The BBC is reporting that Michael Cohen was paid either $400,000 to $600,000 to ensure that a meeting between President Trump and the Ukranian President, Petro Poroshenko, was more than just a photo op. Soon after the meeting, the Ukraine also dropped its investigation into Paul Manafort.
Basically, the Ukrainian President — who had backed Hillary Clinton in the election — wanted to get on Trump’s good side as soon after the election as possible, because he didn’t want to risk making an enemy of Trump, especially after Poroshenko had played a role in leaking information that led to Manafort’s resignation from the Trump campaign. So, he set up a back channel using Michael Cohen — and Felix Sater, a convicted mobster and former business partner of Trump’s — to ensure that he could get a longer meeting with Trump so he could go back to the Ukraine and present himself as a friend to the new U.S. administration.
One source in Kiev said Poroshenko had given Trump “a gift” - making sure that Ukraine would find no more evidence to give the US inquiry into whether the Trump campaign “colluded” with Russia.
Poroshenko knew that to do otherwise, another source said, “would be like spitting in Trump’s face.”
In short, Cohen was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to give the Ukranian President, Petro Poroshenko, an opportunity to tell Trump that he wouldn’t provide any more evidence of Russian collusion to American authorities.
That’s corruption. Influence peddling. And collusion.
Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that Trump knew that Cohen had been paid, and there’s not enough evidence to know for sure if Poroshenko had given Trump that “gift.” However, there is ample evidence that Cohen did not register as a lobbyist, which is a felony (the same crime, I believe, that Michael Flynn pled guilty to). That means Cohen is in even more trouble, and if anyone knows the truth about the meeting, it’s Cohen, who will either flip or go to prison for a very, very long time.
Source: The BBC