Avenatti Ties Trump Attorney Michael Cohen to $500k Russian Oligarch Payment

Avenatti Ties Trump Attorney Michael Cohen to $500k Russian Oligarch Payment

Attorney for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti speaks to the media after US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen left the US Courthouse in NY on April 26, 2018.

In a memo posted online Tuesday afternoon, Avenatti alleged that Cohen received the following payments after the 2016 election: approximately $500,000 from a company linked to Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin; almost $400,000 from pharmaceutical giant Novartis; $150,000 from Korea Aerospace Industries and $200,000 from telecommunications conglomerate AT&T. Mueller asked him about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company's US affiliate made to Cohen after the election, according to a source familiar with the matter.

References to the transactions first appeared in a document posted to Twitter on Tuesday by Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film star who goes by the name Stormy Daniels and was paid $130,000 by Essential Consultants to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump.

The money was transferred within months of paying hush money to Daniels, a porn star who claims she had an affair with Mr Trump, Michael Avenatti said.

"Chief among these suspicious financial transactions are approximately $500,000 in payments received from Mr. Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch with an estimated net worth of almost $13 billion", it continues.

In a tweet, Avenatti suggested that the oligarch's cash infusion "may have reimbursed the $130k payment".

More news: Explore and eat your way around town with Google Maps

"Mr. Cohen inexplicably accepted these payments while he was the personal attorney to the president and holding himself out at times as employed by the Trump Organization (with few other clients)", the document continues.

The FBI raided Cohen's home, office and hotel room last month to seize a collection of documents - a development that Trump slammed as "a disgrace". Columbus Nova is exclusively owned and controlled by Americans, the company said in a statement. "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".

Mr. Vekselberg was among seven Kremlin-linked oligarchs the Trump administration slapped with sanctions in April.

A lawyer for Cohen did not respond to a request for comment.

Vekselberg was stopped at a New York-area airport earlier this year and interviewed by investigators on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's team, which is investigating possible collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. The report claims Cohen made certain statements to his bank pursuant to its "anti-money laundering protocol".

Avenatti also said Cohen submitted false information to First Republic when opening the account for Essential Consultants, a Delaware LLC that was established by Cohen and has been previously identified as the source of the hush payment to Clifford.

Related Articles