When former mayor and perpetual 9/11 nostalgia tour star Rudy Guilani told Fox News that Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen for the hush money payed to Stormy Daniels, he was a little confused. Apparently Trump didn’t. Russia did.
More specifically, hundreds of thousands of dollars from a company controlled by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg was given to Michael Cohen, according to new documents revealed by adult film actress Stephanie Clifford’s (Stormy Daniels) lawyer, Michael Avenatti.
Michael Avenatti shares document asserting that Russian oligarch Victor Vekselberg — whom Mueller has questioned and whose electronic records Mueller has also seized — may have repaid Cohen for his $130,000 hush payment to Stormy Daniels, and then some https://t.co/EJO7ur75Lj pic.twitter.com/i4gbDeZUmb
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) May 8, 2018
The allegation was initially made by Avenatti Tuesday, According to a dossier Avenatti released.
“Vekselberg and his cousin Mr. Andrew Intrater routed eight payments to Mr. Cohen through a company named Columbus Nova LLC beginning in January 2017 and continuing until at least August 2017,” the document read.
Vekselberg is the richest of the seven Russian oligarchs sanctioned last month. The aluminum magnate and Putin ally is estimated to be worth $14.6 billion and has a massive art collection that includes nine Faberge eggs.
He sent Cohen $500,000, of which Avenatti claims the $130,000 in hush money his client was paid was a part. This creates another serious problem with the statements Guilani has given to the press.
“Imagine if that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the, you know, last debate with Hillary Clinton,” Guilani said on Fox and Friends.
As this appears to be a clear indication that the effect of the hush money paid to Clifford was to prevent a torpedo in the side of the Trump campaign in October 2016, the money being paid coming from a foreign national brings the campaign finance implications to a whole new level.
Moreover, it loops the Stormy Daniels scandal to the Robert Mueller probe into Russian election interference, something that tends to happen with seemingly unrelated Trump scandals. Mueller’s team has already questioned Vekselberg.
So far Cohen has not been charged with any wrongdoing, though if these allegations are true, a campaign finance indictment may only be a matter of time for the President’s former fixer.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.