intrater said he did not use the alt-right domain names before they expired.

Public documents describe Columbus Nova as the US affiliate of the Russian investment company Renova Group, which is chaired by Viktor Vekselberg, who is a cousin of Andrew and Frederick Intrater.

CNN previously reported that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators questioned Vekselberg about Columbus Nova's payments to Cohen.
Exclusive: Mueller's team questions Russian oligarch about payments to Cohen
In response to that reporting, Columbus Nova has attempted to distance itself from Vekselberg and Renova Group. However, internet records reviewed by CNN show that Frederick Intrater also listed Columbus Nova as the registrant organization when he acquired at least three domains that have the word "renova" in their names. The New York City operation renewed two of those domains as recently as 2016 and one as recently as 2017.

Those domains are titled renovausm.com, renova-usm.com and renovamedia.com. It is also unclear if they ever hosted content.

A Columbus Nova spokesman described Renova as a client of Columbus Nova but said Renova does not own or control the company.

Michael Cohen accuses Stormy Daniels' lawyer of publishing information about the wrong Michael Cohen
Other domains registered to Columbus Nova include 1-800getalife.com, spiritsofwar.com and cnnjournal.com.

CNN collected the records through DomainTools, a cybersecurity firm that tracks domain registrations and transfers.

NBC News first reported the registration of the alt-right sites.
Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing adult film star Stormy Daniels, released a memo Tuesday that alleged Columbus Nova paid $500,000 to Michael Cohen through the same bank account that Cohen had created in 2016 to execute the hush payment to Daniels. CNN has not authenticated the documents that appear to show the payment.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/10/politics ... index.html

Michael Avenatti

Squire Patton Boggs hiring/working with Mr. Cohen makes no sense. That firm usually only hires and works with the most highly educated, competent lawyers. We know of money flowing between EC, LLC & the law firm. They need to come clean & release ALL of the details re: Mr. Cohen.
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun May 13, 2018 1:27 pm

Michael Avenatti

Warning ignored. So here it goes.
December 12, 2016 - Trump Tower. Details to follow...



Why was Ahmed Al-Rumaihi meeting with Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn in December 2016 and why did Mr. Al-Rumaihi later brag about bribing administration officials according to a sworn declaration filed in court?
2:41 PM - 13 May 2018

Brian Krassenstein

Replying to @MichaelAvenatti
Confirmed! Thanks!!

Ahmed Al-Rumaihi works for the QAI investment fund that the Dossier alleges got a 19.5% stake in Rosneft. Al-Rumaihi allegedly claimed to have bribed Flynn. Ahmed Al-Rumaihi met with Cohen and Flynn at Trump Tower.

Brian Krassenstein

So basically Al-Rumaihi bragged about doing exactly what the Dossier claimed happened? Provided the Trump team with commission on the 19.5% sale of Rosneft. Boom!!Brian Krassenstein added,

Brian Krassenstein

BREAKING: Former Qatari diplomat, and now the head of a $100B Qatari Investment Fund, admitted to bribing Michael Flynn and tried bribing Steve Bannon.

Who is buying that 19% stake in Rosneft? You guessed it, this fund.

Steele Dossier Verification?!?!

See Court Doc:

Al-Rumaihi is a former Qatari ambassador who in 2016 took over as head of the QAI investment fund. QAI is who purchased an 18+% stake in the Russian oil giant Rosneft. The Steel Dossier specifically mentioned Rosneft saying that Trump would be entitled to the commission of sale

The Dossier said 19.5% would be sold. Also note that if the price of oil rises the value of these shares also rise. Note that Trump pulling out of the Iran deal shot the oil price up and any additional conflict will add to this rise
https://twitter.com/krassenstein/status ... 9821457408

BREAKING: Former Qatari diplomat, and now the head of a $100B Qatari Investment Fund, admitted to bribing Michael Flynn and tried bribing Steve Bannon.…

Trump Russia Dossier Decoded: Yes, There Really Was A Massive Oil Deal (UPDATED)

Grant Stern
Mar 20, 2017

Donald and Melania Trump with Qatari Airlines CEO Akbar Al Baker at the Trump Tower
Circumstantial evidence strongly indicates that President Donald J. Trump and his campaign associates brokered a massive oil privatization deal, where his Organization facilitated a global financial transaction to sell Russian Oil stock to its Syrian War adversary, the Emirate of Qatar.

The Trump Russia Dossier describes a massive privatization deal to deliver a chunk of the state-owned Rosneft Oil company to Qatar and also a secret buyer in the Cayman Islands.

Qatar has been a tenant at Trump Tower since 2008, though recent reports indicate they may have recently vacated their state-run airlines’ corporate campus.

Donald Trump and Russia conducted the transaction in three phases; Phase 1 began in early 2016 with a meeting of the minds at The Mayflower Hotel to start the deal and a due diligence period, Phase 2 began just before the Republican National Convention and continued through Election Day, and Phase 3 happened after Trump’s shocking win and concluding just days before Buzzfeed published the bombshell dossier describing the deal.

