A new report suggests that Michael Cohen paid thousands of dollars to an information technology firm in early 2015, in hopes that the company could tweak online polls in favor of then-Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
Citing a report from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and Mediaite wrote on Thursday morning that Trump’s former personal lawyer paid RedFinch Solutions LLC owner and Liberty University chief information officer John Gauger $12,000 to $13,000 stuffed in a blue Walmart bag, along with a boxing glove purportedly used by an unnamed Brazilian MMA fighter. This was disputed by Cohen, who was cited as saying he paid Gauger by check for his services.
While Gauger reportedly did not receive the remainder of the $50,000 he was owed, the Wall Street Journal wrote that Cohen allegedly asked Trump to reimburse him that same amount of money for RedFinch’s services, and eventually received the money in early 2017. This reimbursement was referenced by federal prosecutors when Cohen was charged with campaign finance violations, including payments of hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who both claimed they had affairs with Trump in the mid-2000s.
Per a charging document, prosecutors wrote that Cohen didn’t just ask for a reimbursement for the $130,000 worth of hush money he paid to Daniels, but also for the $50,000 he spent on “tech services” to assist Trump in his presidential campaign. While the tech company was not named in the document, the Wall Street Journal’s sources told the publication that RedFinch was the firm in question. Cohen was not charged in connection to any dealings with Gauger and RedFinch.
As quoted by the New York Post, Trump’s current personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told the Wall Street Journal that the $50,000 reimbursement, which was for a much larger amount of money than what Cohen reportedly paid Gauger and RedFinch, served as proof of Cohen’s dishonesty.
“If one thing has been established, it’s that Michael Cohen is completely untrustworthy.”
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Gauger explained that he had tried to edit the results of CNBC and the Drudge Report’s online polls in order to make them favor Trump as the top Republican presidential candidate, but was ultimately unsuccessful. He also alleged that Cohen asked him to create the “@WomenForCohen” Twitter account, which, per Mediaite, was a “strange pro-Trump vanity project” with a bio that largely showered praise on the lawyer.
“Strong, pit bull, sex symbol, no nonsense, business oriented, and ready to make a difference!”
Shortly after the Wall Street Journal published its report, Michael Cohen took to Twitter to comment on the story, saying that what he did was “at the direction of and for the sole benefit of” Donald Trump.
“I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it,” Cohen added.