The #TrumpRussia probe moves forward like a locomotive, as the money gets followed.
Strangely, one wouldn’t expect the adult film star’s case to relate to this, except that her lawyer has uncovered the connections to the Russian collusion probe.
As a result, there are ad hominem attacks against Michael Avenatti, who is defending Stormy Daniels from a Trump defamation lawsuit.
Attempts to disqualify Avenatti in New York pursuing the connection of his client’s hush money payments continue. Recognizing his ability to perform his tasks in NYC resemble the same problems of Cohen in California.
Avenatti said Monday in a filing in federal court in Manhattan that the disclosure of payments Cohen received from a number of corporations after Trump’s election was protected by his free speech rights. He rejected Cohen’s argument that he shouldn’t be allowed to practice before a federal judge in New York.
However, Avenatti responded on Monday that his revelations about more than $1 million paid to Cohen by companies like AT&T, Novartis and Columbus Nova were no reason to block him from joining in the legal case over how the records seized from the president’s attorney will be handled.
“Mr. Avenatti is clearly protected by First Amendment rights of free speech to publish information on matters that, without serious dispute, are of the utmost public concern,” Avenatti wrote in a brief submitted to U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood. “In fact, in less than 48 hours after it was published, more than 99 percent of the payments to Mr. Cohen listed in the report were proven accurate either by other reporting or by the entities themselves that made the payments.”
It is now known that Trump’s personal consigliere Michael Cohen was actively taking massive bribes from big companies with regulatory issues before the administration. The companies involved have taken various approaches to the release of the news, mostly claiming that engaging Cohen was a mistake and that they received no real quo in exchange for their quid. Many prominent figures, including Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti, have all but announced that there are many more such bribes to Cohen that are as of yet undisclosed.
The big question now is where the money went. In particular, there is considerable speculation about money paid to Cohen’s shell company by a firm with close ties to a Russian oligarch in Putin’s inner circle. Was the money being funneled through Cohen’s LLC directly to the Trump organization or campaign with Cohen taking a cut? Or was Cohen acting on his own recognizance, fattening his wallet by promising favors he had no intention of delivering on? Did the president or his advisers know about Cohen’s activities?
So far, the administration has been suggesting that Trump knew nothing of Cohen’s behavior. But it is highly suggestive that the president’s volcanic (temper) has not erupted at Cohen on twitter as we might expect it to if Trump were genuinely unaware of his close fixer’s corruption. If Trump knew about the bribes to Cohen and was taking money from Cohen as well, that’s obviously a huge problem. If Trump knew about the bribes but was letting Cohen keep all the money, why didn’t he do anything about it? If Trump genuinely didn’t know about the political activities of one of his closest confidants, then his administration is a whirlwind of corrupt incompetence.
Cohen’s legal discourse