The end result allowed Russia to trade stolen emails to help to Donald Trump’s election campaign (as well as that of many Republican Congressmen), in exchange for help circumventing American sanctions to transact the sale of Rosneft, which Putin desperately needed to finance his budget deficit.

The Rosneft transaction also purportedly sent a $500 million dollar brokerage fee to Carter Page, or perhaps the Trump Organization.

The Trump Campaign would’ve been extremely familiar with Rosneft, since top surrogate Rudy Giuliani listed the Russian oil giant as one of his law clients at Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP in 2014 according to Bloomberg.

For the first time here, we’ve broken down the entire Rosneft privatization transaction and US election, by using open source media stories to create a comprehensive timeline of events over three phases in a single graphic.

This is the transaction Ranking House Intel Committee Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) described when kicked off Congress’ Russia hearings discussing Rosneft’s privatization deal, and the many contacts between the Trump campaign and Putin’s allies.

The most deal significant milestone was the “meeting of the minds” which occurred last April 27th at the Center for National Interest gathering in Washington, D.C.

Four Ambassadors convened at The Mayflower Hotel, who represent the three countries definitely involved in the Rosneft privatization deal: Italy, Russia, Singapore, and also the Philippines.

They all attended Donald Trump’s foreign policy campaign speech.

Key players from every country involved were in that one room, for one night, one time only, and even now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was there.

The former Alabama Senator only admitted that he had two meetings with the Russian Ambassador, publicly excusing his own lies maintaining that contacts both weren’t campaigning discussions, even though one meeting was at the RNC in Cleveland. The April contact makes a third undisclosed meeting by Sessions with Ambassador Kislyak. Former US Ambassador Richard Burt is now a Russian lobbyist, and is thought to have written the speech that night, and serves on the Center’s Board of Directors.

After the-Republican candidate Donald Trump locked down the GOP nomination in early May against Ted Cruz, the plan described in Steele’s dossier leapt into action.

From the look of events, starting in July, a massive international oil privatization transaction began, and it was concluded in early January, right around the time the Electoral College certified Donald Trump as America’s 45th President.

The April 27th campaign speech at CNFI effectively concluded the due diligence or first phase of the Dossier’s privatization transaction and began a ‘quiet period’ before the pace of events quickened.

The second phase of the transaction began just before the Republican Convention and ran through election day.

The third phase happened after election day, and before the January 10th disclosure of the Steele Dossier, itself just a few short days after the Rosneft privatization sale finished.

Here’s our comprehensive infographic, the story continues below:

This week, the Democratic Coalition just released a 40-page report which factually confirms more than a dozen major allegations of the Trump Russia Dossier published by Buzzfeed on January 10th.

Our exhaustive research breaks down the findings of the Dossier chronologically and highlights the ties between Trump and the buyer of Russia’s oil company shares.

Oil-rich Gulf Arab nation of Qatar was the end buyer of a massive stake in the Russian, state-run oil company Rosneft’s privatization deal.

The new Democratic Coalition report (below) reveals that Trump has hosted a Qatari state-run business owned by the QIA — the buyer of Rosneft shares in this transaction — located in the Manhattan Trump Tower for many years, as well as numerous factual confirmations of the dossier’s findings.

Democratic Coalition Senior Advisor Scott Dworkin is set to advise a bipartisan group of Congresspeople this week on his factual findings, which back up the information contained in the Dossier that implicates President Trump in a foreign affair with Vladimir Putin.

He tells us this is his main advice:

“The Dossier and its contents are mostly real.”
The President’s son-in-law and White House advisor Jared Kushner met with the Russian Ambassador during the Transition period, with disgraced General Michael Flynn.

“Carter Page met with Rosneft in December to assist with the deal, and he’s on the record admitting it but claims he didn’t meet Igor Sechin,” said Dworkin incredulously. “Really? It must have been a webcast with an intermediary. Everything in the Dossier adds up, and it still leaves more questions than answers.”

A mighty brokerage fee to one of the Trump campaign advisors, Moscow-based investment banker Carter Page, is highlighted in the former MI-6 operative’s report.

Theoretically, the former Merrill Lynch investment banker, Page, may have only been the “bag man” or go-between and someone else is the recipient of the cash premium in the dossier. Five hundred million dollars is a lot of money, and conceivably, many members of the Trump Organization, or family, could be involved in a deal of that scope.

What is most unusual about the sale is that Qatar is on the opposite sides of the Syrian war from Russia.

Not only that but in 2004 Russian agents openly assassinated a top Chechen rebel in Doha, the capital of Qatar, by bombing his SUV.

However, friendship between Donald Trump and the Qatari state-run airline who paid him anywhere from $19,000–100,000 a month in rent since 2008, must run deep.

Rosneft began taking steps towards a sale in early 2016, which accelerated right around the time of the Republican National Convention.

Russia’s state oil companies both declared that they would not privatize in 2016, right after Trump’s feud with a gold star family whose patriarch Khizr Khan spoke at the Democratic National Convention.

Putin announced the sale after new management changed the Trump campaign’s momentum in an exclusive Bloomberg interview in early September, which set the price at $11 billion dollars.

