Company Tied To Russian Oligarch Gave Money To LLC That Paid Off Stormy Daniels

New documents reveal that the Limited Liability Company that paid off Stormy Daniels also received payments from a company linked to a Russian oligarch.

The limited liability company that was used as a conduit to make payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels apparently received money from a firm with links to a Russian oligarch:

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.

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.

This report comes at the same time that CNN is reporting that Special Counsel’s Robert Mueller’s team has questioned Vekselberg in connection with the payments to Cohen:

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have questioned a Russian oligarch about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company’s US affiliate made to President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, after the election, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of asset manager Renova Group, is an oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, and last month the Trump administration placed him on a list of sanctioned Russians for activities including election interference. The purpose of the payments, which predate the sanctions, and the nature of the business relationship between Vekselberg and Cohen is unclear.

The scrutiny of the payments could add to the legal troubles for Cohen, whose home and office were raided last month as part of a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. In court documents, the prosecutors said at least part of their inquiry stemmed from a referral from Mueller’s office.

The questions asked of Vekselberg suggest that Mueller investigators have been examining some of Cohen’s business relationships as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Vekselberg is one of two Russian oligarchs the FBI stopped earlier this year after their private jets landed in New York-area airports as part of Mueller’s investigation.

Investigators also asked Vekselberg about donations the head of his US affiliate made to Trump’s inaugural fund and campaign funds, sources said.

The attorney for Stormy Daniels — the porn star who received $130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair she had with Trump a decade ago — produced information Tuesday evening that appears to add further details to CNN’s reporting. Michael Avenatti alleged that Cohen received half a million dollars from a company affiliated with Vekselberg in the months after the presidential election.

Avenatti alleged the $500,000 went into the bank account for Essential Consultants, a shell company that Cohen set up before the election that was used to pay Daniels. Avenatti added that the payments occurred from January to August 2017.

CNN has reviewed documents that appear to show these payments. CNN has not independently authenticated the documents.

Prosecutors have not accused Cohen of wrongdoing in regard to the payments or any other business dealings.

FBI agents asked Vekselberg about payments his company’s American affiliate, Columbus Nova, made to Cohen, according to one source. The Russian was questioned as well about $300,000 in political donations by Andrew Intrater, Vekselberg’s American cousin who is the head of Columbus Nova, sources said.

Intrater was also questioned by Mueller’s investigators, two sources told CNN. Last month, Vekselberg was placed on the US government’s list of sanctioned individuals, prohibiting him from traveling to the US.

The payments occurred at the same time Cohen was trying to build a consulting and legal business after the election and around the time he left the Trump Organization. At that time, he was still Trump’s personal lawyer. Even last month, as Trump responded to questions about the payment to Daniels, the President deferred to Cohen and said, “Michael is my attorney.”

(…)

Vekselberg’s cousin Intrater gave generously to support Trump.

He donated $250,000 to the Trump inauguration fund, $35,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, and $29,600 to the Republican National Committee in June 2017, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

While it is illegal for foreigners to donate to US politics, Intrater is American.

However, the donations were a sharp increase from previous cycles and may raise questions for investigators. Intrater’s only previous political donations included $1,200 to Democrat Bill Richardson’s presidential run in 2008 and $2,600 in 2014 for Republican Chris Day’s congressional race in New York. Renova Group donated between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, but it’s not clear when the contribution occurred, according to the foundation’s public list of donors.

Vekselberg may also be of interest to investigators because of his close ties to the Kremlin. He built his fortune following the collapse of the Soviet Union through a series of deals in the oil and gas sector. In 2004, he paid over $100 million to buy nine Faberge eggs from the American Forbes family, returning the second-largest collection of imperial eggs to Russia. Six years later, he was appointed by then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to lead the Skolkovo Innovation Center project, the Kremlin’s answer to Silicon Valley.

From 2007 until March 2012, Vekselberg was a shareholder and chairman of the board of Rusal, the aluminum company controlled by Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska has business ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has been indicted on fraud and tax related charges as part of Mueller’s investigation. Manafort has pleaded not guilty. Deripaska, who also was added to the US sanctions list last month, has sued Manafort over a soured investment deal.

Lamesa Investments Ltd, an affiliate of Renova, acquired a large stake in the Bank of Cyprus at the same time Wilbur Ross, then a private equity investor, made a capital infusion into the then-struggling bank. Lamesa now holds a 9.2% stake in the Bank of Cyprus. Ross resigned from his position as vice chairman of the bank after he was confirmed as Trump’s commerce secretary.

