BipHoo Company / Flickr How Michael Cohen cashed in...
BipHoo Company / Flickr

CNN confirmed on Tuesday what Michael Avenatti had suggested in recent tweets—that a Qatari investor and former diplomat attended meetings at Trump Tower shortly after the 2016 election.

The stated reason: Ahmed Al-Rumaihi wanted face time with Trump transition officials.

“Mr. Al-Rumaihi was at Trump Tower on December 12, 2016. He was there in his then role as head of Qatar Investments, an internal division of QIA, to accompany the Qatari delegation that was meeting with Trump transition officials on that date,” said a spokesperson for Sport Trinity, a company that Al-Rumaihi co-owns. “He did not participate in any meetings with Michael Flynn, and his involvement in the meetings on that date was limited.” […]

A person familiar with the Qatari delegation’s meetings at Trump Tower that day said, “There were several meetings that took place between the delegation and Trump transition officials. During one, Michael Cohen briefly popped in.”

Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, charged in tweets on Sunday that both Flynn and Cohen met with Al-Rumaihi.

The statement from Al-Rumaihi contradicts the sworn declaration in a lawsuit by entrepreneur Jeff Kwatinetz suggesting Al-Rumaihi may have bribed Flynn. “Do you think [Michael] Flynn turned down our money?” Kwatinetz quoted Al-Rumaihi as saying during a discussion between the two men. Sounds like we’re going to have to wait for more reporting on the Flynn front.

But frankly, the Cohen interaction is perhaps more fishy than a Flynn interaction would have been. While Flynn served as a vice chair of Trump’s transition team and ultimately joined Trump in the White House, Cohen had no official role in the transition and never graduated to a White House post. In other words, there’s no reason whatsoever—other than a pay-to-play scheme—for Cohen to be conducting any foreign diplomacy with Qatar or any other nation for that matter.

Let’s also remember that Qatari officials reportedly decided not to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Qatar also ended up on the losing end of some major foreign policy decisions by Trump, though we have no way of knowing what the Qatari delegation may have asked for in that Dec. 12 meeting and what it may have gotten.

It’s difficult to know exactly where this will all end, but Avenatti surely thinks he has an idea where things are headed.


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