Reuters: Rosneft stake Ownership Chart
Six countries are known to have participated in the massive privatization deal of Russia’s jewel, its state-run oil company, which left the end ownership of the stake impenetrable, and a purchase price of roughly $10.7 billion dollars, which Reuters reported about in January as:

“How Russia sold its oil jewel: without saying who bought it.”
In early October, once Russia knew about their damaging cache of Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta’s emails, they re-ignited the privatization sales.

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin had already spent $5 billion dollars to buy out a foreign stake in Bashneft, another massive Russian oil partnership, whose oligarch was compromised, and charged (as Putin often does) with criminal offenses.

The Bashneft deal closed right before the damaging Access Hollywood political scandal, which would’ve swamped a presidential campaign without Trump’s collusive assistance from Putin’s massive propaganda machine.

After the Access Hollywood tape releases had seemed to doom Trump’s campaign, Putin even announced that the companies would buy their own shares if they had to — there was a serious budget hole to fill.

Nineteen and a half percent of Rosneft’s stock was agreed to be transferred on December 7th, before the board was informed of the transaction’s terms only after it took place.

The “matryoshka” (named after the famous nesting dolls) or complex deal structure is most likely designed to avoid American sanctions imposed over the Ukraine invasion against Rosneft, its CEO Igor Sechin, and its parent company Gazprom.

The highlighted yellow company in the below organization chart is a total mystery and based in the Cayman Islands law firm Walkers.

This is the kind of financial engineering it took for the Italian bank Intesa, to lend money to the buyers of the Rosneft stake.

The story continues below:

Anonymous blogger The Trump Watchdog indicates that the Walkers law firm is linked to Trump economic advisor Steven Schwartzman, a co-founder of the Wall Street giant Blackstone, because they own the Intertrust Group, who provided the Singapore holding company (item 17.)

The shelf company owned by Intertrust Group was renamed QHG Holdings — which was discovered after internet sleuths tracked down a scrivener’s error — and which probably links US interests to the international transaction.

Coincidentally, the other co-founder of Blackstone Pete Peterson also happens to be on the Board of Directors for the Center for National Interest who booked The Mayflower Hotel at the last moment for the April 27th meeting with the four ambassadors, Trump, and Sessions.

Left: Convicted felon, former Reagan NSA Robert “Bud” McFarland
Disgraced former Reagan National Security Advisor “Bud” McFarlane also attended The Mayflower Hotel speech on April 27th — in an especially ironic twist, where he attended another speech nearly 30 years earlier by Ronald Reagan, which he attended six short months before another international scandal erupted named Iran-Contra. Reagan’s speech that night demanded House Democrats to fund the Contra’s guerrilla war in Nicaragua, and like Trump’s speech proposing an unusual Russian “peace” deal, 30-years ago that Republican President described a foreign policy wish list, which eventually was revealed to have illegally transpired.

In November, despite Bud McFarlane’s public criticism in April, the Trump Transition team included the ex-felon’s compliments of Fox TV personality KT McFarland’s appointment as a Deputy NSA in their official press release.

Anyone who knows the Trump Administration, knows that they’re hypersensitive to criticism, yet oddly, this Trump critic was allowed to make a national security appointment so signficant that qualified applicants refused the job after Flynn’s dismissal, just to avoid KT McFarland being on their staff.

Then, Bud McFarlane mysteriously re-appeared at Trump Tower on December 5th, just two days before the Rosneft deal was announced, which didn’t make news when Henry Kissinger’s visit — he’s the Chairman Emeritus of the Center for National Interest — drew major headlines that day in Manhattan.

The end game for Russia was to funnel at least $5 billion dollars of new capital into state coffers to staunch some of the red ink expected to plague Putin’s budgets going into his 2018 elections, and through at least 2020 according to economists; and to do the deal while tiptoeing past American financial sanctions.

That’s where the cash-rich Gulf Arab nation stepped in to make a deal. The Qatari sovereign wealth fund (QIA) is the known buyer of 50% of these shares of Rosneft.

Yet still, nobody knows where well over $2 billion dollars of equity for the purchase came from, as Reuters reports:

Although Qatar has never publicly confirmed how much it has contributed to the deal or the size of the stake that it bought, Glencore and Rosneft say it contributed 2.5 billion euros. Along with the 300 million from Glencore and the 5.2 billion loaned by Intesa [an Italian bank], that still leaves a shortfall of 2.2 billion euros.
The QIA is coincidentally also the largest shareholder in the Swiss oil trading firm Glencore, who executed the purchase with a minimal direct investment, and used the “Singapore vehicle” or holding company to hold their Rosneft share.

Glencore guaranteed the Italian bank Intesa’s loan for only 1/3rd of its value.

Donald Trump has had business ties to Qatar’s government for years, according to a Jan. 10th report in Time:

Trump has stakes in four companies that appear to be tied in business in the desert nation. The country’s state-owned carrier, Qatar Airways, has leased an office in Manhattan’s Trump Tower since 2008. Ivanka Trump told Hotelier Middle East in 2015 that the Trump Hotel Collection was eyeing opportunities in Qatar.
It’s unclear when or if Qatari Airlines left Trump Tower, or when their lease actually expires, but a Jan. 28th story in Vox says that their operations have departed the President’s home building in New York.

