- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The attorney for Stormy Daniels publicly accused President Trump’s personal lawyer Tuesday of taking money from a Russian oligarch, possibly as reimbursement for the hush money he had paid.

Michael Avenatti made the accusation on Twitter against Michael Cohen, who has acknowledged paying $130,000 to the adult-film star whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Mr. Avenatti said that Mr. Cohen then had his bank account replenished by oligarch Victor Vekselberg.

“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,” he wrote on Twitter.

“These monies may have reimbursed the $130k payment,” Mr. Avenatti suggested, although he offered no proof of that beyond timing.

Money is fungible and the Cohen account that paid off Ms. Clifford in October 2016, according to a preliminary report that Mr. Avenatti also posted, engaged in $4.4 million of “suspicious financial transactions” from October 2016 to January 2018.

The half-million dollars to Mr. Cohen came in eight tranches from Columbus Nova LLC, which Mr. Avenatti’s document describes as the U.S. branch of a multi-national company controlled by Mr. Vekselberg and his cousin Andrew Intrater. Helped by close ties to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, the firm has interests in mining, oil and telecommunications in Russia.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen have a lot of explaining to do,” Mr. Avenatti concluded.

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