It is just being reported by CNN that President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, whose offices were raided by the FBI just a few weeks ago, was caught taking money from a Putin-linked Russian oligarch.
Currently, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is questioning the Russian about the payments to Cohen. He sent $500,000 to him and no one knows why yet.
The oligarch’s name is Viktor Vekselberg, who is chairman of the asset manager Renova Group, which is very close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
If you’ll remember, Vekselberg was one of two Russian oligarchs the FBI stopped earlier this year when his private plane landed in the New York area.
Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti revealed more details. He told CNN that the $500,000 went into a bank account for Essential Consultants, a shell company that Cohen set up just before the election. What’s interesting is that shell company was also used to pay off Daniels, that’s how Avenatti knows about it.
Avenatti says that the payments from Russia ocurred between January and August 2017, just shortly after the election. We’re positive this is one of the key things that caused the FBI raid. There’s just too many questions.
For the record: Vekselberg is now banned from coming into the U.S. which makes the transactions even fishier. He was officially added to the US government’s list of sanctioned individuals last month.
The only response so far from Cohen and his attorney are from court filings which say that his seven clients, which Trump is one of them, all receive “strategic advice and business consulting.” That means President Trump’s longtime attorney gives advice to only a few people, including a person connected to Putin. That just doesn’t look good. Add in the money payments and things look even worse.
This is still a developing story.