Trump lawyer 'paid by Ukraine' to arrange White House talks

Gwen Vasquez
May 25, 2018

Michael Cohen, a longtime personal attorney for Donald Trump, accepted a $400,000 payment to arrange talks between Trump and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, according to a BBC report.

Mr Avenatti, who claimed that Daniels was paid $130,000 in "hush money" by Mr Cohen, reported that Suspicious Activity Reports filed by Mr Cohen's bank to the US Treasury showed he had received money from "Ukrainian interests".

A NY federal judge has postponed to next week a hearing in the case brought by President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen to limit prosecutors' review of documents seized from his home and office. Though Freidman reached a deal with NY state, he may be in a position to brief federal prosecutors who are probing Cohen's financial dealings, including his taxi holdings, real estate ventures, and legal and political work for Trump and others. Freidman faced allegations that he failed to pay $5 million in taxes, including four counts of tax fraud and one of grand larceny. "Neither I nor any of our staff know, or have been in contact with, any current or former members of the Ukrainian parliament, nor Michael Cohen", Rabbi Shalom Paltiel of Chabad of Port Washington told The Jerusalem Post.

"He's just not involved in the taxis", said former NY mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. Freidman will avoid jail time under the agreement and will assist federal and state prosecutors in investigations, The Times reported.

In a statement from Freidman, read aloud on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" Tuesday evening, Freidman acknowledged his business relationship with Cohen. "Friedman pocketed money that should have provided much-needed investment in our transit system and he'll now have to pay back every cent".

Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine, which is a legal requirement for such an action.

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Cohen took to Twitter Wednesday morning to distance himself from the "Taxi King". The two charges - announced in March 2018 - could carry prison sentences of 10 and five years, respectively.

Freidman struggled financially as the value of taxi medallions plummeted.

A Ukrainian official said Mr. Cohen was paid US$400,000, while another source put the figure at US$600,000, the BBC reported.

Freidman has also been sued for other shady business acts.

Sources in Kiev say the payment was made by intermediaries acting for the President Petro Poroshenko, even though Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by United States law.

Freidman has for years managed a number of taxi medallions for Cohen in New York City and Chicago, and the pair have been friends since the 1990s.

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