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Michael Cohen-linked firm received big payments from Russian oligarch, report says

Michael Cohen-linked firm received big payments from Russian oligarch, report says

Avenatti says the mysterious payments hold the key to the $130,000 in hush money paid from Cohen's limited liability company Essential Consultants to his client Daniels, who says Trump paid her off just before the presidential election to silence their affair years earlier.

Attorney for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti speaks to the media after US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen left the US Courthouse in NY on April 26, 2018.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into payments a Kremlin-tied Russian oligarch made to President Trump's personal lawyer.

The stakes are sky-high for Cohen, who is now under a federal criminal investigation by the United States attorney's office in Manhattan and had his home, hotel room and office raided last month. Cohen has not been charged with any crime, and both he and his attorney have maintained that he has done nothing improper.

Cohen and his attorney, Stephen Ryan, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in hush money out of his own pocket to stop her from going public about an alleged affair with Trump in 2006 - which the White House has continued to deny. He does not indicate how he obtained or verified the information.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now President Donald Trump's personal attorney, said he doubted the veracity of a new report which detailed some questionable financial dealings of Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime personal attorney.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators is probing whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in the 2016 election, and whether he illegally tried to obstruct the investigation.

"We are highly confident this is 100 percent accurate", Avenatti said.

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Several NBC staffers reported that AT&T said it "engaged" Essential Consultants "to provide insights into understanding the new administration" under a "contract". Mueller asked him about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company's USA affiliate made to Cohen after the election, according to a source familiar with the matter.

"Columbus Nova is a management company exclusively owned and controlled by Americans", Columbus Nova's attorney Richard Owens said in a statement Tuesday night.

"Columbus Nova is a management company exclusively owned and controlled by Americans". A lawyer for Columbus Nova, in a statement Tuesday, described the money as a consulting fee that had nothing to do with Vekselberg.

This post has been updated with Columbus Nova's statement. "Neither Viktor Vekselberg nor anyone else other than Columbus Nova's owners was involved in the decision to hire Cohen or provided funding for his engagement".

Vekselberg and his company, Renova Group, are among individuals and companies that have since been sanctioned by the U.S.to punish Russian Federation for its election meddling and actions in Ukraine and Crimea.

Vekselberg had crossed paths with officials in Trump's inner circle prior to the real estate mogul's run for president.

Vekselberg, an energy and financial tycoon, is reportedly close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ms. Clifford is suing Trump for defamation, and has also sought to be released from the non-disclosure agreement.

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