Top Trump Donor Agreed To Pay Cohen $10 Million For "Help With Funding": WSJ

Right before the feds raided former Trump attorney Michael Cohen in early April, a top Trump donor offered to pay Cohen $10 million plus a retainer fee in exchange for help securing funding for a nuclear-power project - including a $5 billion loan from the US Government, claims the Wall Street Journalciting people familiar with the matter.

Under the contract, Mr. Haney agreed to pay Mr. Cohen a monthly retainer in addition to the $10 million success fee if he could help obtain the funding, including approval of the full amount of the project’s application under a U.S. Department of Energy loan program, the people familiar with the deal said. -WSJ

Before we get too far down the rabbit hole, it should be noted that Cohen never actually entered into the deal according to the donor's attorney, while application with the Department of Energy (DOE) is still pending. The Journal also provides no evidence of the contract, only anonymous sources, and there is also no suggestion that President Trump knew about the alleged offer from the donor - who contributed $1 million to Trump's inaugural fund, yet primarily backed Democrats before the Cohen arrangement. 

The donor, Franklin L. Haney, gave the contract to Trump attorney Michael Cohen in early April to assist his efforts to complete a pair of unfinished nuclear reactors in Alabama, known as the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant, these people said.

Had he been paid the success fee, Mr. Cohen’s deal with Mr. Haney could have been among the most lucrative of the known consulting agreements he secured after Mr. Trump’s election by emphasizing his personal relationship with the president, according to people familiar with his pitches. -WSJ

According to the DOE, Cohen hasn't communicated with Energy Secretary Rick Perry about the project, however he did make "several calls to officials at the Energy Department in the spring" to inquire about the process for securing the loan - including what could be done to speed it up, according to the Journal.

Had Cohen accepted the deal, it would mark yet another corporate interest which lined his pockets, yet received nothing in return.

In May it was revealed that AT&T paid Cohen up to $600,000 for his "insights" - asking him to specifically look into the proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner Inc. He also took money from Swiss healthcare giant Novartis, Korea Aerospace Industries and Russian businessman Victor Vekselberg. In total, Cohen has been paid a total of $1.8 million since Trump took office for his "insights," according to the companies, which would have been better off tossing their money in a fireplace.

In other words, Cohen - who Trump has severed ties with, was either a terrible unregistered lobbyist or ran a bait and switch operation. 

Authorities are investigating whether Mr. Cohen engaged in unregistered lobbying in connection with his consulting work for corporate clients after Mr. Trump went to the White House, according to people familiar with the probe.

Investigators are also examining potential campaign-finance violations and bank fraud surrounding, among other deals, Mr. Cohen’s October 2016 payment to Stephanie Clifford, the former adult-film star called Stormy Daniels, to keep her from discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the probe. Mr. Trump denies any encounter took place. -WSJ

“Neither Mr. Haney nor Nuclear Development LLC ever entered into a contract with Michael Cohen or his affiliate for lobbying services related to the Bellefonte project,” said Haney's attorney, Larry Blust, referring to the name of the Company Haney is using for the project. 

Haney's company, Nuclear Development, agreed to pay $111 million in a November 2016 contract to purchase the unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant from the Tennessee Valley Authority. He has until this November to close on the deal. 

One month after the November agreement, Haney donated $1 million to the Trump inaugural fund via a corporate entity, according to FEC records. He had previously backed Democrats.

As part of their arrangement - perhaps to take him for a test drive, Cohen reportedly participated in an April 5 meeting in Miami with Haney to pitch his project to the vice chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed al-Thani, the Journal reported in May, citing yet more anonymous people familiar with the matter. 

The meeting took place near Miami Beach, where a Qatari delegation had come to promote business ties with the U.S. Mr. Cohen spent a night on Mr. Haney’s yacht during the trip, one of those people has said.

There is no indication that the Qataris have decided to invest with Mr. Haney. A Qatar spokesman in Washington has confirmed the meeting. A representative of the Qatari sovereign-wealth fund didn’t respond to a request for comment. -WSJ

A professor of government at American University, James Thuber, told the WSJ that such fees are "outside the ethical norms" among Washington lobbyists are frowned upon. 

