A Desperate Man : Michael Cohen
Don't be distracted by the gossip and tittle-tattle being spread about Michael Cohen. Forget taxi medallions and porn stars. They're meant to distract. As REX explains, the true DOJ investigations are likely focussed on Cohen's connections to illegal lobbying by Clinton proxies, on behalf of Ukraine.
Here's an extract of Bloomberg's misleading opening paragraph yesterday, about the Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP agreement to pay $4.6 million, as part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department. The settlement was:
"over unregistered work it did with Paul Manafort to benefit the government of Ukraine in 2012 and 2013."
Er, NO. Here's a correction. It was over:
"unregistered work it did with Paul Manafort, VIN WEBER AND TONY PODESTA to benefit the government of UKRAINE'S PRESIDENT, Putin-backed YANUKOVYCH in 2012 and 2013."
See how that works? Bloomberg left out critical names. Ditto, all the FakeNews mainstream outlets. Must be a typo, I guess.
But that typo should have been easy to correct. After all, it was widely reported in August 2018 that Special Counsel Mueller had referred Manafort and Gates (Essential Consultants), Podesta (Podesta Group) and Vin Weber (Mercury Group) to DOJ prosecutors at SDNY, in relation to non-FARA illegal lobbying work carried out on behalf of the Putin-backed Ukrainian leader, Yanukovych.
And here's the thing : they likely illegally lobbied for Yanukovych's rival, Poroshenko, after he came to power.
Huh? I hear you say. They lobbied for rivals? Well, yes. That's how amoral crooks roll. Read on.
Before I do, I'm going to throw in another name likely caught up in this Ukraine investigation : one Michael Cohen. What, the FakeNews lampoonish character of taxi cab fame and porn star payments, one of Trump's many lawyers, a man who lies for fun?
Yes, indeed. The same one. Here's a few interesting facts about Michael Cohen, not many know:
- Cohen's company, Essential Consultants, allegedly received a $500,000 payment from a company connected to Russian oligarch and Putin ally, Viktor Vekselberg, a close ally of Yanukovych and Viktor Pinchuk.
- Cohen's family has extensive and powerful connections to Ukraine and Russia. He has also spent much of his personal and professional life with immigrants from Russia and Ukraine.
- His father-in-law, who helped establish him in the taxi business, was born in Ukraine and is very well connected in the corrupt cesspool of Ukrainian politics and business.
Oh, another allegation. Cohen received a secret payment of at least $400,000 to fix talks between the Ukrainian president, Poroshenko and President Trump, according to sources in Kiev close to those involved (the meeting never happened, by the way).
Now of course, Trump's deranged opponents allege that Cohen's background somehow connects him with Trump and Putin, to steal the 2016 election, a ridiculous over-reach, that has no evidence to support it. And as usual, in their incompetence they miss the bigger story - Cohen was likely working with the lobbyists Podesta, Manafort/Gates and even Weber, to get a cut of the action, from their unregistered lobbying work on behalf of Ukraine.
Keep those names Yanukovych, Vekselberg and Poroshenko in mind, by the way. All were HUGE backers of The Clinton Foundation, which took the majority of its donations from Ukraine. And here's another fact that the mainstream media fail to mention: Cohen's connections to the Democratic Party and in particular, the Clintons.
See, Cohen voted Obama in 2008 and before that, was photographed with none other than Hillary Clinton, at what he called 'The Kennedy Compound':
Note the date of that tweet: June 27, 2014. No wonder Clinton was celebrating. That was the date that the new President of Ukraine, Petro O. Poroshenko, signed a long-delayed trade pact with Europe, that Moscow had bitterly opposed.
Yes, that would be the same Poroshenko who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016. Indeed, it was alleged in a Politico article in January 2017 that 'Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office.
They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers.'
Another person who may have attended the event on 27 June, 2014 : Viktor Pinchuk. He would have been delighted. A wily survivor of Ukrainian politics, easily one of the most corrupt in the world, Pinchuk had managed to switch sides from Yanukovych to Poroshenko. This means he could continue making massive amounts of money, as could his business partners, one being Hillary & Bill Clinton.
Key point : the Clinton's link to Ukraine is better understood by their relationship with Victor Pinchuk, not with particular leaders. Ukraine is a land of extreme corruption and political upheaval. Billionaires such as Pinchuk go with the flow, greasing the palms of politicians to preserve the legitimate and illegitimate businesses. The Clintons worked out early that it was to their benefit, to hitch their wagon to the Pinchuk wagon.
Which brings us back to the Skadden Arps settlement. In 2012, Pinchuk was aligned with Yanukovych. That was when Manafort and Podesta worked with Greg Craig of Skadden Arps, a long time Clinton apparatchik, to try and legitimize the Yanukovych regime. In 2014, Pinchuk was aligned with Poroshenko. Manafort, Podesta and Weber started lobbying for the new leader. The Clintons donations went through the roof. See the pattern? The Clintons win, either way.
And Michael Cohen, who had business interests outside the Trump world, is likely implicated in the corruption. We should try not to be distracted by the ridiculous stories about Cohen being pushed by rags like the execrable BuzzFeed. Behind the scenes, it is more likely that the SDNY investigations are focussed on Cohen's role in the corrupt Clinton-Pinchuk nexus, as well as his links with illegal lobbying by Manafort, Podesta and Weber.
Oh, they'd be looking at something else too - Cohen's role in the framing of Donald Trump, as well as his covert profiteering, via his connection to Trump. It's not just payments from Poroshenko that Cohen is alleged to have secretly pocketed. And what about this? There's also alleged evidence that as early as September 2015, one of Hillary Clinton's closest allies, made a bizarre $150,000 donation to the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
Who was the ally? None other than Viktor Pinchuk.
Who solicited that donation?
Why, none other than Michael Cohen.
A liar, traitor and crook, who chose the wrong side in 2015/16.
And in 2019, as the walls collapse around him, is now a very desperate man.