Offbeat Official says he leaked Michael Cohen’s financial reports because of fears over missing records

05:55  17 may  2018
05:55  17 may  2018 Source:

Avenatti calls on Trump, Cohen to release bank statements

  Avenatti calls on Trump, Cohen to release bank statements The attorney representing porn star Stormy Daniels called on Wednesday for President Trump and Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to release financial records related to the shell company Cohen used to make a $130,000 payment to Daniels before the 2016 election. Michael Avenatti told the hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that questions into Cohen's financial dealings with Russia could be cleared up by sharing bank statements."Look, let me say this, to the extent that it's not accurate, the president and Michael Cohen should clear this up this morning," he said. "They should release the bank statements this morning.

Last week, several news outlets obtained financial records showing that Michael Cohen , President Trump’ s personal attorney, had used a shell company to receive payments from various firms with business before the Trump Administration. But, according to the official who leaked the report

Federal regulation requires banks to file a Suspicious Exercise Report on any uncommon transactions over ,000. Specialists say the knowledge Avenatti revealed might have come from a SAR filed by Cohen ’ s financial institution to Treasury. “This has the looks of a leak ,” stated Daniel P. Stipano

a man wearing a suit and tie: Michael Cohen © Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Michael Cohen

Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’s attorney, published a memo last week that allegedly detailed Michael Cohen’s financial transactions. The “Project Sunlight” memo revealed Cohen’s firm Essential Consultants LLC had received hundreds of thousands of dollars from major corporations, including a $500,000 payment from a company with ties to a Russian oligarch. 

Various companies that paid Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal attorney, for amorphous consulting services — AT&T and Novartis, among them — confirmed the payments. The admissions corroborated Avenatti’s revelations.

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Shortly after the raid, NBC News reports , the president called Cohen — who then warned his client not to call him again over fears his phone was being tapped. Several questions arise from this report . First of all, why was NBC News chosen for the leak ?

Transactions involving Michael Cohen , President Trump’ s personal lawyer, were the subject of multiple unreleased suspicious-activity reports . But, according to the official who leaked the report , these SARs were absent from the database maintained by the Treasury Department’ s Financial Crimes

But a question arose about how Avenatti had obtained the confidential information, especially as Avenatti referenced “3 Suspicious Activity Reports” related to Cohen’s dealings and teased more significant disclosures to come. The Treasury Department launched an inquiry into the potential leak.

Reporting by the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow answers that question. A law enforcement official told Farrow that he leaked the documents after becoming concerned that he could not find two reports on Cohen’s suspicious financial activity in a government database. Both of those reports, according to the New Yorker, detail even more substantial financial transactions — about $3 million dollars, three times the amount of last week’s disclosures.

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The Treasury Department’ s inspector general is reviewing whether banking information tied to a company run by President Trump’ s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen , was leaked . Delmar said the inquiry was opened because of a story in The New York Times, which reported that the shell

Shortly after the raid, NBC News reports , the president called Cohen — who then warned his client not to call him again over fears his phone was being tapped. Several questions arise from this report . First of all, why was NBC News chosen for the leak ?

This is an extraordinary allegation. This whistleblower is claiming the documents went missing from the database, the more sinister implication being that they were purposefully being withheld.

The documents this law enforcement official allegedly could not find are not easily misplaced bureaucratic paperwork. Suspicious activity reports, or SARs, are reports that banks and other financial institutions file if they have an inkling that someone might be engaging in money laundering or another illicit activity. They are filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which maintains a database for government and law enforcement officials. A suspicious activity report is not proof of any crime, just a red flag, and can help authorities establish patterns.

“I have never seen something pulled off the system. ... That system is a safeguard for the bank,” the source told the New Yorker. “It’s a stockpile of information. When something’s not there that should be, I immediately became concerned.”

Avenatti defends right to release Cohen's financial info

  Avenatti defends right to release Cohen's financial info Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing adult film star Stormy Daniels, argued in a court filing Monday that the First Amendment protected his release of financial records pertaining to President Trump's longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen.In the filing in New York, Avenatti responded to claims from Cohen's attorneys that Avenatti spread false information, and had no right to publicize his bank records. Avenatti argued that the documents are of the "utmost public concern.

He said hiring Cohen was a big mistake. His father-in-law, for instance, got in trouble over his taxes. And we know about that because the records suggest he ' s actually in a bit of financial trouble there.

A new report claims to quote an anonymous law enforcement official who takes credit for the leak of Michael Cohen ’ s financial records — allegedly because “two important reports ” on President Donald Trump’s personal attorney could not be found in federal databases.

Disclosing a suspicious activity report could violate federal law. The whistleblower said he thought the personal risk was outweighed by the possibility that the reports were purposefully hidden or removed. “Things that stand out as abnormal, like documents being removed from a system, are of grave concern to me,” he said.