Century-old court rulings deemed fees contingent on lobbyists obtaining public funds or killing legislation unenforceable and counter to public policy, saying they encouraged corruption, he said. Several lobbyists contacted by the Journal said $10 million was an unheard-of sum to pay a consultant for government-related work. -WSJ

That said, there is no blanket federal ban on success fees for Washington lobbyists, while Cohen has never worked for the Trump administration - something former chief strategist Steve Bannon ensured early on in the campaign. 

Following the money...

Meanwhile, five Republican Congressmen urged the Trump administration in a May 14 letter to finish reviewing Nuclear Development's loan application, describing the project as an "engine for economic development." 

According to the Journal, the DOE's Loan Programs Office COO Dong Kim wrote back saying that the agency would address the application "as quickly as possible, while still performing the necessary due diligence to protect taxpayer interests." 

Nothing swampy here...

Comments

Free This chunga Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:46 Permalink

LOL - more propaganda for the masses! I am outraged - hahahahahahaah - I agree with a poster here, he looks like a bug! Some fucking dung beetle.

You know people, here is the thing, I hate ALL tribes equally, cause I believe in rugged indivualism and don't succumb to hive mentality.

I judge each person individually, by character, and have come to the conclusion there are a lot of assholes in the world that cannot be trusted. There has been a lot said about me on this board that is pure fiction. Just because I can critically think and see through the bullshit of this broad brush of generalism I see going on here, does not mean I am an idiot. If I post too much for your liking sue me, and take it up to the SCOTUS - I ain't going anywhere.

It is quite sad to see this, as logic and reason has given way to jumping to conclusions and agreeing with bullshit to just be accepted by the hive. Oh, I try to keep posts short to medium length, otherwise eyes glaze over!

I felt that needed to be said, then maybe y'all can understand me better when I post! I rail against tyranny in ANY form! Liberty or Death is the final outcome!

I say all of this since so many are interested in shutting me down, that is all, so now you know! And the last time I will say this.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

In reply to by chunga

MozartIII Free This Thu, 08/02/2018 - 19:31 Permalink

I'm not. But don't go out of your way to be an ass, your pushing stupidity! Make a logical point and be done!!

 

Your apparently pushing drama queen.... Keep your hive mentality & eyes glazed over BS to your closet!

In reply to by Free This

prudent1nvestor Free This Thu, 08/02/2018 - 21:39 Permalink

"it should be noted that Cohen never actually entered into the deal according to the donor's attorney, while application with the Department of Energy (DOE) is still pending. The Journal also provides no evidence of the contract, only anonymous sources" -I'm no fan of cohen but this is a non-story. 

In reply to by Free This

Teamtc321 666D Chess Thu, 08/02/2018 - 19:43 Permalink

It would be nice if your sorry ass would exit left and stay there, Moron. You spew your uneducated shit out then want to reach out to ZH members claiming you have a punching bag, LIBTARD? 

You have been on ZH getting paid a nickle a post,>  Member for  3 months 2 weeks.

Shut the fuck up, checkers player. 

If you had any knowledge of the business world, Red or Blue, this happens every minute of everyday, Idiot. LIBTARDS are by far the worst, they are. They huddle like Rats trying to feed as they line up at the pig feeder,  on deals they want in on. Shit like the post here doesn't suprise most I know in the least, its the way the business world works, while you get paid 5 cents per post. Nice huh?

HOPE, HOPE AND CHANGE!!! 

In reply to by 666D Chess

chippers Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:53 Permalink

So all these top of coporate hiearachy, therefore super smart, best and brighest individuals just threw money at this cohen clown cause he had some connection to trumpstein?  I wonder how much cash kushner or don jr is vacuuming up.

Thordoom Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:57 Permalink

Funny The former Minister of Economic Development of Russian Federation was jailed for 8 years for similar crime. Has anyone in the US history holding such high position ever been sentenced for any prison time for pay to play?  Bribery is absolutely legal in US. Banana Republic on steroids.   

Someone Else Thu, 08/02/2018 - 19:06 Permalink

With money like this flying around is it any wonder that so many former Congressmen and Senators make lobbying (REGISTERED lobbying) their next career?

 

We certainly need more controls on influence peddling.