Daily Check-In 04/16/2018

Monday April 16th.  It was a nice, quiet Monday, right?




First, the Wall Street Journal discovered that Michael Cohen used Essential Consultants LLC, the same company that he used to pay off Stormy Daniels, to receive payment from Elliot Broidy.

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, used the same Delaware limited-liability company in two secret deals relating to alleged sexual encounters involving his clients, according to people familiar with the matter.

Venture capitalist Elliott Broidy paid an initial installment of $62,500 to the company, Essential Consultants LLC, as part of Mr. Cohen’s $250,000 total fee for negotiating a nondisclosure agreement related to Mr. Broidy’s affair with a former Playboy model who alleged he had impregnated her, a person familiar with the matter said.

Federal prosecutors are examining money flowing in and out of Essential Consultants as part of a broad investigation into Mr. Cohen’s activities to silence women with allegations against Mr. Trump or those in his orbit, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the $1.6 million agreement between Mr. Broidy—the Republican National Committee’s deputy finance chairman with ties to Mr. Trump—and the model on Friday. Mr. Broidy later resigned his RNC post.

Cohen assisted Broidy in his abortion hush money, and had him pay Essential Consultants 1/16th of a million dollars, or 1/4th of 1/4th of a million dollars.

That payment to his shell company destroys the argument that it was created and only used for Stormy Daniels.

Mr. Broidy paid the remaining fee installments totaling $187,500 directly to Mr. Cohen after the Journal revealed in January that the Clifford payment was made through Essential Consultants, the person said.

The last three installment payments were paid directly to Cohen.

The monthslong investigation stemmed partly from “suspicious activity reports” filed by banks, including one that included details of Mr. Cohen’s payment to Ms. Clifford, people familiar with the matter said.

A suspicious activity report?

The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office is examining whether Mr. Cohen committed bank fraud by, among other things, taking out a home-equity credit line to pay for the Clifford agreement, a person familiar with the matter said.

Why the hell is a man who’s supposedly worth $10 million refinancing his home and taking out a second mortgage to make a $130,000 payment?

Mr. Cohen transferred the payment to an attorney for Ms. Clifford from an Essential Consultants account at First Republic Bank, according to people familiar with the matter. He has said the funds came from his home-equity line at the same bank.

Investigators are examining whether Mr. Cohen fraudulently used a bank loan for something other than the purpose he described on his loan application, the person said.

The Journal previously reported that First Republic Bank, which Mr. Cohen used to wire the payment to Ms. Clifford’s lawyer in October 2016, conducted its own investigation into the transaction after receiving a subpoena from federal authorities, according to another person familiar with the matter.

First Republic sent its findings to the Treasury Department in a so-called SAR, or suspicious-activity report, the person said. Such reports are required to be sent to the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network when banks observe transactions that have no apparent lawful purpose or deviate inexplicably from a customer’s normal bank activity.

Oh, shit.  FinCEN doesn’t fuck around.

Part of the investigation into Mr. Cohen involves payments made by American Media Inc., publisher of the National Enquirer, and its officials including Chairman and Chief Executive David Pecker, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Cohen communicated with Mr. Pecker and AMI’s chief content officer, Dylan Howard, during the course of negotiations for AMI to pay another Playboy model, Karen McDougal, to sell her story of an alleged 2006 affair with Mr. Trump to the National Enquirer, a person familiar with the matter said.

The Journal first revealed in November 2016 that AMI paid $150,000 to Ms. McDougal for her exclusive story of the alleged affair, which it then didn’t publish, a tactic known in the tabloid world as “catch and kill.”

Ms. McDougal filed suit last month seeking to extricate herself from that contract.

They’re tying  AMI/National Enquirer directly to the Cohen investigation?  They are fucked.

Separately, Mr. Cohen succeeded around 2013 in killing a story Us Weekly was preparing about an alleged affair between Donald Trump Jr., who had been a judge a year earlier on the television show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” and one of the contestants, Aubrey O’Day, a member of the singing duo Dumblonde, according to people familiar with the matter.

The magazine, then owned by Wenner Media, had what staffers believed to be a solid source on the alleged affair by the younger Mr. Trump and called the Trump Organization for comment, according to the people involved in the matter. They received a call back from Mr. Cohen, who threatened legal action and became so irate that they muted the call while he spoke, one of these people said.

“We were all on speakerphone and huddled around the phone,” this person said. “He was just one of these New York characters where he was just like swearing at us and totally over-the-top threatening.”

