Allegations, not information

Washington TimesSpecial counsel Robert Mueller is looking into payments a Kremlin-tied Russian oligarch made to President Trump’s personal lawyer. Earlier on Tuesday, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels said Mr. Vekselberg had funneled $500,000 through shell companies to Mr. Cohen, a claim consistent with CNN’s reporting about the Mueller probe, although the network said it “has not independently authenticated” that claim.

Michael Avenatti implied that the $500,000 was reimbursement for the hush money Mr. Cohen had paid to his client, although the lawyer offered no proof beyond the timing — the payments to Mr. Cohen came in the months after the October 2016 award to Ms. Daniels.

So what's the claim here? The lawyer for a porn star who has already violated her legal agreement not to talk about sex she claims to have had with the President a decade before he was President is now claiming to know that the Russians paid the President's lawyer to reimburse the money he paid to the porn star to keep her quiet, which she very noticeably is not doing.

Do we trust a porn star who has already broken one legally binding agreement on this matter to tell the truth?

Do we trust her lawyer to tell the truth, especially in a media environment rather than a courtroom?

How did her lawyer gain access to the financial records of Trump's lawyer? Was information from the FBI raid on Trump's lawyer, in violation of attorney client privilege (not to mention executive privilege and many other privileges related to being president) leaked by Mueller's team? Not just leaked to the media, but leaked through a lawyer for another party in litigation?

Or is that lawyer lying? Making it up, or spinning his own story around an isolated fact that has another explanation we aren't privy to?

What reason would the Russians have to pay for Trump's hush money? What reason would Trump have to ask them to? If Stormy was paid $130K to shut up (and didn't), why would the Russians pay $500K to Cohen?

Remember, Trump can pay for his own hush money. Even a presidential salary alone would easily cover a $130K payoff. And it's not like Trump has been going easy on the Russians; he's been tougher than Obama.

So, basically, this narrative doesn't make any sense. Maybe this Russian made a payment to Cohen. We don't even know that from a credible source, but it's the closest thing to a fact in the whole narrative since apparently there is paper documentation for it that only the media have seen. We don't know what it was for or whether it has any connection to Trump.

If they knew what it was really for, they would have leaked that to increase the credibility. Instead they have a story that doesn't even make any sense, and apparently references the wrong Michael Cohen.

And there will be a leak investigation, so someone might actually face legal action for this leak. That would be, in my opinion, entirely appropriate.

This entry was published Thu May 10 09:32:16 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2018-05-10 09:32:16.0. [Tweet]

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