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Giuliani: Trump did not know about Cohen's consulting income

10 May, 2018, 11:22 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
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Swiss pharma giant Novartis, which is named in the Avenatti document, confirmed in a statement to NPR that it had hired the same shell company created by Cohen to pay Daniels, Essential Consultants.

"Mr. Avenatti has published some information that appears to be from Mr. Cohen's actual bank records, and Mr. Cohen has no reason to believe that Mr. Avenatti is in lawful possession of these records", the filing said.

Essential Consultants, according to the report, received large sums of money from companies with an interest in Trump administration business.

AT&T said in a statement that it had paid Essential Consultants for "insights" into the Trump administration - payments Avenatti's report claims totaled $200,000 in four installments between late 2017 and early 2018. Nevertheless, the drug company paid him $1.2million for a one-year contract that ended in February.

A lawyer for Columbus Nova has said Vekselberg had nothing to do with the transaction Avenatti said amounted to $500,000. Moscow has denied USA intelligence agency conclusions of tampering and Trump denies any coordination with Russian officials and his campaign.

If that is because Trump knew he hadn't reimbursed Cohen, or knew that Vekselberg had underwritten the nondisclosure agreement, that is a big deal. He also attended Putin's inauguration this week in Moscow.

After the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Cohen's home, office and hotel in April, Mueller issued a referral to the U.S. Attorney's office in the Southern District of NY.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating Cohen for possible bank fraud and election-law violations, among other matters, according to people briefed on the investigation.

Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that Cohen had accepted $500,000 from a Russian oligarch and that money may have been used as reimbursement for Cohen's payment to Daniels.




AT&T told employees Wednesday in a memo that it had hired Cohen as one of 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".

His client Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said Cohen paid her $130,000 a month before the election to stay quiet about the sexual encounter.

Boston-based Stat News also reported that then Novartis Chief Executive Officer Joe Jimenez instructed his team to strike a deal with Cohen.

Fox News contributor and Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York agreed with Driscoll, noting, "If this is the smoking gun of collusion, why did Robert Mueller's investigators farm this case out to the attorneys at the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY?"

Among the transactions reported by The Times was a $500,000 payment previous year to Cohen from Columbus Nova, which according to public documents is described as a US-based affiliate of Renova Group, a company founded by Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.

Vekselberg was one of the guests at a 2015 dinner in Russian Federation where Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security advisor, was seated next to Putin, according to The New York Times.

Because Avenatti is Los Angeles-based, he has to gain permission from the NY court to appear in this matter. He also gave $29,600 to the Republican National Committee in June 2017.

The letter, signed by Cohen's attorneys Stephen Ryan and Todd Harrison, calls Avenatti's report "deliberately distorted" and "a toxic mix of disinformation". After that tweet, more information about Cohen's dealings were revealed, including that he has earned millions in consulting fees to big corporations, promising them access to the White House.

Columbus Nova has acknowledged paying Cohen but says Vekelsberg is just an investor and had no role in the decision to pay or the payment to Cohen.

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