April 26, 2018


EXCLUSIVE: Michael Cohen May Have Had Taxi Business In Russia -- And Shady Ties (Ben Fractenberg, April 25, 2018, The Forward)

Even after Cohen started working for Trump in 2006, he boasted that most of his money came from his Russia cab business -- not from his job with the Trump Organization, according to two people who were at the same holiday party in the New York area suburbs with the lawyer in 2008, with about 50 other people. [...]

"We know that (Michael) Cohen came into the Trump organization because he was a conduit for money from Russia, from the Ukraine and immigrants from Russia, immigrants from the Ukraine," said Josh Marshall, editor of Talking Points Memo, in a podcast. TPM has reported extensively on Cohen.

Indeed, some of Cohen's Russian contacts may have in fact been "organized crime figures," Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson testified before Congress late in 2017, about 11 months after his partner Christopher Steele's bombshell dossier was published by BuzzFeed. The report, according to this transcript of his testimony, laid out the extent of Trump's potential connections to the Kremlin that could compromise his presidency.

Cohen "was first bragging about medallions in New York City and then said, 'but the real money is in the cabs in Russia,'" according to another source at that 2008 party. "He seemed dirty. He seemed sleazy. It stuck with me all this time."

Cohen started to acquire cab licenses in the U.S. in the late 1990s after marrying Soviet emigre Laura Shusterman, whose father, Fima Shusterman, was already in the cab business and had pleaded guilty to defrauding the IRS, according to reports as well as state and federal records. Federal investigators told a Rolling Stone reporter that Cohen met Trump through an introduction by Shusterman.

Posted by at April 26, 2018 4:09 AM