Michael Avenatti, the spotlight-chasing attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, is on the hot seat for illegally obtaining the bank records of President Trump's longtime attorney, Michael Cohen.
Avenatti triggered a media feeding frenzy this week when he tweeted that a Russian oligarch paid Cohen $500,000. Avenatti added that Cohen used $130,000 of that money to pay Stormy Daniels hush money.
It appears that Cohen received $500,000 from an American company -- not a Russian company.
Additionally, the same American company donated $50,000-$100,000 to Hillary Clinton.
Avenatti also revealed that AT&T, the Swiss drug company Novartis, and aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries -- all paid Cohen hundreds of thousands of dollars. The companies later confirmed the payments, which are under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
AT&T said in a statement that it paid Cohen "for insights into the Trump administration" after Trump was elected.
"They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017," AT&T added in its statement, which was first reported by CNBC.
The Treasury Department’s inspector general is now investigating how Avenatti obtained Cohen's bank records.
Avenatti refused to reveal his sources. He told reporters that investigators should reveal the Suspicious Activity Reports filed by banks on deposits of over $10,000 into Cohen’s accounts.
In April, federal agents armed with a search warrant raided Cohen's office and two private residences.
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