What is clear is that Qatari Airlines’ CEO has publicly called Donald Trump a “good friend” and it is one of the countries excluded from the Muslim Ban, which coincidentally, does business with the President.

Recently, CEOs of American airliners met with Trump recently to decry government subsidized competition from Qatar and other foreign state-run carriers, which is an obvious conflict for President Trump.

If that wasn’t enough conflicted interest, Trump Organization announced a plan to build or license their brand in Qatar in 2015, but there are no further reports to substantiate the move.

The CEO of Qatari Airlines says that he was one of the first people to give congratulations after election day:

Qatar Airways’ Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker, who voiced support for Trump even after his comments about Muslims, welcomed his victory. “Our relationship goes way back, and I was one of the first to commend Donald on his well-deserved new leadership position,” he said in a statement to Reuters.
Qatari Airlines rented pricey office space at President Trump’s tower for many years. If their lease continues today, it would be a violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prevents federal employees and the executive from accepting any foreign payments whatsoever.

Qatar’s complete and total involvement in the Rosneft deal is undeniable.

The small Emirate that just publicly participated in the purchase of Russia’s state-run oil and gas giant — happens to be extremely close to Donald Trump.

It’s unknown if the Philippines had any direct or indirect involvement in the Rosneft transaction, but their President Duarte is a staunch Trump supporter, who assigned one of the President’s business partners as a trade envoy.

The island nation took the unusual step of hosting Russian naval ships in early January, which is extremely out of the ordinary for the longtime US ally and former colony.

What we do know is that the Cayman Islands company investors were conspicuously missing whe Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin and Vladimir Putin met with their new partners at Intesa Bank, the Qatar Investment Authority and Glencore in January.

Why Russia Needed The Money

At the heart of the Dossier’s disclosures is the Russian goal of ending economic sanctions, some of which specifically target Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, who was Putin’s top deputy in government service just a few short years ago, in a country where the lines between business and government can be blurry.

President Obama’s 2014 sanctions have crippled the Russian economy when compounded with low global oil prices.

That caused a massive budget gap last year, which led Putin to privatize assets to pay current costs for the Russian government.

After President Obama leveled retaliatory sanctions in December 2016 and expelled diplomats in late December for meddling in our election, Vladimir Putin announced and then stunningly reserved retaliation.

Last month, disgraced Gen. Michael Flynn was fired as NSA, apparently just for discussing Russian sanctions with the Russian Ambassador in late December.

At the time, Obama’s expulsion of Russian diplomats and spies sparked a highly unusual public “bromance” between the President-elect and the dictator, which sparked speculation about a quid pro quo when Trump tweeted a love letter to the Russian dictator.

Strategically, Russia is desperate to shake the larger economic sanctions, but America’s Congress is seeking more, not less economic retaliation against Putin’s regime.

Shortly after taking office, President Trump did indeed relax sanctions against Russia’s lead spy agency, the FSB, but most observers said was a minor concession.

Into that void, Trump’s lawyer and a group of his Ukrainian family connections and lawmakers, and the notorious Felix Sater appeared with a “peace plan” that would’ve accomplished the end of sanctions.

One of the ‘peacemakers,’ a Ukrainian relative of Trump’s trusted lawyer Michael Cohen, has already perished under mysterious circumstances since then.

If America lifts sanctions against the Putin regime, then the value of Russia’s public oil companies stands to skyrocket.

Already, Donald Trump’s presence has sparked a market rally on Moscow’s MICEX stock exchange.

US Media Is Connecting The Dots On Steele’s Dossier

Open source journalism confirms some of the more important political elements of the Trump Russia Dossier.

My original report two weeks ago revealed a major point of affirmation in CNN’s interview with former Trump campaign associate, J.D. Gordon, whose remarks confirmed a serious political allegation in the Trump Russia Dossier.

Then, Rachel Maddow echoed the essence of our report on MSNBC a few days later and added that Politico linked a participant in the RNC Ukraine policy changes to one of then-Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort’s associates, who is himself a foreign national being investigated by the FBI.

Wikileaks involvement to assist Russia in Trump’s campaign is a cornerstone of the dossier’s claims; it was seen as essential for Putin and Russia to maintain plausible deniability for political interference.

Sure enough, new factual data shows that the anti-secrecy organization switched to their web hosting to use a Russian DNS server right before releasing the most damaging email material during last year’s elections.

That means Vladimir Putin certainly has knowledge of the physical location of Wikileaks’ servers and allows their messages to be broadcast using Russian soil.

Trump’s former top advisor Roger Stone admitted to communicating with Russian hackers in August 2016, during the election about releases of information through Wikileaks.

This month, Gen. Flynn revealed that he was secretly an unregistered Turkish foreign agent ‘volunteering’ his time during the Trump campaign, and Congress revealed proof this week, which he was simultaneously on the payroll of Russian state-sponsored RT “News” and the Kaspersky security firm, who is thought to have been involved in the election hacks.

One must imagine that Flynn’s role as a secret, unregistered foreign agent of two nations (in other words, he’s a SPY) is one of the main targets of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation.

