After a whirlwind weekend of threats and cryptic tweets by Stormy Daniels’ attorney it would appear that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has Trump in checkmate.
Michael Avenatti has been taking Twitter trolling to new heights, proving again and again his mastery over Trump and his legal team – outmaneuvering them at every step and this weekend was no exception.
The weekend’s events kicked off on Friday when Avenatti took to Twitter to fire a warning shot at Trump and his embattled personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
Let this serve as formal notice – there is significantly more evidence and facts to come relating to Mr. Cohen’s dealings and Mr. Trump’s knowledge and involvement. You can come clean now or wait to be outed. Your choice. We have only just begun…” he tweeted.
Let this serve as formal notice – there is significantly more evidence and facts to come relating to Mr. Cohen's dealings and Mr. Trump's knowledge and involvement. You can come clean now or wait to be outed. Your choice. We have only just begun…#Basta
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 11, 2018
Avenatti posted a few more warning shots on Friday and Saturday before dropping a bomb shortly before noon on Sunday (Eastern Time).
Warning ignored. So here it goes.
December 12, 2016 – Trump Tower. Details to follow… pic.twitter.com/aEuuhRHB4a
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 13, 2018
The internet, as well as news agencies, went full defcon on the tweet, speculating on what new revelation Avenatti was going to drop on Team Trump.
Mother Jones was one of the first to sort out Avenatti’s cryptic tweet, publishing an article titled: “Qatari Investor Accused in Bribery Plot Appears With Michael Cohen in Picture Posted by Stormy Daniels’ Lawyer.”
According to Mother Jones:
The photos include a person who appears to be [Ahmed] Al-Rumaihi, who in late 2016 and 2017 was part of an aggressive Qatari effort to forge ties with members of the Trump administration. It has not previously been reported that Qataris, including Al-Rumaihi, met with Cohen in December 2016. Avenatti later followed up with another tweet asking why Cohen was meeting with Al-Rumaihi and Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor.
Why was Ahmed Al-Rumaihi meeting with Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn in December 2016 and why did Mr. Al-Rumaihi later brag about bribing administration officials according to a sworn declaration filed in court?
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 13, 2018
Former criminal investigator and criminal defense attorney, Seth Abramson, provided an in-depth analysis of what this all means from an investigative perspective and what it means for Trump and his inner circle.
For those unfamiliar with his work, Abramson has been publishing extensive Twitter threads and mega-threads regarding the ongoing investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. And, while he has his critics, Abramson – a former public defender at both the state and federal level – has an impressive resume and Liberals Unite has been covering his work for well over a year and never found him to be wrong on anything.
Below is Abramson’s analysis, along with some links to his sources added.
- BREAKING: “Steele’s dossier says Putin gave Trump a brokerage fee from the sale of 19% of Rosneft—Russia’s oil giant. Today @MichaelAvenatti said a top agent of QIA—which bought the Rosneft stock—was secretly at Trump Tower 48 hours after the sale.”
- Referencing one of the photos posted by Avenatti, Abramson continued, tweeting: “@MichaelAvenatti says the man below—meeting with Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn at Trump Tower—is Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, the head of Qatar Investments (a $100 billion division of sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority). QIA bought 19.5% of Rosneft on December 10, 2016.”
- “It has been assumed that—if the Steele Dossier’s intel is accurate—the reason the Dossier says the Rosneft sale was of 19% but the amount of Rosneft bought was 19.5% is that the additional 0.5% was transferred to Trump as a brokerage fee. A 0.5% cut would be over $282 million.”
- “@MichaelAvenatti further directs our attention to a claim made by Al-Rumaihi to a third party—attested to under oath by that third party—to the effect that Al-Rumaihi had previously *successfully* bribed Michael Flynn, Trump’s top national security advisor during the campaign.”
- “Given doubts about Trump’s net worth, a $282 million cut of a Kremlin-orchestrated transaction could have increased Trump’s total wealth by 33%+ if—as many suspect—Trump is worth well under a billion dollars. Presumably the venal Trump would do anything for that kind of money.”
- “So on December 10, 2016, QIA bought 19.5% of Rosneft—of which Steele’s sources imply .5% was targeted for Trump. Two days later, QIA visits Trump Tower. A year later, the man who visited Trump Tower confesses to having successfully bribed Trump’s top national security advisor.”
- “But it gets worse. According to the NYT, the day after Trump and/or two of his top aides secretly met with the Rosneft buyer at Trump Tower, two top Trump aides—and for all we know Trump himself—secretly met Putin’s banker Sergey Gorkov at Trump Tower.” Source
- “This also casts a new light on the fact that Kushner and Flynn—who we know met Putin’s banker on December 13 or 14, 2016—also met Russia’s ambassador (once again secretly, once again at Trump Tower) on December 1. Kislyak was literally hustled in the back door—like the others.”
Abramson pauses his narrative at this point to provide a timeline of events covered so far.
9/ A TIMELINE
12/1: Flynn and Kushner and (?)* secretly meet Putin's top US agent.
