Stormy Daniels's lawyer puts out a slam-debunkable claim of new Russian collusion

Gotcha.  Russian collusion.  The news today says President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, took a $500,000 payment from a Russian oligarch shortly after the 2016 election.  Bango!  Or so the headlines derived from the claims of porn "star" Stormy Daniels's attorney, Michael Avenatti, would have you think.  So now we have it: Trump brought down by a porn star.

It's tripe.  Get a load of how it's being reported, by anti-Trump network CNN:

The lawyer representing adult film star Stormy Daniels sought to ratchet up the pressure on Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen Tuesday, claiming that he has learned of numerous banking transactions that could call into question Cohen's business practices.

"Michael Cohen should not be selling access to the President of the United States," attorney Michael Avenatti said on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" Tuesday night.

In a memo posted online Tuesday afternoon, Avenatti alleged that Cohen received the following payments after the 2016 election: approximately half-a-million dollars from a company linked to Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin; nearly $400,000 from pharmaceutical giant Novartis; $150,000 from Korea Aerospace Industries and $200,000 from telecommunications conglomerate AT&T.

So much for the earlier claims that Cohen was "barely" a lawyer because his only client was Donald Trump.  Apparently, he had clients.

This is why the new claims of the porn star's lawyer are so suspect, even though the media are buying into them. The media gets a lot of things wrong.

What exactly was going on in the news with Vekselberg and Russian President Vladimir Putin when this supposed payment happened? The Russian oligarch reportedly was one of Vladimir Putin's best buddies, as all oligarch supposedly are.

The pair of them were fighting.  Putin was throwing Vekselberg's business executives into jail to press him to toe Putin's line, which the rebellious billionaire apparently didn't.

Here's what Reuters was reporting back in September 2016, shortly before Trump was elected:

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday had a private meeting with Viktor Vekselberg, the billionaire tycoon whose lieutenants were earlier this month put in jail on charges of paying bribes to local government officials.  The prosecutions of the two executives in Vekselberg’s Renova group prompted speculation that the businessman himself could be targeted, suffering the same fate as other prominent tycoons who have fallen from grace under President Vladimir Putin.

Vekselberg was apparently pleading with Putin, via Medvedev, to quit throwing his people in jail and to take the squeeze off him.  So if there were to be any bribery at all in such a case, it would have gone Putin's way, not Trump's.  Could a payment have been made to Cohen to press Trump to press Putin to quit squeezing the billionaire in some sort of lobbying deal?  Oh, possibly.  But that would not be collusion, and Vekselberg's case, would have made him a separate client from Trump.  The paperwork would sort that out.  What's clear here is that this wasn't collusion, and there is no gotcha in this supposed payoff, even if it's true.

Trump in fact put Vekselberg under sanctions, which suggests no quid pro quo regarding the supposed payment Cohen got.  Analysts in fact were puzzled by that move, given that they knew that Vekselberg and Putin were on the outs.  The one thing you can conclude is that that $500,000 to Cohen wasn't a payoff to Trump because look what it got Vekselberg.

Yet Vekselberg hates Putin and fights with Putin.  He's not going to be the guy Putin asks to do his colluding with him,  either.

It all seems to be the kind of reporting of the same cloth as that seen in the kind of coverage Michael Cohen is getting.  Look at how the New York Times reports this issue.  Here's its headline: "How Michael Cohen, Trump's Fixer, Built a Shadowy Business Empire."

Shadowy?  The Times uses "shadowy" as its argument because some of Cohen's law offices were located in parts of New York City that aren't as nice as Fifth Avenue.

I got news for these reporters: virtually all of New York City looks like that.  The shadowy, the crummy, the bridge-and-tunnel places the NYT described...are simply New Yorky.  It's what's on offer if you want to rent office space in New York.  Apparently, you must rent only on Park Avenue to avoid the designation of "shadowy."

Just as bad, the Times points to Cohen's Russian and Ukrainian ties, which preceded his relationship with Trump, as more proof of shadowiness.  Apparently, you aren't allowed to do business with Russians even if you speak the language and your family is from there, which would make such transactions pretty ordinary. Nope, you're 'shadowy.'

Color me unimpressed.

It all goes to show that the current claims on Michael Cohen by the crazed left-wing lawyer of an utterly disreputable pornographic actress are to be taken with a grain of salt.  This guy and his revolting client are out to Get Trump, the press is with them, and the truth is not a part of their strategy.  That the media go along with him and play to his twisted version of events is disgusting.

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