How Trump's lawyers are becoming a liability

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“TAKE away credentials” from “Fake News”, tweeted President Donald Trump on May 9th. Such outbursts are usually a sign that Mr Trump is feeling the pressure. The day before, Michael Avenatti—the lawyer representing Stephanie Clifford, an adult-film star who performs as Stormy Daniels, with whom Mr Trump allegedly had an affair—released a document claiming that a payment made by Michael Cohen, Mr Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer, to Ms Clifford may have come from “a Russian oligarch with close ties to…Vladimir Putin”. Just a few days earlier Rudy Giuliani, one of Mr Trump’s lawyers, inadvertently raised the possibility that the president may have violated campaign-finance laws. How much trouble is Mr Trump really in?

At least $4.4m flowed through Essential Consultants, a company created by Mr Cohen, between October 2016 and January 2018. Columbus Nova, an American investment firm with links to Viktor Vekselberg, an oligarch close to Mr Putin, paid Essential Consultants $500,000…Continue reading

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