Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Mueller contacted drug company about Cohen payment in November

Mueller contacted drug company about Cohen payment in November

The "executive summary" of material compiled by investigators working for lawyer Michael Avenatti ties together two threads that had previously appeared separate: Trump's confirmed payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels to buy her silence and the alleged ties between Trump world and powerful Russians.

The New York Times reports that the shell company, Essential Consultants LLC, had transactions of at least $4.4 million. The company made four payments totaling $200,000 from October to January, according to Avenatti's document. Again, if Novartis was not looking for property in NYC, this raises a lot of red flags because that's the only reason other than buying access for them to hire Cohen and his company, which was set up as a real estate consulting company. Columbus Nova said it had hired Cohen but not at the behest of anyone overseas. If any of those claims are not true, he may be guilty of bank fraud, in violation of laws that are created to hide money laundering. His cousin Andrew Intrater runs Columbus Nova, which a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission describes as Renova's U.S. affiliate.

Viktor Vekselberg, Chairman of asset manager Renova Group, is an oligarch close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and in April the Trump administration placed him on a list of sanctioned Russians for activities including 2016 U.S. election interference, CNN news reported on Wednesday.

Among those payments were $200,000 from AT&T, whose proposed merger with Time Warner is now before the courts after the Justice Department sued to block the sale. "They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017", said AT&T in a statement last night.

But the company continued to pay Cohen for the better part of a year because, it said, it could not terminate its contract without cause.

Stephen Ryan, a lawyer for Cohen, did not respond to requests for comment. But now that the value of those medallions have nosedived, as much as 80 percent since Uber and Lyft entered the NY market, and a mortgage document filed last month shows the apartment being offered as additional collateral, according to Bloomberg.

Cohen's lawyers have fought in court to restrict prosectors' access to the material seized in those raids. The claim that Viktor Vekselberg was involved or provided any funding for Columbus Nova's engagement of Michael Cohen is patently untrue. He didn't provide any documentation to support his claim or explain how he would have acquired such information. The company recently reported that USA sales of the combined drugs grew 33 percent in the first quarter of this year, to $267 million.

A Novartis spokesman said any agreements with Essential Consultants took place before the new CEO took over in February and have since expired.

Another company, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd., reportedly paid Essential Consultants a one-time fee of $150,000 in November 2017. According to him, this happened after the election of the President of the United States. Vekselberg funds several critically important prestige projects, including Skolkovo, the business incubator touted as Russia's answer to Silicon Valley.

The allegations come at a time when Cohen is himself already under intense scrutiny, with the special counsel investigation seeking to determine how much Trump's campaign team knew of the matter.

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