Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Trump Faces The Storm, Con't

Over the weekend, Stormy Daniels's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, made several tweets intimating that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen had been involved in a Trump Tower meeting with a Qatari investor in December 2016. The Qatari, Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, later bragged that he had given Cohen quite a bit of money in order to get access to Donald Trump.

So CNN followed up on the story and it turns out that yes, both Al-Rumaihi and Cohen were at Trump Tower on December 12, 2016.

After the story published, Qatar's media attaché in Washington, Jassim Al-Thani, explained in a statement that the meetings with the incoming administration in December 2016 were to discuss "many critical areas, including: regional security, military cooperation, counterterrorism, and economic partnership." 
Al-Thani said Al-Rumaihi "was present at Trump Tower but did not participate in any meetings" with the government delegation. 
A person familiar with the Qatari delegation's meetings at Trump Tower that day said, "There were several meetings that took place between the delegation and Trump transition officials. During one, Michael Cohen briefly popped in.
The statement is Al-Rumaihi's first acknowledgment of why he was at Trump Tower on December 12, 2016, since Avenatti, a lawyer for Stormy Daniels, made an issue of it in his tweets. It also sheds new light on Cohen's conduct during the Trump transition as he was pitching to clients on his proximity to the President-elect. 
Avenatti alleged Al-Rumaihi had met with Cohen and Flynn, Trump's longtime attorney and former national security adviser, respectively. Avenatti also claimed Al-Rumaihi boasted about bribing administration officials in a "sworn declaration filed in court" -- a reference to a declaration from Jeff Kwatinetz, an entertainment executive who is currently in a legal battle with Al-Rumaihi. 
"Why was Ahmed Al-Rumaihi meeting with Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn in December 2016 and why did Mr. Al-Rumaihi later brag about bribing administration officials according to a sworn declaration filed in court?" Avenatti tweeted. 
Kwatinetz said in the filing that Al-Rumaihi, after agreeing to invest in Kwatinetz's basketball league, repeatedly showed interest in meeting Steve Bannon, Kwatinetz's friend and President Donald Trump's former chief strategist. Kwatinetz and Al-Rumaihi are engaged in a business dispute over Kwatinetz's basketball league, BIG3. 
In one particular instance in January 2018, Kwatinetz alleged Al-Rumaihi "wanted me to convey a message from the Qatari government to Steve Bannon" and hoped Kwatinetz would set up a meeting between Al-Rumaihi, the Qatari government and Bannon. He was asked to "tell Steve Bannon that Qatar would underwrite all of his political efforts in return for his support." 
Kwatinetz wrote in the filing he was "offended" and "appalled" by the request. In response, Al-Rumaihi allegedly laughed and responded that Kwatinetz shouldn't be naive. 
"Do you think (Michael) Flynn turned down our money?" Al-Rumaihi responded, according to Kwatinetz, referring to Trump's former campaign adviser and White House national security adviser

If this is all true, then yeah, Cohen was basically Trump's shakedown man and Flynn was the gatekeeper in their little pay-to-play scheme.  The Daily Mail makes an even bigger claim: that Cohen asked Al-Rumaihi for cash directly for the Trumps.

Donald Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, is facing claims he asked a Middle Eastern official for millions of dollars to give to 'Trump family members' in a meeting at Trump Tower weeks after the president's election victory, can reveal.

Cohen is alleged to have asked Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, a former diplomat in charge of a $100bn Qatari investment fund, to send 'millions' through him to Trump family members. A source told that the Qatari said he refused.

Al-Rumaihi on Tuesday issued a statement agreeing that he was at Trump Tower and a source with knowledge of the daysaid that Cohen had 'popped in' briefly to a meeting. Photographs show that he was part of a group greeted by Cohen, who went up in an elevator with them. can disclose that the group also included Qatar's foreign minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

The claims of a demand for 'millions' were made by a senior Kuwaiti government source close to Al-Rumaihi.

I have no clue where Avenatti and the Daily Mail are getting this info, but again, if this is true, then Mueller already knows about it and is already looking into it, and if Mueller somehow isn't, the US Attorneys in New York most certainly are.

We'll see how this pans out, but Avenatti seems to know an awful lot of things he shouldn't know, well before other people know them and he sure as hell isn't shy about saying so.

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