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Missing documents prompted leak of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's bank records: Report

A confidential bank record detailing unusual activity in the account of President Donald Trump‘s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was leaked by a law enforcement official who grew concerned after two other financial reports appeared to be missing from a government database, The New Yorker reported Wednesday.

Stormy Daniels, who is suing Cohen and Trump to void a nondisclosure deal crafted by Cohen, brokered through Essential Consultants and signed in October 2016, just weeks before the presidential election. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was paid $130,000 as part of the deal in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump from years earlier.

AT&T and Novartis both admitted to making payments to Cohen shortly after details of the report were exposed by Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti. Those payments, as well as an alleged payment from a Russian oligarch to Cohen through the company Columbus Nova, were all included in the leaked bank document, the magazine reported.

But the official who leaked the report said that two more reports that should have been present in the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FINCEN, were missing.

Those SARs allegedly cover more than $3 million in additional transactions related to Cohen’s account with First Republic Bank.

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

The official said that his concern prompted him to leak the first document, despite the legal risks of doing so.

Avenatti has called on the Treasury Department to immediately release the three SARs on Cohen’s company.

Essential Consultants was also used for a hush deal involving Elliott Broidy, former Republican National Committee deputy finance chairman, and a former Playboy model he allegedly impregnated. The deal involved Broidy paying the model $1.6 million.

The New Yorker’s review of other banks’ SARs about Cohen’s transactions found that a report from City National Bank documented Broidy’s payments to Cohen and another lawyer, Keith Davidson. Broidy reportedly sent three payments of $62,500 to Cohen one of which went to Essential Consultants’ account. Broidy, who resigned after news outlets reported the alleged deal, also paid Davidson $200,000, The New Yorker reported.

A representative for Broidy told The New Yorker that its account of his payments was “not correct.” The representative said Broidy “did not pay Mr. Davidson.”

It remains unclear why the two other alleged SARs were reportedly missing from FINCEN.

Read the full report on The New Yorker’s website.

source : www.cnbc.com