“When the dossier became public it generated more questions than answers,” says Scott Dworkin late at night via chat. “Over the last several months we’ve corroborated the dossier with the facts. The deeper we dig, the more truth we find in it. Just look at the author — Christopher Steele — who is a former MI-6 agent who’s saved more lives than Trump ever has.”

“He’s the real person people imagine James Bond to be.”
The Trump Russia Dossier describes the Rosneft privatization deal almost exactly, and Putin’s resulting purge of Russian allies and ex-officials looks like the kind of deadly cover up a dictator would apply, to erase his friends who knew about the deal.

Scott Dworkin says to expect full confirmation of the report within a week from official sources, or when Steele testifies in front of Congress in person or via remote link.

“A majority of the dossier and its contents are factual,” says the intrepid investigator Dworkin, who began making #TrumpLeaks posts in October. Now, when he tweets @funder 3 million people per day see and share his research. “The dossier is more real than anything Trump’s ever said.”

“A majority of it is factual and news reports over time have proven some of those facts.”

This weekend, the Republican Chair of the House Intel Committee said that only one person is being investigated for treason in the White House by the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence division.

There’s no way a deal of this magnitude would completely envelop the Trump Campaign, its manager, its outside affiliates and inside agents so thoroughly, without the principal or head of a group knowing that something was happening.

Any reasonable person would have to conclude that Donald Trump is the FBI’s target, based upon the bevy of circumstantial evidence tying RNC campaign events to Russian oil, economic sanctions, and the simmering conflict in Ukraine.

Nearly three decades ago, Trump admitted on national television to participating in a straw-man transaction with the Sultan of Brunei and infamous Iran-Contra middleman Adnan Khashoggi, through which he acquired a large yacht, so we’ve got proof that the Trump Organization has engaged these kinds of multi-national transactions in the Middle East.

The most important commodity traded in the oil business or politics is money.

The privatization deal described in Christopher Steele’s dossier has played out on the pages of Bloomberg and Reuters for a year — shows that there was a whole lot of money in brokering oil deals for Donald Trump’s associates, and a rapid profit by Qatar if sanctions are released this year.

The only question that’s not even pondered in these many public reports, and which must be a central focus of the American intelligence community’s investigations:

Where is the $500 million dollar brokerage fee today?

Where did the other $2 billion dollars come from?

What is Donald Trump’s true role in the deal?

Here’s the complete Democratic Coalition report:

Democratic Coalition Report On Trump Russia Dossier by Grant Stern on Scribd

Here’s an infographic which describes many of the key players in the Trump Russian Dossier:

https://thesternfacts.com/trump-russia- ... 3370349b67
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon May 14, 2018 10:40 am

Grant Stern

*** THREAD ***

Qatar Investments Director Ahmed al Rumaihi runs an internal division of the Qatar Investment Authority.

He bragged about a payoff to Gen. Flynn.

He went to Trump Tower on 12/12/2016 during the transition and Flynn was there.

He enters around 7:38 and lingers until going upstairs with Michael Cohen at 7:42


A QIA Director Faisal Al-Hamadi aka Faisal Abdulwahid Ali Al-Hammadi spent $2.5 million to hire former Republican Attorney General John Ashcroft, who registered under FARA as an agent of the QIA representative.

Ahmed al Rumaihi procured the deal.

https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stoc ... d=27869250

Ambassador Ahmed al Rumaihi is the Director of The Information Office at the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He issued these comments around the time of his unannounced visit to Trump Tower on 12/12/16 presumably on a B-1 visa.

Back to Trump Tower on 12/12/16

Flynn and Cohen and Rick Perry had a meet and greet in the lobby and were photographed together before Al-Rumaihi's arrival.

This video shows them palling around in the Trump Tower lobby.

At some point, Rick Perry left the Transition offices.

Eight minutes after Al-Rumaihi arrives, that's when Perry came back.

He was in a hurry and went straight into the elevator.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4724430/ ... rump-tower

At 9:08 in the CSPAN video Al-Rumaihi and his crew depart the Trump Transition offices.

Just 13 minutes later. General Flynn leaves the transition offices, then doubles back and waits for the elevator as the video feed ends.

Ahmed Al-Rumaihi took over a $100 billion dollar portfolio last year.

That placed him in charge of Qatar Airlines, a state-run company which had offices in Trump Tower in December 2016 and was a tenant of the Trump Organization owned by Donald Trump.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... e-ministry

Qatar purchased part of a state-owned Russian Oil company named Rosneft just three days before Al-Rumaihi's meeting at Trump Tower with Michael Cohen, and presumably with Gen. Flynn.

Page 30 of the #TrumpRussia dossier

Other famous guests that day included Alexander Nix, the former CEO of Cambridge Analytica

And Trump's digital campaign manager, now 2020 Campaign Manager Brad Parscale.

Anthony "The Mooch" went to the Trump Tower lobby on 12/12 to escort Maurice Greenberg into the Transition offices (CSPAN called him a staffer) and they had a chance encounter with Rebekah Mercer who owns Breitbart (and her dad owns Cambridge Analytica)

https://www.c-span.org/video/?420032-10 ... rump-tower

The story that started this affair is about a lawsuit that @IceCube and his partner in the Big 3 Basketball league filed against Sports Trinity, a Qatari investment vehicle.

