Michael Cohen Was Paid More Than $4 Million by Promising Access to Trump, Prosecutors Say

Michael Cohen Was Paid More Than $4 Million by Promising Access to Trump, Prosecutors Say, by Lachlan Markay.

Federal prosecutors on Friday provided new details on the extent of former Donald Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s attempts to cash in on his access to President Trump, detailing more than $4 million that Cohen extracted from major corporations in return for his supposed insight into White House policy making.

According to prosecutors, Cohen, who has pleaded guilty to eight federal criminal charges, immediately sought to monetize his connections to Trump in the wake of his former boss’ 2016 election victory.

“Cohen successfully convinced numerous major corporations to retain him as a ‘consultant’ who could provide unique insights about and access to the new administration,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo filed on Friday. “Some of these corporations were then stuck making large up-front or periodic payments to Cohen, even though he provided little or no real services under these contracts. Bank records reflect that Cohen made more than $4 million dollars before the contracts were terminated.”

Among Cohen’s confirmed consulting clients were telecom giant AT&T, Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, and Columbus Nova, the investment fund linked to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

Federal prosecutors recommended a stiff prison sentence for Cohen, by Tom Winter.

President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has provided significant assistance to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, including details about contacts between Trump aides and Russia, according to court documents released Friday.

But federal prosecutors in New York still recommended that Cohen receive a stiff prison sentence for his “extensive” criminal conduct, and were bitterly critical of what they called his “greed and the desire to live an opulent and lavish lifestyle.” …

After the filing from Mueller, Trump tweeted that it “totally clears the President. Thank you!” But in fact there was nothing in either court filing that exonerated Trump, and one portion strongly suggested that Trump was personally involved in a campaign finance violation. The Manhattan prosecutors said Cohen had paid off two women to suppress their stories about affairs with Trump — a campaign expense that was improperly not reported — and said he did so “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump.