Michael Anenatti: Cohen deposited $500K from Russian Oligarch Viktor Vekselberg into same account he used to pay off Stormt Daniels
Stormy Daniels’ attorney claimed documented proof this week that President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen received $500,000 from a company controlled by a Russian oligarch who has close ties to Vladamir Putin and the Kremlin, Viktor Vekselberg, deposited into an account of a shell company also used to pay off the adult film actress. The shell company created by Cohen, Essential Consultants, was created 2 weeks prior to the $130,000 payment that was made to Stormy Daniels, seemingly for that sole purpose.
Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, also identified other transactions he said were suspicious, including deposits from pharmaceutical giant Novartis, the state-run Korea Aerospace Industries, and AT&T. Novartis confirmed it had paid Cohen’s company, and said Special Counsel Robert Mueller had inquired about the arrangement in November 2017. AT&T also confirmed it paid Cohen’s company, explaining that its purpose was to gain “insights” into the Trump administration. These confirmation lend credence to Michael Avenatti’s report.
Avenatti’s credible claims made in a dossier that he posted to Twitter could suggest a new twist to the federal investigation into Cohen, Trump, and an increasing web of ties to Russia. Several news outlets including NBC have reviewed financial documents that support Avenatti’s account of the transactions.
Stated Avenatti,”This thing is a pig and they can try to put lipstick on a pig — tonight, next week, next month — but it’s still gonna be a pig,” He went on to state, “This thing’s ugly and it’s gonna get worse.” To be sure, Avenatti has been consistently accurate with his many predictions in the course of representing Stormy Daniels in her case against Trump and his personal Attorney.
Cohen disputed Avenatti’s accounting but provided no details, simply stating, “His document is inaccurate.”
Avenatti said his investigation uncovered that a total of $4.4 million flowed through a First Republic bank account linked to Essential Consultants between October 2016 and January 2018. As previously stated, Essential Consultants is the company Cohen created before the 2016 election and then used to wire $130,000 in hush money to Daniels to stop her from going public with her account of an alleged sexual affair with Trump a decade ago.
In particular, Avenatti identified eight transactions between January and August 2017, totaling half a million dollars, from U.S.-based Columbus Nova, which is controlled by Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg and Vekselberg’s cousin Andrew Intrater. In a statement, an attorney for Columbus Nova said the management firm is owned and controlled by Americans and not Vekselberg, who is the president of the Russian conglomerate Renovo Group.
According Columbus Nova, 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.”. However, Columbus Nova was listed on the website of the Renova Group as one of its subsidiary “companies” until November 2017. Renova’s website is now listed as “under construction,” but older versions can be viewed remaining on The Wayback Machine, which creates archives of websites across the web.
The CEO of Columbus Nova, Andrew Intrater, according to public record filings also curiously donated $29,600 to the Republican National Committee in June 2017, $35,000 to the Trump Victory PAC the same month, and then $250,000 to the Trump Inauguration Fund. Columbus Nova has also registered many alt-right internet domains, though the domains return an error message.
This circle of money that seem to connect, Trump, Michael Cohen, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Putin and the Stormy Daniels pay off is suspicious to say the least to the extent that Bob Mueller’s team investigating Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign felt compelled to question the Russian oligarch as his private plane stopped over the in United States.