Search warrants tied to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen released
25 Mai, 2019, 08:06 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
The documents provide more detail about the early stages of Mueller's investigation as agents and prosecutors examined whether any Trump campaign aides had conspired with Russian Federation to sway the outcome of the 2016 election. The lawyer cut deals to act as a highly paid consultant to several foreign and domestic companies with business interests linked to federal government decisions.
Investigators said in the warrants that after Trump was elected, the Essentials Consultants bank account received multiple deposits from foreign businesses and entities, including from companies they said had "significant ties to foreign governments or are entities controlled by foreign governments".
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.
Investigators were especially curious about deposits of more than $416,000 from an account linked to an investment management firm, Columbus Nova, LLC.
Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, declined to comment on the newly-unsealed documents.
"Between approximately November 8, 2016 and July 14, 2017, telephone records showed over 230 telephone calls and 950 text messages were exchanged between Cohen's cellular telephone and the CEO of Columbus Nova".
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The feds were also curious, the documents show, about Columbus Nova's payments of almost a half million dollars to a consulting company that Cohen established.
The warrant applications, which covered requests to search Cohen's email accounts, including one associated with the Trump Organization, were blacked out in certain sections to protect the secrecy of an ongoing federal investigation into Cohen's campaign finance crimes.
Columbus Nova has said in a statement that it is exclusively owned and controlled by Americans.
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.
Cohen has said he arranged payments to McDougal and Daniels at Trump's behest, which the president has denied along with the affairs. They show how federal prosecutors were initially suspicious of Cohen's Russian Federation contacts and possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), though ultimately those were not part of the charges that sent Cohen to prison for three years. Others related to Cohen's collection of hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporations, ostensibly in exchange for insights into the Trump Administration.
Earlier this month Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to charges of campaign finance violations, lying to Congress and a bevy of financial crimes, reported to the federal corrections facility in Otisville, New York, to begin serving his sentence.
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