- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 17, 2019

Michael Cohen hired an IT firm to rig polls to favor then-candidate Donald Trump before his presidential campaign and skipped out on paying most of the money he owed, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Cohen confirmed the revelations on Twitter Thursday morning and implicated the president.

John Gauger, owner of RedFinch Solutions LLC, told the Wall Street Journal that in 2015 he went to Trump Tower to collect the $50,000 that Cohen promised to pay him for trying to tip the polls in Mr. Trump’s favor. However, he received a blue Walmart bag with about $12,000 to $13,000 in cash and a boxing glove.

Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, denied to the Wall Street Journal that he paid in cash and said the money was given by check.

According to the report, Mr. Gauger was asked in 2014 to manipulate the results of a CNBC poll for the top U.S. business leaders, but he was unsuccessful in getting Mr. Trump into the top 100. The next year, he was asked to influence a Drudge Report ranking potential Republican primary picks, where Mr. Trump came in fifth.

Mr. Gauger told the newspaper that he performed other services for Cohen, unrelated to the president, and said Cohen paid for some.

One project was to create the “@WomenForCohen” account, which still exists on Twitter. Its bio describes Cohen as “strong, pit bull, sex symbol, no nonsense, business oriented, and ready to make a difference!”

In 2017, Cohen requested a $50,000 reimbursement for “tech services” from the Trump Tower Organization, federal prosecutors noted in a charging document they filed in August 2018.

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, bank fraud and lying to Congress. None of the charges are connected to his dealings with RedFinch.

The Trump Organization did not give a comment to the Wall Street Journal, but Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, told the newspaper that Cohen is a thief.

“If one thing has been established, it’s that Michael Cohen is completely untrustworthy,” the former New York City mayor said.

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