Michael Cohen

Cohen Was ‘Paid by Ukraine’ to Arrange White House Talks

Michael Cohen “received a secret payment of at least $400,000 to fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump,” sources in Kiev close tell the BBC.

“The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law.”

“The meeting at the White House was last June. Shortly after the Ukrainian president returned home, his country’s anti-corruption agency stopped its investigation into Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.”

Michael Cohen’s Business Partner Flips

“A significant business partner of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, has quietly agreed to cooperate with the government as a potential witness, a development that could be used as leverage to pressure Mr. Cohen to work with the special counsel examining Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,” the New York Times reports.

“Under the agreement, the partner, Evgeny A. Freidman, a Russian immigrant who is known as the Taxi King, will avoid jail time, and will assist government prosecutors in state or federal investigations.”

Cohen Secretly Tried to Arrange Meeting with Putin

Michael Cohen worked secretly to negotiate a business venture and a meeting between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow aven after Trump denied doing business in Russia, BuzzFeed News reports.

“While fragments of the Trump Moscow venture have trickled out — most recently in a report last night by Yahoo News — this is the definitive story of the Moscow tower, told from a trove of emails, text messages, congressional testimony, architectural renderings, and other documents obtained exclusively by BuzzFeed News, as well as interviews with key players and investigators. The documents reveal a detailed and plausible plan, well-connected Russian counterparts, and an effort that extended from spearfishing with a Russian developer on a private island to planning for a mid-campaign trip to Moscow for the presidential candidate himself.”

Missing Files Motivated Leak of Cohen’s Financial Records

Ronan Farrow: “Last week, several news outlets obtained financial records showing that Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, had used a shell company to receive payments from various firms with business before the Trump Administration. In the days since, there has been much speculation about who leaked the confidential documents, and the Treasury Department’s inspector general has launched a probe to find the source.”

“That source, a law-enforcement official, is speaking publicly for the first time, to The New Yorker, to explain the motivation: the official had grown alarmed after being unable to find two important reports on Cohen’s financial activity in a government database. The official, worried that the information was being withheld from law enforcement, released the remaining documents.”

“Seven former government officials and other experts familiar with the Treasury Department’s FinCEN database expressed varying levels of concern about the missing reports. Some speculated that FinCEN may have restricted access to the reports due to the sensitivity of their content, which they said would be nearly unprecedented. One called the possibility ‘explosive.'”

Trump Knew of Schneiderman Abuse Four Years Ago

“Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was informed about allegations of sexual misconduct by then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) around 2013,” Bloomberg reports.

“Trump’s potential knowledge of allegations against Schneiderman haven’t previously been disclosed, although the men have publicly feuded over Trump’s business practices. Schneiderman sought to sue Trump University in state court in 2012, and filed a complaint the next year in federal court, claiming the for-profit school defrauded students.”

AT&T Calls Hiring Cohen a ‘Big Mistake’

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson “said in a staffwide memo sent on Friday that the company had made a ‘big mistake’ by hiring President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to advise on the telecommunication giant’s deal to buy Time Warner,” the New York Times reports.

Said Stephenson: “Our company has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these last few days and our reputation has been damaged. There is no other way to say it — AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake.”

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports the company’s top lobbyist was forced into retirement.

AT&T Hired Cohen to Advise on AT&T Deal

“Three days after President Trump was sworn into office, the telecom giant AT&T turned to his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for help on a wide portfolio of issues pending before the federal government — including the company’s proposed merger with Time Warner,” the Washington Post reports.

“The internal documents reveal for the first time that Cohen’s $600,000 deal with AT&T specified that he would provide advice on the $85 billion merger, which required the approval of federal antitrust regulators. Trump had voiced opposition to the merger during the presidential campaign, and his administration ultimately opposed the AT&T effort.”

Novartis Paid Cohen $1.2 Million for a Single Meeting

Drug giant Novartis paid President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen $1.2 million for health-care policy consulting work that he actually ended up being “unable” to do, CNBC reports.

Novartis said it believed Cohen “could advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain U.S. health-care policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act.”

But just a month after signing the deal, Novartis executives had their first meeting with Cohen, and afterward “determined that Michael Cohen and Essentials Consultants would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated.”

Mueller Has Been Looking at Cohen Payments Since Fall

“One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporations acknowledged Wednesday morning that it paid a company set up by Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, for consulting services and that it was contacted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office regarding those payments this past fall and ‘cooperated fully,'” BuzzFeed News reports.

“In the statement, Novartis said it entered into a one-year contract with Essential Consultants LLC, a company set up by Cohen in 2016 to facilitate the payment to Stormy Daniels… The revelation means that the special counsel’s office has been looking into payments to Cohen’s company for some time — months before the Wall Street Journal broke the news of the payment to Daniels in January.”

How Michael Cohen Built a Shadowy Business Empire

The New York Times notes that Michael Cohen’s businesses “are private entities, making it difficult to get a full picture of their finances and operations. But a review of public records and interviews  “reveal the degree to which he has often operated in the backwaters of the financial and legal worlds.”

“While he has not been charged with a crime, many of his associates have faced either criminal charges or stiff regulatory penalties.”

“He has spent much of his personal and professional life with immigrants from Russia and Ukraine. His father-in-law, who helped establish him in the taxi business, was born in Ukraine, as was one of Mr. Cohen’s partners in that industry. Another partner was Russian. And Mr. Cohen used his connections in the region when scouting business opportunities for Mr. Trump in former Soviet republics.”

Giuliani Says Trump Only Recently Knew He Paid Cohen

Rudy Giuliani told NBC News that President Trump “only recently found out that he reimbursed his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement with adult performer Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 election.”

Said Giuliani: “I don’t think the president realized he paid him back for that specific thing until we made him aware of the paperwork.”

Giuliani said the president responded: “Oh my goodness, I guess that’s what it was for.”

Feds Monitored Michael Cohen’s Phones

“Federal investigators monitored the phone lines of Michael Cohen, the longtime personal lawyer for President Trump who is under investigation for a payment he made to an adult film star who alleged she had an affair with Trump,” NBC News reports.

Update: NBC News issued an on-air correction reporting that federal authorities were “monitoring” Cohen’s phone calls but not listening to them as previously reported.

Trump Repaid Cohen for Stormy Daniels Agreement

Rudy Giuliani told Fox News that President Trump repaid his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the $130,000 he used to secure an agreement with adult film star Stormy Daniels to stay silent about their extramarital affair.

Giuliani said the payment was “perfectly legal” and was “not campaign money,” meaning the arrangement didn’t violate campaign finance law.

He added: “He didn’t know about the specifics of it but he did know about the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this.”