Prosecutors: Michael Cohen campaign finance probe is active

24 Mai, 2019, 17:53 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Prosecutors: Michael Cohen campaign finance probe is active

Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of President Donald Trump, testifies at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., February 27, 2019.

There will be some redactions to these documents when the Justice Department makes them public, similar to the redactions made to Cohen search warrants in NY federal court.

Cohen is now serving out a 3-year prison sentence in Otisville, New York.

In March, the court lifted some of the redactions from the Cohen search warrant and it revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had obtained search warrants for Cohen's gmail account in the summer of 2017, nearly a year before the raid on his hotel room.

Five search warrant applications, from the early stages of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation in 2017, were made public in response to requests from The Associated Press and other media organizations.

Interested in Donald Trump? But the documents shed further light on how Cohen capitalized financially on his closeness to Trump immediately after the 2016 election.

Cohen, 52, is serving a three-year prison sentence after admitting a role in paying off two women - porn star Stormy Daniels and a Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal - who claimed they had affairs with Trump. Cohen set up shell company Essential Consultants, LLC to help cover up the payments.

Essential Consultants received funds from US and foreign corporations that appear to have approached Cohen "in connection with political objectives in the Trump administration", investigators wrote.

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Investigators were especially curious about deposits of about $500,000 from an account linked to an investment management firm, Columbus Nova, LLC. The warrants tie that firm and the holding company that controls it to Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The five warrants in total encompass the searches the special counsel conducted between July and November 2017 of Cohen's emails and other content related to his email accounts, the order said. There were no text messages or phone calls before Election Day in 2016, prosecutors said.

The warrant applications also make clear that investigators at the time were examining whether any of the fund transfers were connected to Cohen's involvement in a plan, described months earlier in a New York Times story, to try to get the U.S.to lift sanctions on Russian Federation.

The saga of Michael Cohen continues. It has described as false any allegation that Vekselberg used Columbus Nova as a conduit for payments to Cohen. "This was all known and investigated and wasn't even deemed worthy of being included in the special counsel's report".

Columbus Nova has said in a statement that it is exclusively owned and controlled by Americans.

Novartis also didn't see the need to advertise that it was doing business with Cohen.

Parts of this search warrant are still redacted.

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