Last night at 10 pm EDT Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti appeared on The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell and elaborated on his bombshell disclosures about money flowing from Russia to a company set up by Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. In effect he said he thought Cohen set up the company to receive money from companies who wanted to buy access to the President of the United States.
Here is what Avenatti said last night:
“If Michael Cohen was part of a team to sell access to the President of the United States that would be a shocking development, but not out of the realm of possibility at this point. This is a coverup. They don’t want the American people to know the truth of where the money came from and where the money went.”
Here is the information that we had reported on earlier in the day:
“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 totaling 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 totaling 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.”
What Avenatti said last night is that the money flowing into and out of Essential Consultants LLC has not been accounted for but we need to know where it came from and where it went. He said his information was 100% correct and had been vouched for by other news organizations.
According to Avenatti:
“If Michael Cohen or Donald Trump has information to contradict us we are asking them to come forward with this information. We challenge Michael Cohen to release the bank statements. But that won’t happen because they are trying to hide the information from the American public.”
“Lawrence, the $4.4 million number is only going to get bigger. This is an ugly situation and it’s only going to get uglier. It’s going to get much, much worse for Michael Cohen and Donald Trump. It doesn’t matter how many times they send out Rudy Giuliani to call me names and try to distract us from the facts. The facts are there and they’re not going away.”
From January to August of 2017 a Russian oligarch funneled $500,000 to Michael Cohen, who held himself out as the personal lawyer for Donald Trump and also as an employee of the Trump Organization. Michael Cohen needs to disclose where the bulk of that money went. People lie, but documents don’t.”
“From October of 2016 until January of 2018 at least $4.4 million was paid into the LLC and we know all of that money did not go to Michael Cohen. It’s the old adage, “follow the money.” We’re just getting started, and we have many more cards to play.”
“This has all the markings of a Pay to Play scenario.”
Michael Avenatti is turning out to be much more than just an attorney for a porn star. What he may have done yesterday is prove beyond a doubt that there is a direct money pipeline between Russia and Trump. This even goes beyond mere “collusion” which is not in itself a crime. Avenatti may have the proof of conspiracy, bribery, money laundering and many other possible felonies that could send people to jail for the rest of their lives if found guilty in a criminal trial.
If a private attorney was able to discover this information, just imagine how much more information is in the hands of the FBI and Department of Justice. Avenatti may even have forced their hands, and more indictments may be coming out soon. When they do come out there is no question that there will be more than enough information disclosed to bring down the Trump presidency.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.