A sworn declaration inside the lawsuit ignited the search for General Flynn and Ahmed al-Rumaihi.

https://www.documentcloud.org/search/pr ... ig3-vs-QIA

Jeff Kwatinetz is Steve Bannon's former business partner (he's not part of the league) and the Qataris approached him multiple times soliciting to keep paying where the Mercer family had left off.

And let slip a payoff to Flynn.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... html#pages

The day after the 12/12/16 Trump Tower meeting, Qatar's QIA announced a $10 billion dollar infrastructure investment by press release.

I do not believe anything of that sort has materialized. Trump holds numerous, empty, Infrastructure Weeks and Days.

@profcarroll brings up a great question:

Was Generally Flynn acting on behalf of Cambridge Analytica during the 12/12/16 Trump Tower meetings where former CEO Alexander Nix, Rebekah Mercer and Campaign Manager Brad Parscale all visited?

Period of award to SCL Group Ltd was 2/20/17-2/19/18 for TAA services for GEC at State. Flynn’s disclosure form says his SCL Group work was for month of Dec 2016, during the transition. Was Flynn working for SCL at Trump Tower on 12/12/16? https://www.usaspending.gov/#/award/27914050

Because here are Flynn's lobbying registration forms from December 2016.Grant Stern added,

Revisiting Mike Flynn’s amended disclosure form where he added his SCL Group role. #CambridgeAnalytica #SCL http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Presi ... 2e56014014

Long Strange Trip

Tanya Klassen

Replying to @grantstern
That’s the money shot. Right there.

Replying to @grantstern
Coincidentally, Trump pulling out of the Iran Deal has driven up Rosneft's stock price.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.market ... BD8E96A229
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They could still get him out of office.
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon May 14, 2018 12:23 pm

Cohen also tried to get Ford and Uber to buy access to Trump
By Bob Fredericks May 14, 2018 | 11:39am | Updated
Modal Trigger
Cohen also tried to get Ford and Uber to buy access to Trump

New Yorker writers say no Trump ties to Schneiderman article

Lawyer: I warned elected officials about Schneiderman years ago

Michael Cohen may have info on women 'sexually victimized' by Schneiderman

AT&T exec forced out over $600K payment to Trump’s lawyer
Not every company self-described fixer Michael Cohen hit up for payola in exchange for purported access to President Trump was dumb enough to cough up cash, a new report said Monday.

While corporate bigs like AT&T, Novartis and Korea Aerospace Industries and wannabes like a New York company linked to a Kremlin-connected Russian oligarch came across, others like Ford and Uber laughingly told Cohen to take a hike, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer and staunch loyalist, bragged to pals about building a huge law practice to cash in on his connections to the president.

He talked about approaching foreign governments and companies, and also scored a relationship with the prestigious lobbying and law firm Squire Patton Boggs — though he whined that they weren’t paying him enough.

And while he did make a lot of money — at least $2 million, according to published reports — he didn’t deliver much except causing his clients to be caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and Manhattan federal prosecutors’ probe into Cohen himself.

Cohen’s pitch was blunt, the paper reported, telling prospective clients that they “should fire them all,” referring to their existing advisers, and hire him instead because because of his supposed insight into the world of all things Trump

“I have the best relationship with the president on the outside, and you need to hire me,” Cohen told them, a sources told the WSJ.

Cohen nagged Uber, which told him no, citing his ownership of New York City taxi medallions as a conflict of interest with the ride-hailing firm, a sources said.

He changed his story in response to the objections, reminding the company he was “the president’s lawyer,” the source said, an episode that left company officials “bemused.”

“I want you to know I’m looking out for deals,” Cohen told his billionaire buddy Mark Cuban in April 2017 as he wooed the Dallas Mavericks’ owner on hiring a health-industry firm Cohen took on as a client, according Cuban.

“Michael is a hustler,” Cuban said. “That’s who he is, that’s what he does.”

The deals Cohen was able to get were made through Essential Consultants, the same company he had created months earlier to make a $130,000 hush money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels to clam up about a one-night stand she said she had with Trump in 2006, a fling the president denies.

Cohen in effect called the paper’s report fake news.

“These falsehoods and gross inaccuracies are only being written in the hopes of maligning me for sensationalistic purposes. The truth will prevail and will ultimately be proven in court and not by pundits,” he said in a statement that did not specify any inaccuracies in the report.

Last month, the feds raided Cohen’s home, hotel room and office as part of an investigation into possible bank fraud and campaign-finance violations in his efforts to raise cash and cover up negative information about Trump during the 2016 campaign. Cohen has denied wrongdoing.

AT&T paid Cohen $1.2 million from February 2017 until the same month this year — even though company brass realized he had nothing of value to offer them after a single sit-down.

The company last week acknowledged that it was a mistake to hire him, and also that it had cooperated in Mueller’s probe late last year.

Novartis, the giant Swiss-based drug manufacturer, also said it regretted hiring Cohen and that it had also cooperated with Mueller.