12/10: Rosneft sells a 19.5% stake.
12/12: Flynn and Cohen and (?) secretly meet the Rosneft buyer.
12/13: Flynn and Kushner and (?) secretly meet Putin's banker.
* (?) could be Trump or others.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) May 14, 2018
Continuing his analysis, Abramson explains that things keep getting worse and worse once other known information is added to this data.
- “But it gets worse. The Steele Dossier says Carter Page was one of the Trump aides used as an intermediary in the bribery of Trump. Where was Carter Page on the day Flynn and Cohen met with the Rosneft buyer (December 12, 2016)? Moscow. Was he meeting with Rosneft people? Yes.”
- “How do we know Page met Rosneft officials the day before, day of, or day after the Rosneft sale? Because he said so on video. Was Page working for Trump on that date? He says no, but Trump’s campaign habitually fired people then kept working with them.” source
- “The one constant in *all* of these meetings was Michael Flynn—who was an advisor to Trump when he made a trip to Moscow to dine with Vladimir Putin in December of 2015, a year before the Rosneft sale was finalized. Trump allies have lied about when Flynn joined the campaign.”
- “But it gets worse. The *same day* Cohen and Flynn secretly met the Rosneft buyer at Trump Tower, the head of Rosneft—Igor Sechin—was in Egypt with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to announce a lucrative deal between Russia and an Italian oil giant, Eni.” source
Continuing, Abramson connects all this directly to Trump.
- “How does this involve Trump? Well, 60 days before Rosneft acquired a lucrative Egyptian oil field, a top Trump aide secretly set up a meeting between Trump and the Egyptian president—which meeting Trump later lied about. The aide? George Papadopoulos.” source
- “What was Papadopoulos’ area of expertise at the time he set up the Trump-el-Sisi meeting? Middle East oil exploration. Are there ties between Trump and Italy? Yes—Italy and Russia were 2 of the 4 nations Trump invited to his first foreign policy speech (a breach of protocol).”
- “The same Italian ambassador Trump invited to his first foreign policy speech (again, breaching protocol to do so) had met personally with Putin in the preceding year to discuss—you guessed it—oil. So Trump inserted himself repeatedly between Russia and its business partners.”
- “Why did Trump breach protocol to get the Italian ambassador—who’d met with Putin to talk oil—in a room with his aides and Russia’s ambassador in April 2016? Why did he lie about Papadopoulos setting a meeting with Egypt’s President? Why did Mueller want to flip Papadopoulos?”
- “Why did Trump sneak three suspicious “interviewees” into Trump Tower—Russia’s ambassador, Putin’s banker and the Rosneft buyer—in just 12 days in December 2016? Why was Mike Flynn—now a convicted criminal—in all three meetings? Why were these men slipped in via the back door?”
- “We know Qatar says it has damaging intel on Kushner—and a Qatari official says he bribed Flynn. Is it perhaps no coincidence that Kushner and Flynn were involved in these meetings which perfectly coincided with the allegedly crooked Qatar-Rosneft deal?”
- “We know Michael Cohen was acting as an intermediary between companies that wanted to bribe Trump and the then president-elect. In fact, Cohen engaged in such behavior repeatedly—why should we be surprised if he also did so with the Russians (Rosneft) and top Qatari investors?”
- “Just so, we know for a fact that Michael Flynn spent the transition secretly lobbying Trump. On what topic? Energy and the Middle East. So why would we be surprised if he aided Trump in some energy-related graft to augment his secret lobbying campaign?” source
- “That Bud McFarlane worked with Flynn to lobby Trump on Middle East energy issues during the transition and *also* was an invitee to Trump’s first foreign policy speech in April 2016—along with the Italian and Russian ambassadors—suggests VIP meetings on oil *were* held then.”
- “Don’t forget that Team Trump lied about every aspect of the Mayflower Speech in April 2016: who attended and why; why a last-minute change placed the event at the more-private, VIP room-laden Mayflower rather than in its original location; how long Trump was there; and so on.”
And for the coup de grâce, Abramson provides the following conclusion along with three brief post scripts.
- “So Steele’s dossier gets another ringing endorsement; thus far not a word of it has been proven false—and a majority of it has been confirmed. Now we know why Mueller wanted Papadopoulos, Flynn and Gates. And why he’s gunning for Cohen. He seems to have Trump checkmated. /end”
- “When Papadopoulos, Flynn and Gates got sweetheart deals, Trump shills like Alan Dershowitz said the deals were proof Mueller had nothing. I said the opposite: the deals were proof the men who got those deals had *everything* on Trump. More and more it’s clear that’s the case.”
- “If you’re wondering why a presidential *candidate* would set up a secret meeting with Egypt’s president 60 days before a national election, remember that in September 2016 Trump by his own admission thought he’d lose. He was trying to see if he could make money off his run.”
- “(To be very clear, “secret” in this context means a meeting whose full slate of details Trump has hidden and/or lied about before the American electorate, in this case, at a minimum, both as to who set up the meeting, and at whose direction, and the purpose of the meeting.)”