Perhaps even more chilling is that there doesn’t seem to be an ordinary explanation for why those two reports have seemingly vanished from the searchable database. Some former government officials suggested to the New Yorker that it’s possible (though it would be extremely unusual) that access is restricted because of the extremely sensitive nature of the SARs, given that Cohen is under federal investigation by the Manhattan US attorney’s office.

That investigation, while apparently separate from special Counsel’s Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, was referred to federal prosecutors in New York by Mueller’s office.

What we know — and don’t know — about these reports about Cohen

There are reportedly three SARs related to Cohen filed by First Republic Bank by January 2018, where Cohen opened an account for his firm Essential Consultants LLC.

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Lawyers for Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen appeared on CNN on Tuesday night to battle it out over the ongoing legal dispute regarding a nondisclosure agreement Daniels, a former adult film actress, signed in 2016. " Because she leaked it," said Schwartz.

The law enforcement source leaked financial reports , called “suspicious-activity reports (SARS),” stored in a government database chronicling Cohen ’ s financial activity because they were beginning to disappear. The official could no longer find two SARS filed on Cohen

Cohen set up Essential Consultants to pay Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money days before the 2016 election to silence her about an alleged 2006 affair with Trump. Avenatti’s disclosure last week revealed that Cohen had also been busy selling himself as an essential consultant in the Trump era, peddling his services to major corporations, including AT&T, Novartis, and a Korean aerospace firm, which took him up on his offer, and Ford and Uber, which did not. Among those payments was a $500,000 transaction from Columbus Nova, which has ties to a company belonging to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

The information in that disclosure covers one of the SARs, from September 2017 to January 2018. The other two reports, which total $3 million, are the ones that the official allegedly couldn’t find in the database.

A lot of that money ended up in Cohen’s personal coffers — which was flagged in a separate suspicious activity report by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Cohen deposited checks — two in the amount of $250,000 and one in the amount of $500,005 with the institution. According to the New Yorker: “Morgan Stanley Smith Barney marked those transactions, which added up to more than a million dollars, as possible signs of “bribery or gratuity” and “suspicious use of third-party transactors (straw-man).’”

Cohen lawyers seek to block Stormy Daniels attorney from case

  Cohen lawyers seek to block Stormy Daniels attorney from case Attorneys for Michael Cohen are asking a federal judge to block adult-film star Stormy Daniels' attorney from a case involving an FBI raid of Cohen's home and office last month. In court papers filed on Friday, Cohen's attorneys accused Michael Avenatti of creating a "carnival atmosphere" in legal proceedings involving Cohen, pointing to his numerous television appearances in recent months."Mr. Avenatti's deliberate public dissemination of confidential nonpublic information speaks to his character and lack of fitness to appear before this Court as well as his craving to create a 'carnival atmosphere,'" the filing reads."Mr.

As I noted over the weekend, published reports and my own reporting suggest Cohen first came to the attention of Donald Trump because he and his Cohen says he sold his share of the business to Garber in the early 2000 s , though Cohen continues to own substantial taxi medallion holdings.

Cohen told ProPublica last year that he used Kasowitz’ s offices “ because we were working on A Columbus Nova spokesman said that the investment firm was not introduced to Cohen by Kasowitz. Additional reporting by Claire Perlman. Do you have information about the Michael Cohen or Marc

And First Republic also seemed to think Cohen’s description of Essential Consultants LLC didn’t match up with the financial transactions. As the New Yorker reports:

In paperwork filed with the bank, he said that the company would be devoted to using “his experience in real estate to consult on commercial and residential” deals. Cohen told the bank that his transactions would be modest, and based within the United States. In fact, the compliance officers wrote, “a significant portion of the target account deposits continue to originate from entities that have no apparent connection to real estate or apparent need to engage Cohen as a real estate consultant.” Likewise, “a significant portion of the deposits continues to be derived from foreign entities.”

The implications of the SARS reports — both the one released, and the two others that reportedly exist — reveal, at best, Cohen still has a lot of explaining to do.

Mueller reportedly reached out to AT&T, Novartis, Ford, and other companies to ask questions last year about their relationship with Cohen. On Wednesday, the Washington Post confirmed that FBI investigated payments Korea Aerospace Industries paid to Cohen, asking questions of its representatives “a few weeks ago.” It’s unclear if Mueller’s team or federal prosecutions in Manhattan followed up on those payments.

Mnuchin: Treasury investigating possible leaks of Cohen data .
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says his department's inspector general is looking into whether banking records of President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen were leaked from an agency database, as well as whether any of the records were improperly blocked from view. Mnuchin says the department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCen, does have the power to "suppress important information" at the request of law enforcement agencies. But he says he does not know whether that happened in this case.

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