AUGUST 3, 2018
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, reportedly reached an agreement with a top donor to the president to help land funding for a nuclear power plant project. Cohen could have netted $10 million and a monthly retainer, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
Cohen reportedly offered to help Franklin L. Haney obtain a $5 billion government loan from the Department of Energy that would go toward finishing nuclear reactors at a plant in Alabama, The Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.
The pair reached an agreement in April, just before Cohen’s office, residence and hotel room were raided by federal prosecutors, who seized records and documents pertaining to Cohen’s businesses and legal practice.
Haney denied having a contract with Cohen for any lobbying effort involving the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant.
“Neither Mr. Haney nor Nuclear Development LLC ever entered into a contract with Michael Cohen or his affiliate for lobbying services related to the Bellefonte project,” an attorney for Haney told The Journal.
It is unclear how much, or if anything, Haney paid Cohen. Haney purchased part of the plant in November 2016 and a month later donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration committee. Haney’s loan application is reportedly still pending before the Energy Department.
The same report indicated that federal prosecutors were also looking into whether Cohen had engaged in lobbying work while unregistered, as well as payments made to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump.
Following the raids in April, it has since been revealed that Cohen received more than $4.4 million from companies seeking his expertise on how best to approach the Trump administration.
The companies were: AT&T, Novartis, Squire Patton Boggs, Korea Aerospace Industries and Columbus Nova.
In recent weeks, Cohen and Trump have had a very public falling out. The president’s longtime “fixer” once pledged undying loyalty, but the apparent pressure from federal investigators has led Cohen to tell reporters that he will no longer be a “punching bag” for anyone’s defense and that his loyalty was first to his family and the country.
Cohen also released a recording of himself and Trump discussing a payment to a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, regarding her story about a nearly year-long affair with the president between 2006 and 2007.
The president has denied the affair, as well as a similar claim made by adult film actress Stormy Daniels, and insisted he had no prior knowledge of the payments to either woman.
After Cohen’s recording came out, Trump questioned why any attorney would record conversations with a client.