While there’s no evidence in what has been made public, the revelation of all this material, some of which requires a flow chart to keep track of, is significant in several respects. First of all, it’s the first indication of any connections at all between Michael Cohen and Russian oligarchs who may have been involved with Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. Previously, of course, Special Counsel Robert Mueller had passed off the material he had uncovered about Cohen’s dealings with Daniels to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which has since undertaken an investigation of that transaction and a wide variety of other dealings that Cohen has been involved in both for his own benefit and, apparently, for Donald Trump. Second, this is the first indication that the Limited Liability Company that Cohen created prior to making the payment to Daniels has been used for other purposes. Until now, as far as we knew this company was used solely for the purpose of making the payment to Daniels and making a separate payment to a Playboy model on behalf of a top official with the Republican National Committee in a case that allegedly involved the woman becoming pregnant as a result of the relationship. It now appears that Cohen used this same LLC for other purposes, although it’s unclear what that purpose was.

As of yet, none of this conclusively proves a link between Cohen and anything relevant to the Russia investigation, but it certainly does raise questions about the role that Cohen may have played in connection with the President’s ties to Russia both before he became a candidate for President and after, It’s already been reported, for example, that Cohen was Trump’s emissary with regard to negotiations to build a Trump-branded property in Moscow that continued after Trump entered the race for President in 2015. Cohen may have also been involved in the negotiations that led to the Miss Universe pageant being held in Moscow in 2013, and even that Trump traveled to Russia for on at least one occasion. Additionally, it appears from at least some of what is being alleged in the dossier prepared by Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stormy Daniels, establishes some indication of companies that may be linked to Russian oligarchs buying or attempting to buy access to Trump when he was a candidate and even after he became President. What this means is unclear at this point, but the fact that there may be a nexus between the Russia investigation and the Cohen investigation is certainly significant, and yet another reason why it’s been reported that Trump reportedly fears the Cohen investigation more than he does the Russia investigation and worried that Cohen might flip and cooperate with investigators.

Here’s the summary prepared by Avenatti:

Executive Summary Regarding Michael Cohen by Doug Mataconis on Scribd

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Politicians, Russia Investigation, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. drj says:

    ….and making a separate payment to a Playboy model on behalf of a top official with the Republican National Committee in a case that allegedly involved the woman becoming pregnant as a result of the relationship.

    That RNC official may actually have been a fall guy for Trump.

    Avenatti, Daniels’ lawyer, makes the same point.

    While there is no hard evidence (yet), it appears to make a lot more sense if Trump rather than Broidy was in a relationship with the Playboy model in question.

    If so, I assume Mueller will find out.




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  2. Modulo Myself says:

    The Post reported this weekend about the curious decision by the Trump ‘business empire’ to eschew debt and use cash. It’s a f–ing puzzle where that cash came from, that’s for sure.




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  3. michael reynolds says:

    A Russian oligarch funnels money to the president’s lawyer/fixer who happens to have a slush fun he uses to pay off Trump’s mistresses?

    I’m sure Rudy Giuliani will have an explanation.




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  4. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    A bunch of things…

    1). A connection that no one in the press is making, but Mueller surely has, is that Oligarch Vekselberg is a business partner with Oligrarch Khan who was mentioned in the Steele Dossier and is the father in law of Alex van der Zwaan. Alex van der Zwaan is the first person to do time in this conspiracy case, for lying to the FBI about his contact with Gates and a report he produced for Manafort.

    2). Michael Avenatti is kicking Dennison’s fat orange arse.

    3). Every Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee should immediately resign; they are, each and every one, an embarrassment to the office.

    4). Everyone should note that these most recent developments have made both Dennison and Guiliani go absolutely mute.




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  5. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    It’s a f–ing puzzle where that cash came from, that’s for sure.

    Did you know that most all-cash real estate transactions are exempt from the Bank Secrecy Act and the Anti-Money Laundering laws and regulations?




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  6. Kathy says:

    We have a rather high number of Trump appointees and aides, including his son in law, who lied about meeting Russian officials (or “forgot to mention it”). Now we have substantial money transfers of Russian money, from a person sanctioned regarding electoral interference, to Trump’s personal lawyer.

    Nothing to see here! It wasn’t campaign money! Four legs good, two legs better!




