It’s not getting nearly as much play as it should, but Ronan Farrow has done another bang-up piece of journalism yesterday, interviewing the anonymous law enforcement official who blew the whistle on Michael Cohen’s financial transactions with AT&T, Columbus Nova, etc. The reason that the law enforcement official risked 5 years in prison for releasing these financial records is because two files were missing, and that set off alarm bells. There are records of hundreds of thousands of dollars being paid to Cohen by AT&T and Columbus Nova, but two previous suspicious-activity reports (or SARS) detailing over $3 million in transactions are missing from the database maintained by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
What do you mean, missing?
The official, who has spent a career in law enforcement, told me, “I have never seen something pulled off the system… . That system is a safeguard for the bank. It’s a stockpile of information. When something’s not there that should be, I immediately became concerned.” The official added, “That’s why I came forward.”
Someone pulled the details of over $3 million in transactions off the Treasury Department’s network. It means one of two things: That Mueller and/or the investigators in the SDNY restricted access to those documents (which is bad for Michael Cohen), or someone removed it? And one of those files details $2 million in transactions between June and September 2017.
I want to believe that Mueller has the SARS because the alternative is pretty terrifying.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) May 17, 2018
And things are not looking good for Michael Cohen personally, according to Emily Jane Fox over at Vanity Fair:
As his instinct to fight kicked into overdrive last week, so too has the unyielding cable-news mania weighed on him. The paparazzi, who had finally begun to leave him and his family alone after the raid, once again started lingering outside of his hotel on Park Avenue. They followed him on his way to his lawyers’ office, and waited for him once he came outside. Friends continued to tell him that, at this point, no one in Washington was looking out for him, so he had to be the one to look out for himself and his family. As he watched the news unfold in his hotel room in Philadelphia over the weekend, he evidenced some exasperation. He has confided in friends, “I just can’t take this anymore.”
Dude. It’s only been a month since the raid. You got a lot more to take, unless “I just can’t take this anymore” means, “I’m ready to flip?”
We shall see.
One area in which he could potentially flip involves a former Qatari diplomat, Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, who says that Michael Cohen asked him for $1 million for his services regarding a potential Qatari investment, and there is proof in the form of a photo that Michael Avanatti tweeted out that this diplomat shared an elevator with Cohen in Trump Tower. (The Daily Mail adds that Cohen asked Ahmed Al-Rumaihi for “millions of dollars” that he would “pass on” to Trump family members).
Ahmed Al-Rumaihi also offered a bribe to Big 3 basketball league co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz (a league of which Ice Cube is the other co-founderr) for access to Steve Bannon. Meanwhile, Jared Kusher sought financing from Qatar’s investment fund — operated by Ahmed Al-Rumaihi — for help to save Kushner’s own personal business, and when Qatar declined, a few months later, Kushner helped advise the President on setting up a blockade against Qatar (formerly an ally of the United States).
This all looks like deep-level corruption, like Kushner and Trump punished Qatar for not bribing them through Cohen or helping bail out Kushner’s failing real-estate property.
It’s a lot to process — especially knowing that Ice Cube was involved! — but now you know why Trump was so scared of the Michael Cohen raid. It also explains why Rudy Giuliani has once again moved the goalposts. It was, “Trump didn’t collude,” then it was, “Even if he did collude, it wasn’t illegal,” and now it is, “Mueller can’t indict a sitting President.”
Why would he have any reason to indict him, Rudy? Speaking of whom, the man is a fucking trainwreck on television. To wit, on “dirt” that the Trump campaign denies they received from Russians, Rudy said in an interview last night: “They never used it. That’s the main thing. They never used it. They rejected it. If there was collusion with the Russians, they would’ve used it.”
What is it? Becuase Don Jr. says they didn’t get any it, while Rudy seems to be saying they got it, but didn’t use it. If they got dirt on Hillary, that’s a much different story than the one that Don Jr. is telling.
Rudy Giuliani on Russia investigation: "When I ran against [Democrats] they were looking for dirt on me every day, I mean, that's what you do…Nothing illegal about that. And even if it comes from a Russian or a German or an American, it doesn't matter." @IngrahamAngle pic.twitter.com/ddFaxZR44z— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 17, 2018
How has Trump not fired this guy yet?
It also kind of makes you wonder: Who sent this email?
This is my favorite email from the Senate Intel release today.— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) May 16, 2018
"Why did he (Don Jr.) release this email admitting to collusion?"
GOOD QUESTION! pic.twitter.com/FxEK0qvYUi