The magazine’s staff didn’t believe it was a big story that would be worth a legal fight and had a good working relationship with the elder Mr. Trump on stories related to the TV show “The Apprentice,” so they dropped the story.

The story of the alleged affair was reported in entertainment media last month when Donald Trump Jr.’s wife filed for divorce; Mr. Cohen’s involvement in the Us Weekly story hasn’t previously been reported.

Holy Shit, this was kicked off from an SAR sent to FinCEN?! Cohen is fucked. Like, seriously, ultimately, dead man walking fucked.

FinCEN is the investigative and crime fighting arm of the Treasury Department. They are more than capable of taking down white-collar crime by themselves, but if they referred this to the FBI, it means that not only did they find enough shit to bury him alive for financial crimes, but they dug up shit on him that is outside of their purview, and they felt that it was so serious that they had no other choice than to refer this to the FBI.

Not only did they find proof of money laundering and bank fraud, but they found proof of other, non-financial crimes.  Considering that Michael Cohen has been tied to everything from extortion to espionage, it makes sense why they were called in.

Oh, but things get worse.

Cohen threatened journalists back in 2013 to spike a story about Donnie Jr. fucking one of the apprentices on Celebrity Apprentice.

So, not only did Cohen take part in TWO taxi medallion scams in TWO different cities with TWO groups of Russian Mafia and La Cosa Nostra, but he sent emails about his taxi business FROM HIS TRUMP ORG EMAIL.

What are taxi medallions?  Taxicabs of the United States – Wikipedia gives an explanation, but the short version is that it’s a system of regulating the number of certified cab drivers in a city, but the lack of medallions usually means that there is a tiny  supply available.  Organized crime has long used these medallions as a method of Money Laundering

Oh, but it still gets worse…

Last week, instead of showing up at his court hearing last week, Cohen went out on the town to hang out with some friends.  One of them appears to be Rotem Rosen, and another is James von Moltke, CFO of Deutschebank.

Hanging out with a known link to Russian Oligarchs and the Kremlin, and a link to a bank under investigation for laundering Russian money while one is supposed to be Federal court explaining that they didn’t do anything violating the law requires a special kind of stupid.

Oh, but it gets even worse…

Third, [huge redaction], further belying the notion that Cohen is currently engaged in any significant practice of law.

Fourth, the USAO-SDNY has specific reason to doubt that the seized materials will include the volume and nature of attorney-client communications that Cohen claims. This is because the USAO-SDNY has already obtained search warrants – covert until this point – on multiple different email accounts maintained by Cohen, and has conducted a privilege review of the materials obtained pursuant to those warrants. The results of that review, as resported by the USAO’s Filter Team, indicate that Cohen is in fact performing little to no legal work, and that zero emails were exchanged with President Trump.

So, at best, Cohen has three legal clients, and according to the prosecution, hasn’t practiced law in a long time.  Instead, he’s a fixer, someone who does the dirty work that a respectable lawyer wouldn’t do.  He’s a consigliere, Saul Goodman without the legal talent.

Cohen’s team already identified the first two clients in Donald Trump and Elliot Broidy.

Cohen was reluctant to name his third client…



Sean Hannity aired an entire episode last week, two days after the FBI raided Michael Cohen, explaining how Mueller was secretly corrupt. Trump, the President of the United States, endorsed this episode from Twitter. This was TWO DAYS after the FBI raided their shared attorney’s home, office, and hotel room.

Sean Hannity now enters a world of hurt. He and Trump conspired to mislead Hannity’s viewers into going after the FBI and the Rule of Law. Aside from all of the other crap that Hannity’s been rumored to be a part of, this is evidence of Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice.







“The same people who would criticize me for filing this bill would be absolutely angry if I wasn’t pounding the table for this bill if we were dealing with Hillary Clinton,” he argued. “So spare me your righteous indignation.”





Crosseyed Huckster posted a pic from the Situation Room during the Syrian attack showing VP Mike Pence taking part in the attack.

One problem, Pence was in Peru during the attack.


























That’s it for today.  This is the new normal.  The more that comes out about Cohen, the worse things will get for Trump and his team.  The worse they think things get, the worse they’ll act.  The worse they act, the worse the reactions against them, creating a feedback loop.

Mueller.  Comey.  Cohen.  Stormy.  Hannity.  Pruitt.  Pompeo.  Putin.  All of them are coming to a head, at once.

And I’m here, keeping an eye on it all, enjoying the shitshow.


Thank you, and have a good one.


“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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