Michael Cohen is in deep trouble. The FBI raided Donald Trump’s “fixer” in April, confiscating computers and phones for an investigation looking into his hush money deal with porn actress Stormy Daniels, among other shadowy transactions.
The latest details regarding the investigation into Cohen’s shell company Essential Consulting LLC indicate a pay-to-play system where Cohen received enormous fees from private enterprises eager to curry favor with the Trump Administration.
One of the firms implicated in the deals includes Columbus Nova, a U.S. firm tied to a Russian company run by Viktor Vekselberg, among the richest individuals in Russia and a close confidant of Vladimir Putin. Columbus Nova paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Essential Consulting LLC, the company through which Cohen paid Daniels to remain silent regarding her affair with Trump shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to their son Barron.
According to an FBI report from four years ago, Vekselberg’s foundation served as a vehicle for Russian intelligence operations.
While the public does not have all the information held by investigators, the Columbus Nova transaction could amount to a Russia-orchestrated payout on Trump’s behalf — a major breach of campaign finance laws. It also appears to give credence to the collusion narrative that Trump has labeled a “witch hunt.”