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Money for nothin’, and your chicks not for free

“Money for Nothin’” was the title of a 1985 song by Dire Straits that now finds new resonance in the affairs of Michael Cohen and his friend and client, President Donald Trump.

In a sequence of events that began in a one-night affair with a porn star, Stormy Daniels, an affair denied by the president, there is now a link between a Russian billionaire close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the president of the United States. The “smoking gun” has been discarded for the spent bullet in ways that fictional writing could never imagine.

The Trump claim is that the affair, resulting in a payoff of $130,000 and a non-disclosure agreement, never happened, but if it did it had nothing to do with the Trump presidential campaign, though the payoff happened only days before the election. And before you re-read that impossible sentence, yes, that is the Trump claim, that, with no reason because there was no affair, and no concern because the election was just days away, the campaign gave away Money for Nothin’ to a Chick that has turned out not to be For Free.

But that is just the more believable part of the story, from this point it becomes far less likely that the Cohen/Trump explanations make sense at all.

Before Trump admitted he knew about the payment for nothing, and knew his attorney, Michael Cohen made the payment to Daniels, Trump said he had no relationship with Daniels, knew of no payment, and did not make any payment himself.

Cohen was even more seemingly confused when he stated that he made the payment out of his own funds by means of a home equity line of credit that he then transferred to an LLC he had created, and that Trump knew nothing of the payment, and did not reimburse Cohen.

Now, if the whole story was the money was for nothin’, and the chick was not free, that might be interesting for establishing that the principle parties, with the exception of the porn star, demonstrated a pattern of lying by their own confessions. After all, it is not always true that the porn star is the truth teller and the president is the liar.

But it now turns out that the Cohen LLC that paid Daniels also received $500,000 from the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg within months of the Daniels payout, more than enough to reimburse Cohen and Trump, who has since admitted he paid back Cohen the $130,000.

The same LLC received over $4 million in funds from other organizations seeking access to Trump through Michael Cohen. But what remains unknown about all of this is, what happened to all the money that came into the LLC? Did Cohen take it all as a consulting income? Did Cohen pay any portion of it to Trump to reimburse Trump for his $130,000 out of pocket?

Most importantly, did any of the money from the Russian oligarch end up in Trump’s pocket? And related, why would a Russian oligarch pay Trump’s attorney any money at all?

All of the money, over $4 million in total, appears to be Money for Nothin’ since Cohen had no qualification to benefit contributors like AT&T who wanted Trump administration support for a merger, or Novartis, a foreign drug company who paid Cohen for “insight.”

Money for Nothin’ is great if you can get it…Cohen did. Did Trump?

Chicks for free? Well let’s just say that seems not to be working out so well.

Russians for Trump? That is now fact, not fiction.

 

Jim Crawford is a retired educator, political enthusiast and award-winning columnist living here in the Tri-State.