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  7. SenyorDave says:

    Sounds like Michael Avenatti and Stormy Daniels are doing the job that investigative reporters for some of the major papers couldn’t be bothered to do. I’m thinking that there is a major newspaper in Trump’s hometown of NYC that might have spent some time looking into Trump’s finances PRIOR to the election. Maybe they would have found some interesting stuff.




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  8. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    I’m sure it’s a low priority…but I’d love it if this moderation queue problem was fixed and my comments were posted in a timely fashion.
    Don’t get me wrong….you are doing a great job getting them out…




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  9. j says:

    Does anybody else wonder where Avenatti got this info? There’s is no way he’s gotten written discovery from Cohen yet. While I am not so naive to think Avenatti and Daniels are doing this on their own, this is pretty inside information for Avenatti to show up with first.




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  10. Moosebreath says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    5. Michael Cohen’s father-in-law is Fima Shusterman, who emigrated from the Ukraine and who was convicted of money laundering.




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  11. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @j:

    Does anybody else wonder where Avenatti got this info?

    On CNN last night he alluded to people providing him with tips and information based on his performance and reputation in this matter so far…which everyone has to admit, has been stellar.
    He did not explicitly say that’s where this came from.




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  12. James Pearce says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Michael Avenatti is kicking Dennison’s fat orange arse.

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    One is a slick lawyer really good at getting on TV. The other is a corrupt POTUS with an army of DGAF toadies. Someone’s ass is going to get kicked alright….




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  13. Daryls other brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    You haven’t seen Guiliani out making a fool of Dennison and himself?
    You haven’t seen Dennison get caught in lies?
    You didn’t see him get Dennison to admit that Cohen was, in fact, representing him in the porn-star case?
    You didn’t see him make it clear that this WAS in fact related to the election?
    You revel in the role of contrarian…but you are not very convincing.




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  14. Kathy says:

    @j:

    Does anybody else wonder where Avenatti got this info?

    He gets it revealed by Jesus, of course. God chose Avenatti to rid the world of Satan’s Orange Spawn 🙂




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  15. Lounsbury says:

    @Stormy Dragon: This is simply nonsense and misunderstanding.




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  16. Daryls other brother darryl says:

    without an apostrophe




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  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Does anybody else wonder where Avenatti got this info?

    Talking Points Memo has an interesting theory based on a comment from a reader:

    I work as an Anti-Money Laundering and Bank Secrecy Act Specialist at a financial institution. Every bank/credit union/etc will have someone who’s responsibility it is to examine transactions and file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) with FinCEN, a department of the Treasury. This is what I do.

    Upon reading Avenatti’s document, it’s obvious that he has his hands on (multiple, I think) SARs that have been filed on Cohen. They are structured almost exactly as we write them. The KYC information at the beginning is a huge tipoff. This is something every bank is required to compile when a business account is opened, and it’s what AML staff would refer back to it when examining transactions to see if the account is “behaving” differently than expected. This KYC information would never be included in a bank statement or a ledger. It would only come from a financial institution, and is what is included in SARs narratives to justify their filing. Furthermore, there’s info in the document from multiple banks. Unless Avenatti has people at multiple different banks leaking him info on Cohen (he doesn’t) it comes from a SARs.




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  18. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Hmmm…

    I would love to know what Scott Adams of Dilbert fame thinks of this.

    What kind of n-th dimensional chess is Trump playing with THIS one? Checked his Dilbert blog, but it looks like he’s gone silent on this one.

    I am sure that “liberal tears” are wrapped up in it somehow, but an a non-Tumpazoidal human, I just can’t imagine it.

    Maybe they have a secret decoder ring for which I can send away. :S




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  19. teve tory says:

    Payment From Russian Subsidiary to Trump’s Lawyer Is Unrelated to Question of Whether Trump Has Ties to Russia, Giuliani Says
    By BEN MATHIS-LILLEY

    That’s a headline that makes you proud to be an american.




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  20. teve tory says:

    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 Elliot ProPublica | May 9, 2018 6:37 pm

    Sure, you bet.




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  21. Daryls other brother Darryl says:

    Mueller knew all this stuff 6 months ago…so what could he tell us today? And what will he tell us in another 6 months?
    Dennison is fvcked.




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  22. James Pearce says:

    @Daryls other brother Darryl:

    You revel in the role of contrarian…but you are not very convincing.

