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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Did Russians Reimburse Payments to Stormy?

In Defying the Oddswe discuss Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign.



A company tied to a Russian oligarch sent $500,000 last year to an entity that lawyer Michael Cohen used to pay hush money to a porn actress who said she had a sexual encounter with President Donald Trump, according to attorney Michael Avenatti.

The bombshell revelations, which couldn’t immediately be verified, caught companies and the president’s team off guard when Avenatti unveiled them on Twitter and linked to a publicly available dropbox account. It’s the latest twist in litigation brought by Stephanie Clifford, the porn actress known as Stormy Daniels, who was paid $130,000 for her silence just before the 2016 presidential election.

Avenatti, who represents Clifford, said Cohen submitted false information to First Republic Bank when opening a new account in October 2016. Soon after, Viktor Vekselberg -- a Russian oligarch with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin -- “caused substantial funds to be deposited into the bank account, from which Cohen made the payment” to Daniels, Avenatti said.

It wasn’t the only surprise. AT&T Inc. and Novartis AG also appeared in Avenatti’s report, and AT&T confirmed that it had made payments to Cohen’s company.