In the battle of the Michaels, it’s clear that Michael Avenatti has Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s number. Avenatti has consistently demonstrated that his well of information on Cohen’s Essential Consultants LLC (and how it was used to help Donald Trump) is apparently limitless. Not only has the lawyer for Stormy Daniels unveiled the jaw-dropping details about the shadow company used to deliver Trump’s hush money, but even the weakest attempt by Cohen or his attorneys to respond has only resulted in Avenatti throwing out hints of more bombshells about to drop.
Despite Avenatti’s position as Daniels’ attorney, those hints have pointed toward incidents that go way, way beyond even the most tawdry details of Trump’s relationship with a porn star. That is certainly the case with a tweet that Avenatti posted on Sunday.
Warning ignored. So here it goes.
December 12, 2016 – Trump Tower. Details to follow… pic.twitter.com/aEuuhRHB4a
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 13, 2018
According to Mother Jones, the man in the picture is the head of the Qatar sovereign wealth fund, Ahmed al-Rumaihi. It appears that on that day, a month before Trump took office, Michael Cohen was meeting with not only al-Rumaihi, but also soon-to-be national security adviser Michael Flynn.
And both of those Michaels may have been there to collect a bribe.
Qatar is a U.S. ally and home to the largest U.S. base in the Middle East. However, it’s recently been in the strange position of being blockaded and economically assaulted by other U.S. allies: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. That level of attack didn’t start until after Trump took office, and until after Qatar apparently passed on bailing Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner out of his terrible Manhattan real estate deal.
Kushner’s father met with the Qatari Finance Minister in April 2017, but no deal was struck. Only days later, Kushner and Trump traveled to Saudi Arabia, where they not only appeared to support a limited coup that reordered lines of succession within that country, but gave Saudi Arabia the tacit go-ahead to launch their blockade of Qatar. If it is not a case where U.S. foreign policy was based on the ability of top officials to benefit personally, it certainly gives every appearance of being such a case.
And Qatar may have another reason to be upset, because in that earlier meeting it appears that Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn might have already had their hands out. When businessman Jeff Kwatinetz was asked by Ahmed al-Rumaihi about setting up a meeting with Trump and Trump officials in exchange for an investment, Kwatinetz turned down the offer and called it a bribe.
In response, Kwatinetz claims, “Al-Rumaihi laughed and then stated to me that I shouldn’t be naive, that so many Washington politicians take our money, and stated ‘do you think Flynn turned down our money?’”
If al-Rumaihi made payments to Cohen and Flynn in December, that’s a very good reason for Qatar to expect that members of the Trump White House would take bribes.
Because they already had. And the only thing worse than people who take bribes are those that take bribes and don’t deliver.