    Impressive. Every word in that sentence is wrong.

    I am more convincing than you presume, plus I don’t revel in the role of contrarian. The role is thrust upon me by a deep-seated skepticism that even I sometimes doubt.




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  23. Guarneri says:

    So the one thing Mueller is supposed to be investigating, Russian/Trump collusion, he hands off to someone else. Check.

    It’s a recycled Mother Jones piece. But flog it, fools, flog it!!!




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  24. An Interested Party says:

    Rather than standing in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shooting someone, this Orange Mange could be passing out documents proving his connections to dirty Russian money and still some people wouldn’t be convinced of his treachery…it’s obvious that a contrarian has to be contrary, but the toadies around here, even if most of them have slithered away, are pathetic in their pitiful attempts to diminish away that which is so obvious…




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  25. Hal_10000 says:

    One thing I was thinking of: I wonder if this implies that the man who threatened Daniels was a Russian mafia guy rather than Trump’s guy.




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  26. Franklin says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Dilbert was brilliant and perfectly timed for the era it came out in. A lot of people seem to assume this makes Scott Adams a genius about everything. I don’t really understand why.




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  27. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Maddow tonight, May 9, was amazing. Cohen is/was a successful con-man.




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  28. Guarneri says:

    How many different Michael Cohens can dance on the head of a pin?

    Talk amongst yourselves.




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  29. Kylopod says:

    @Franklin: Scott Adams’ weirdness didn’t begin with Trump. Over the years he’s defended everything from creationism to Holocaust denial. (I’m not even remotely exaggerating; read his RationalWiki profile for the depressing details.) He seems to operate under a kind of mindless, knee-jerk contrarianism, the misguided notion that if everyone in the mainstream is saying something then if he takes a contrary view that automatically makes him an independent thinker. I think he also falls into a tradition of trolling celebrities (a category to which Trump himself belongs) who utilize media outrage as a tool for staying relevant.

    He’s not someone I can simply dismiss as a no-talent hack. I was always a fan of the Dilbert comic strip (and I also liked the late-’90s cartoon they made from it). It’s especially hard to understand how the man who invented the Pointy-Haired Boss would become a Trumpie. The PHB was always a figure of both stupidity and evil, the kind of guy who humiliates and degrades others to compensate for his own worthlessness. That Adams would come to admire a very similar character in the real world is kind of unbelievable, but in his case the focus is on making fun of people who are horrified by Trump, just to show he isn’t following the herd. As with all the other extremist positions he’s adopted, his shtick is to act like he’s just some disaffected dude observing from the sidelines, while everyone else has the nerve to actually give a f*ck. It’s not so much Trumpism as it is anti-anti-Trumpism.




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  30. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    He didn’t hand it off, dummy, it’s being investigated at both ends and since SDNY is in on it it means Trump can’t stop it by firing Mueller. IOW Mueller has outplayed the Great Negotiator. You too, obviously.

    Just go back to sleep. Toddle off and pretend all this isn’t real. Shhh. Sleepy time grandpa, sleep.




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  31. michael reynolds says:

    Cohen took in 4 million in about a year, but had to mortgage his home to cover legal expenses. Where’d the 4 mill go? Now, let’s pretend Cohen claimed that as income and actually paid quarterlies, he should still have north of two million clear and clean. Plus his what, 30k a month retainer from Trump? But he has to go in hock to pay lawyers?

    Where’d the money go? See, I don’t think Cohen was just selling access, I think he was passing along bribes to his boss.




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  32. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Maddow tonight, May 9, was amazing. Cohn is/was a successful con-man.




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  33. long time listener says:

    @reynolds, @HL92: Of course, I’m interested in what Novartis and AT&T told Mueller (what a great day for the crisis management section of their PR team) about who told them to pay via Cohen….




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  34. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “I am more convincing than you presume”

    Seriously? Have you ever convinced anyone here of anything? I’ve sure never seen it…




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  35. Neil Hudelson says:

    @wr:

    He consistently convinces himself that his (yet-to-be-vocalized) ideas on what ‘the left’ should be doing are brilliant ideas.




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  36. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: Hmmm, wonder if he paid taxes on the 4 million…? Oh, and if it goes through the LLC, it’s considered Ordinary Income, not capital gains.

    IRS agents, start your engines!




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  37. James Pearce says:

    @wr:

    Seriously?

    Seriously.