A third company, Columbus Nova, connected to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, a pal of President Vladimir Putin, also hired Cohen.

Columbus Nova CEO Andrew Intrater had donated $250,000 to the Trump inaugural committee, and he and Vekelsberg attended the president’s inaugural festivities.

Squire Patton Boggs gave Cohen office space at their New York headquarters in Rockefeller Center — but Cohen was bitter about the arrangement.

“Every one of these motherf–kers is going around the world and using my relationship in order to acquire clients, but I’m not being fairly compensated,” a source recalled Cohen saying.

Cohen also pitched Ford, which also wound up under Mueller’s microscope.

Ziad Ojakli, Ford’s head of government affairs, was interviewed by Mueller’s team about their exchanges.
https://nypost.com/2018/05/14/cohen-als ... -to-trump/
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon May 14, 2018 6:31 pm

Ukrainian politician linked to Cohen/Sater plans to testify before Mueller grand jury Friday.

Ukrainian politician behind controversial peace proposal to appear in Mueller probe

JOSH MEYER05/14/2018 05:11 PM EDT

A lobbying campaign by led by Paul Manafort and Rick Gates promoting former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych has caught the attention of Robert Mueller.
Ukrainian politican Andrii Artemenko’s testimony could help special counsel Robert Mueller’s team fill in the gaps on the peace plan. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
KIEV — A Ukrainian politician who communicated with Trump associates about a controversial plan to resolve Ukraine’s conflict with Kremlin-backed rebels said Monday that he has been called to testify before a grand jury connected to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Andrii Artemenko said he could not provide details of his upcoming appearance before the grand jury, which he said is scheduled for Friday. But he said he assumed he would be asked about the peace plan, about which he communicated with Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, in early 2017.

“I received the subpoena last week,” Artemenko told POLITICO by telephone, adding that he intended to comply with the request. He said he would appear in person.

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment.

The Artemenko case is one of the more unusual developments in the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election. The New York Times reported in February 2017 that Artemenko had contacted Felix Sater, a former business associate of Trump’s, to find out how he could make his plan for peace in Ukraine known to the Trump administration. Sater introduced Artemenko to Cohen, who left the plan in the office of then-national security adviser Michael Flynn, The Times reported. (Cohen has denied that, saying he threw the document away.)

When the news broke about the peace plan, it caused a scandal in Ukraine. Among the plan’s proposals was the idea of leasing to Russia the Crimean peninsula — which Moscow seized from Ukraine in 2014 — for 50 years, in exchange for ending the ongoing war in Ukraine’s Donbass region. The back-channel effort also sought to have the Trump administration drop sanctions against Russia imposed by the Obama White House.

Artemenko was ejected from his political party, and Ukraine's top prosecutor launched an investigation into whether he had committed treason. In May 2017, Ukrainian officials stripped him of his citizenship, ostensibly because he also held a Canadian passport. Artemenko said he was being punished politically for opposing President Petro Poroshenko, whom he also accused of corruption.

Artemenko’s testimony could help Mueller’s team fill in the gaps on the peace plan, which he has been investigating in part because of the roles of Cohen and Sater, who also worked together to try and launch a Trump-branded development in Moscow starting in early 2015.

The plan may also be of interest to Mueller because it reportedly was hatched shortly after Flynn discussed dropping sanctions against Russia in a call with the Russian ambassador that was intercepted by intelligence officials. Flynn was fired from the White House after it became clear that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations about Russian sanctions.

There have been conflicting stories about whether Russian officials were involved in hatching the peace plan.

Cohen told The Washington Post that Artemenko boasted during their January 2017 meeting that the Russian government “was on board” with the proposal. Artemenko denied that, telling The Post that he had not spoken to any Russian officials and that the proposal came about during consultations with Ukrainian officials.
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/ ... lan-585653

seemslikeadream » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:00 pm wrote:another dead guy

New Development on the Michael Cohen 'Peace Plan' Meeting

ByJOSH MARSHALLPublishedMARCH 4, 2017, 7:12 PM EDT
There is a startling new development in the ongoing Trump/Russia story.

Last week I wrote about Michael Cohen and his extensive network of personal and business relationships in the Ukrainian-American emigre community. One of those was a man named Alex Oronov, who runs a major agribusiness concern in Ukraine. Oronov was a partner in the ethanol business Cohen and Cohen's brother Bryan set up in Ukraine about a decade ago. Oronov is Bryan Cohen's father-in-law. Today we learned that Oronov apparently organized that 'peace plan' meeting that brought together Ukrainian MP Artemenko, Cohen and Felix Sater. About four hours ago Andrii Artemenko, the Ukrainian parliamentarian who came to New York with that 'peace plan', went on Facebook to announce that Alex Oronov has died.

(I was first alerted to Artemenko's post by Natasha Betrand of Business Insider who has been all over this story.)

The rest of the post is a sort of pained rant, blaming Oronov's death on the reporting of The New York Times. The Times you'll remember published the story on Feb. 19 describing the meeting between Artemenko, Michael Cohen and Felix Sater. Artemenko describes himself as a pawn caught up in a war between the Times and Donald Trump and said the stress created by the article and the subsequent press attention was too much for Oronov to bear.

