President Donald Trump’s lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen asked the Qatari government for $1 million in exchange for access to the incoming administration back in December 2016, multiple reports confirmed Wednesday, raising more questions about Cohen’s post-election efforts to cash in on his boss’s win.
The Intercept reported the request as confirmed by Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, who was an investor with the nation’s sovereign wealth fund. Al-Ruhmaihi said Cohen asked him for the money, but he never agreed to make the payment. In the recently disclosed details from the shell company Cohen used to accept payments from multiple companies after the election, including one backed by a Russian oligarch, there was no mention of any firm connected to Al-Ruhmaihi.
In response to the Intercept, Cohen denied making the request.
The Washington Post notes that while Cohen’s solicitation of companies in exchange for access and information about the administration has previously been reported, this incident marks the first time it’s been revealed that Cohen sought funds from foreign governments. And while the Intercept only confirmed the request with Al-Rumaihi, the Post cited “several people with knowledge of the episode.”
In a separate but related story, the Post reported Wednesday night that FBI agents have questioned a translator Cohen worked with in connection with payments he received from the company Korea Aerospace Industries. This suggests that federal investigators are probing his relationships with companies who made payments to his shell company, perhaps in connection with the investigation that led to the recent unusual raid on his office.