    @Neil Hudelson:

    his (yet-to-be-vocalized) ideas on what ‘the left’ should be doing are brilliant ideas.

    Look, I’m sick of being slammed for NOT being the spiritual leader of an entire political movement, like I’m the Democratic Dalai Lama or something. You come at me with that stuff and I don’t think, “Oh man, I’ve gotta come up with something.”

    I think, “Oh man, it’s worse than I thought! There’s, like, not even a foundation to build on.”




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  38. grumpy realist says:

    Oh, this is a hoot: (from TPM)

    One of the silent joys – perhaps not so silent – of the Cohen chapter of the Trump/Russia scandal is observing the discomfiture of big corporations getting dragged into the endlessly sleazy, moronically corrupt world of Michael Cohen. Sources at AT&T insisted they didn’t pay Cohen for access to the President but rather for “actual work done.” No doubt. But the best explanation for hiring Michael Cohen has to go to Korea Aerospace Industries, a firm trying to land a major contract with the Pentagon. They say they hired Cohen “to inform reorganization of our internal accounting system.”




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  39. KM says:

    @James Pearce:
    To be fair, James, one of your hallmarks is complaining the left isn’t doing things right in nearly every post. It’s eminently reasonable to follow up that kind of constant criticism with a request for better suggestions because you know, you might actually have them. Being the person who just points out that everything sucks with no other viable input is just as pointless towards crisis resolution as the person who refuses to admit there’s a problem. Being Downer Debbie doesn’t help and can make things worse for those trying to put a solution into effect.

    We get it – the current state of liberals and the Democratic party dismays you. That’s fine and that’s your opinion to express. But you don’t get to be cranky when people keep challenging you for solutions to a problem you keep citing. To quote an old TV show:
    “We’re gonna die!!”
    “Well if you’re gonna whine about it, why don’t you just stand over there in the corner!”




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  40. Neil Hudelson says:

    @James Pearce:

    Look, I’m sick of being slammed for NOT being the spiritual leader of an entire political movement, like I’m the Democratic Dalai Lama or something.

    The only reason you are being “slammed” is that you’ve spent the last 18 months or so telling every person who has been excited about any development, who has wanted to talk about any political story that you arent’ particularly interested in, or who is doing any work whatsoever to try to address the buffoon in the White House that they are doing it wrong, concentrating on the wrong things, and are fools. When the commentors here don’t give you enough fodder for you to make your usual Doing It Wrong Pronouncements, you then create straw men to dismantle.

    If you think you are tired of being “slammed” for not putting up, imagine how grating you must be to everyone else.

    You spend enormous amounts of time doing all this, and then you get really, really pissy when people ask you to put up or shut up. Well, if you aren’t willing to do the first option, try the second.




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  41. teve tory says:

    To quote an old TV show:
    “We’re gonna die!!”
    “Well if you’re gonna whine about it, why don’t you just stand over there in the corner!”

    sounds like a cute scene. Not bringing up any memories though.




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  42. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    But you don’t get to be cranky when people keep challenging you for solutions to a problem you keep citin

    But I do get to get cranky when people keep challenging me for solutions and then reject every single one. It’s almost like you don’t want the solutions and you want me to shut up.

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Well, if you aren’t willing to do the first option, try the second.

    Absolutely not.




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  43. An Interested Party says:

    Absolutely not.

    Oh, so you’re admitting you won’t put up or shut up…




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  44. t says:

    I, for one, welcome our new Pearce overlords.




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  45. James Pearce says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Oh, so you’re admitting you won’t put up or shut up

    I’m “admitting” nothing. This is a blog discussion, not some lefty kangaroo shame court.


    Michelle Goldberg
    has some relevant thoughts.

    Choice quote:

    (A) left that’s confident in its ideas and values should be able to debate someone like Ben Shapiro, a young conservative who often speaks on college campuses, or Christina Hoff Sommers, a critic of contemporary feminism.

    Or a liberal dude named James Pearce.




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  46. Grewgills says:

    @James Pearce:
    You’ll find plenty of people ready to debate you as soon as your ‘debate’ consists of more than variations of “you’re doing it wrong”. If you are going to repeat that ad infinitum, you have to expect people to ask, “then how should we be doing it?”, if your response to that is simply “you’re doing it wrong, do it differently”, then people will be frustrated and ‘slam’ you.
    Lay it out man. You know we are doing it all wrong. Tell us how to do it right, you know, like you.




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