A notable detail is that Artemenko says that it was Oronov who arranged the meeting described in that initial story by the Times. Here is a loose translation courtesy of a friend who is a Russian speaker: "Yes, I’m guilty …. Alex Oronov, my partner, my friend, my mentor, Alex was a family member of Michael Cohen. And he organized all kinds of stuff, including an introduction and a meeting for me with Michael Cohen."

The remembrance website legacy.com has a listing for an Alex Oronov who died on March 2. The date of birth, June 9, 1948, matches the date of birth listed on Oronov's Florida voter registration records. The condolence page also has one well-wisher describing selling farm equipment to Oronov for transshipment to Ukraine. So there's little doubt that this is the Alex Oronov associated with Michael Cohen. A person who answered the phone Saturday night at an address associated with Oronov’s daughter told TPM the family had no comment.
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/new ... an-meeting

Natasha Bertrand‏Verified account

Andrey Artemenko writes on Facebook that Alex Oronov, father of Michael Cohen's sister-in-law, has died. He blames the media. cc @joshtpm

seemslikeadream » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:17 pm wrote:
Michael Cohen Ukraine Bigly

Richard Drew
PublishedFEBRUARY 27, 2017, 3:58 PM EDT
As I try to pull all this stuff together, I wanted to mention a few more fascinating details. Yesterday we noted that renegade Ukrainian MP Andrii Artemenko says he's known Cohen for years. They first met when Cohen was setting up that ethanol business with family in Ukraine. Artemenko also says he started talking to Cohen about his "peace plan" for Russia and Ukraine back during the presidential primaries - long before the meeting in early February with Cohen and Felix Sater, which the Times reported last week. We also noted that in addition to Artemenko and the ethanol business, Cohen seems to have a lot of business and personal ties to Ukraine. Almost everywhere you look actually.

Well, it turns out there's more.

Before Cohen hooked up with Trump (circa 2006-07), Cohen made a lot of money in the New York City taxi business. A friend mentioned this to me this morning. Sure enough it's discussed in this story in The Wall Street Journal from January. How'd Cohen get into the taxi business? That's not clear. But his business partner was a law client named Simon Garber, who the Journal describes as a "Ukrainian-born taxi baron."

Cohen sold his share of the business to Garber in the early aughts before he hooked up with Trump, though for whatever reason, as the Journal notes, he "remains listed on New York City taxi and state corporation records as owning some taxi medallions through companies with colorful names such as Sir Michael Hacking Corp. and Mad Dog Cab Corp."

It seems like the taxi business may be where Cohen first became a wealthy man and it may have been his income from the taxi business which allowed him to start snapping up Trump apartment properties, how Cohen first came to Trump's attention. But that wasn't the only business Cohen was in around that time. About the same time Cohen set up another business with two other Ukrainian immigrants, Arkady Vaygensberg and Leonid Tatarchuk.

This was MLA Cruises, a Florida company which took patrons on cruises outside US territorial waters to gamble. Cohen was CEO. MLA Cruises collapsed in a welter of lawsuits mainly targeting Vaygensberg and Tatarchuk. MLA Cruises may not have been as successful. But it's still quite a fascinating business to have been in.

More to come, I assure you.
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/mic ... aine-bigly

Facing treason charges, conspirator admits Russia blackmail plan sent to Trump’s White House
By Bill Palmer | February 27, 2017 | 0

Earlier this month came the news of a spectacularly strange story in which Kremlin-backed politician Andrey Artemenko went through friends and associates of Donald Trump to deliver a blackmail plan to Michael Flynn’s office. The plan would have involved Trump using Russian blackmail material to oust the president of the Ukraine, so Artemenko could take over the country and give Crimea to Russia. Some of the conspirators are denying this or changing their stories. But now Artemenko is confirming the entire thing.

Andrey Artemenko is now confirming that he met with current Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen and former Donald Trump business associate Felix Sater in New York last month to deliver the blackmail plan to them. He also says he later received “confirmation” from Sater that the plan had in fact been delivered to Trump’s White House, according to Business Insider. But the plan appeared to have fallen apart when Michael Flynn subsequently resigned due to the exposure of his own role in the Trump-Russia scandal.

This confirmation from Andrey Artemenko is crucial because Michael Cohen gave two different stories to the media about the conspiracy, both confirming and denying it. This is the same Michael Cohen who was accused of negotiations with the Russians over Trump’s own blackmail problems, though Cohen denies this.

Andrey Artemenko’s open admission of his role in the Russia-Ukraine blackmail plan is notable in that a prosecutor in the Ukraine recently announced that Artemenko may be facing treason charges for his role in the plot, which involved ousting the legitimately elected president of the Ukraine. It’s unclear if Artemenko is now coming clean as part of an attempt to get himself out from under those charges. But in any case he’s now directly implicating both Cohen and Sater in the conspiracy.
http://www.palmerreport.com/news/facing ... ouse/1683/

Michael Avenatti

When the truth is disclosed relating to this meeting and the story surrounding it, it will redefine “ugly”! As in very. #BuckleUp #BastaMichael
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