Stormy Daniels’ Lawyer Says Michael Cohen Was Paid $500,000 by Russian Company Tied to Putin

Michael Avenatti tweets that the money may have been used to reimburse Cohen for his payment to Daniels

Last Updated: May 8, 2018 @ 3:40 PM

Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti said Tuesday that Michael Cohen, the President Trump’s personal attorney, was paid $500,000 by a company run by a Russian oligarch with ties to Vladimir Putin.

According to Avenatti, the money — which was paid in the months after the 2016 presidential election — may have been used to reimburse Cohen for the $130,000 in hush money that Avenatti says was paid to Daniels.

“After significant investigation, we have discovered that Mr. Trump’s atty Mr. Cohen received approximately $500,000 in the mos. after the election from a company controlled by a Russian Oligarc with close ties to Mr. Putin. These monies may have reimbursed the $130k payment,” Avenatti tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

Avenatti also released a report, which he said included “preliminary findings” about the bank account Cohen used for the payments.

According to the report, Cohen’s account — established under the name Essential, the same name as the company Cohen created to transfer the money to Daniels — received about $500,000 in payments from Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

“Mr. Cohen inexplicably accepted these payments while he was the personal attorney to the President and holding himself out at times as employed by the Trump Organization (with few other clients),” the report said.

The report also suggests that the bank account received “suspicious financial transactions are four payments in late 2017 and early 2018 totaling $399,920” by global pharmaceutical giant Novartis directly to Essential in four separate transactions and another $150,000 payment in November 2017 from Korea Aerospace.

Cohen’s attorney Stephen Ryan did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.