Michael Cohen Accused of Taking $500,000 From Putin Associate After Election

Attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents adult film star Stormy Daniels, accused President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, of accepting $500,000 from a sanctioned Russian oligarch on Tuesday.

In a report Avenatti shared on Twitter, he stated that he believed the funds may have been used to reimburse Cohen for the $130,000 payment he made to Daniels as part of the hush agreement that has prevented her from speaking out about her alleged affair with Trump.

“Within approximately 75 days of the payment to Ms. Clifford, Mr. Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, caused substantial funds to be deposited into the bank account from which Mr. Cohen made the payment,” the report read.

“It appears that these funds may have replenished the account following the payment to Ms. Clifford,” it continued.

The report, which details the preliminary findings of an investigation into the bank account Cohen used to make the payment to Daniels, also states that Cohen received the money from Vekselberg in installments made from January to August 2017, during Trump’s presidency.

“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),” it said.

“This was occurring at the same time significant questions were being raised relating to (a) the involvement of Russia and Vladimir Putin in the 2016 presidential election and (b) the extent of the relationship between Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump,” it added.

Other claims within the report included the allegation that Cohen received four payments totaling $399,920 from global pharmaceutical giant Novartis. President Trump reportedly had dinner with the incoming CEO of the pharmaceutical company shortly after the payments were made in January 2018.

Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and a recent addition to the Trump legal team, revealed for the first time last week that President Trump repaid Cohen the $130,000 he gave to Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

Until then, the president had claimed he had not been aware of the payment.

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