ICYMI: Late Friday news dump headline trifecta
Have you ever noticed that the most inconvenient headlines tend to appear just before a holiday weekend? In this case, the headlines that hit the wires — as the nation was enjoying the unofficial beginning of summer — are creating headaches for various Trumps.
- “But his e-mails!” Michael Cohen was using his Trump Organization email account to conduct business to now-disgraced, possibly mob-tied, and definitely cooperating-with-the-feds “Taxi King” Evgeny Friedman.
Michael Cohen’s use of his Trump Organization email to conduct his taxi business has become more legally significant after his former medallion manager, Evgeny Freidman, agreed to work with federal prosecutors as part of a plea deal, according to experts and reports.
That’s because public records obtained exclusively by the Forward show that Cohen used his Trump email on multiple occasions to conduct business for his NY Funky Taxi Corp. medallion, which Freidman managed since at least 2012. Cohen’s taxi dealings were part of records seized by federal investigators after they raided his home and office.
David Shapiro, a financial crimes expert and former FBI forensics investigator, told the Forward that Cohen’s use of the “trumporg.com” address makes it much harder for him to argue he was only acting in a legal capacity for the company. Shapiro also said that it potentially exposes other members of the Trump Organization to federal investigations if Freidman testifies against Cohen.
- Here’s your “SpyGate,” Donald — and the spies are not the bad guys! Michael Isikoff once again comes through with a juicy scoop: the FBI has obtained wiretaps of Russian banker and Putin ally Alexander Torshin and money launderer Alexander Romanov talking about Donald Trump Jr.…
The FBI has obtained secret wiretaps collected by Spanish police of conversations involving Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia’s Central Bank who has forged close ties with U.S. lawmakers and the National Rifle Association, that led to a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. during the gun lobby’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky., in May 2016, a top Spanish prosecutor said Friday.
José Grinda, who has spearheaded investigations into Spanish organized crime, said that bureau officials in recent months requested and were provided transcripts of wiretapped conversations between Torshin and Alexander Romanov, a convicted Russian money launderer. On the wiretaps, Romanov refers to Torshin as “El Padrino,” the godfather.
“Just a few months ago, the wiretaps of these telephone conversations were given to the FBI,” Grinda said in response to a question from Yahoo News during a talk he gave at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. Asked if he was concerned about Torshin’s meetings with Donald Trump Jr. and other American political figures, Grinda replied: “Mr. Trump’s son should be concerned.”
The comments by Grinda were the first clear sign that the FBI may be investigating Torshin, possibly as a part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Torshin — a close political ally of Vladimir Putin — had multiple contacts with conservative activists in the United States during the election, seeking to set up a summit between the Russian president and then candidate Trump. Although the summit never transpired, Torshin did meet briefly with the president’s son at a private dinner in Louisville during the May 2016 annual convention of the NRA. A member of the NRA since 2012, Torshin has been a regular attendee of the group’s conventions in recent years and hosted senior members of the group in Moscow.
… who now appears to have been caught in another lie to Congress.
Based on new information we learned this week, I’m very concerned that Donald Trump Jr. provided false testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
I’m asking the Committee Chairman to bring Trump Jr. back in to testify-in public this time. Here’s the letter I sent yesterday pic.twitter.com/QRzxOkyZtV
— Senator Chris Coons (@ChrisCoons) May 25, 2018
- Never mess with adult film actresses who retain media-savvy lawyers! Angel Ryan, who performs in adult films under the stage name Jessica Drake, just added to former reality show host Donald Trump’s woes.
A porn star said adult-film actress Stormy Daniels told her about being threatened to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Donald Trump, an account that could play a role in a civil case Daniels is pursuing against Trump and his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Actress Jessica Drake said in an interview that Daniels told her in 2011 about being threatened by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot shortly after she sought to sell her story about Trump to a tabloid magazine.
Drake said Daniels reminded her about the encounter in October 2016, the day after Drake went public with her own allegation that Trump improperly touched her.
“She was warning me, I needed to be very careful,” Drake said in a recent interview.
“Don’t be alone,” Daniels told her, as Drake recalled.
They say good things come in threes (okay, we say they do). What a great way to kick off the Memorial Day weekend!