Firm with ties to Russian oligarch allegedly made payments to Trump's attorney

Aaron Brown
May 9, 2018

"Following these payments, reports surfaced that Mr. Trump took a dinner meeting with the incoming CEO of Novartis before Mr. Trump's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in late January 2018".

Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing porn actress Stormy Daniels, released a dossier alleging that Vekselberg and his cousin transferred "approximately $500,000" to Cohen in eight payments.

Columbus Nova is an USA investment arm of Renova Group, a conglomerate controlled by Vekselberg. He (Cohen) made payments for the president or he's conducted business for the president'.

"References to the transactions first appeared in a document posted to Twitter on Tuesday by Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film star who was paid $130,000 by Essential Consultants to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Mr. Trump".

Though originally noting Avenatti "provided no documentation for his claims", NBC News was also able to "review financial documents that appear to support" the attorney.

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CNN said Renova Group chairman Viktor Vekselberg was questioned along with his cousin Andrew Intrater, who heads the firm's United States affiliate Columbus Nova, by agents investigating Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election.

But it's the roughly $500,000 that Essential Consultants received from the Vekselberg business that was most notable in the Avenatti report.

Avenatti's memo said the deposits into the account controlled by Cohen were made by Columbus Nova, an American investment company affiliated with the Renova Group, which is controlled by Russian billionaire Victor Vekselberg. Cohen also used the same company to collect $250,000 after arranging payments in 2017 and 2018 by a major Republican donor, Elliott Broidy, to a former Playboy model he allegedly impregnated, according to news reports last month. "You're voting for Trump because everything else you've voted for in the last 20 years has failed you".

Cohen, who is under federal criminal investigation for potential bank fraud, did not respond to an email seeking comment on the payments, nor did his lawyer.

Aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries paid the company $150,000 in November, the Times added. Another $200,000 came from AT&T, which has confirmed the payments to reporters covering the story, saying it paid for "insights into understanding the new administration".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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