Michael Avenatti posts photos of Cohen with Qatari investor accused of bribery

Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti posted photos Sunday on Twitter showing Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen getting into an elevator at Trump Tower with a man appearing to be a Qatari banker accused in a lawsuit affidavit of boasting that he bribed Washington politicians.

Avenatti said Cohen was in the building shortly after the presidential election meeting with a group of Qataris, including Ahmed al-Rumaihi, an official of  Qatar’s national wealth fund.

The photos of Cohen appear to be screengrabs of a video posted on C-Span from the “Trump Tower Cam” dated December 12, 2016. A group of men — including the man who appears to be al-Rumaihi — can be seen getting into an elevator with Cohen. Cohen pats one of the men on the back as the group enters the elevator.

In a tweet, Avenatti linked to the video showing the men entering the elevator (just after 7:42:30) and most of them leaving (shortly after 9:08:15). 

Why did the men meet, Avenatti asked in his tweet, adding: “and why did Mr. Al-Rumaihi later brag about bribing administration officials according to a sworn declaration filed in court?”

Al-Rumaihi was accused last month of trade libel and contractual interference in a $1.2 billion lawsuit filed by rapper Ice Cube and business partner Jeff Kwatinetz. The suit accuses Al-Rumaihi and other investors of failing to pay funds promised to the partners’ BIG3 basketball league.

An affidavit filed last week in California Superior Court in Los Angeles accused Al-Rumaihi of plotting to use the promised investment to influence former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

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Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaks to the media outside US Federal Court on April 16, 2018, in Lower Manhattan, New York. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. Some of the documents reportedly relate to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims a one-night stand with Trump a decade ago, and ex Playboy model Karen McDougal who also claims an affair. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Michael Avenatti, lawyer for adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, leaves federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Michael Cohen's attorney Todd Harrison arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen (centre) leaves federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaks to media along with lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) outside federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Michael Cohen's attorney Todd Harrison is pictured outside the Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, New York, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, speaks to media along with lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) outside federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
Attorney for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti is pictured though a window as he arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and attorney Michael Avenatti arrive at Federal Court in New York, U.S., on Monday, April 16, 2018. Daniels claims she had sex with Donald Trump in 2006 and took a $130,000 hush payment shortly before the 2016 election from lawyer Michael Cohen. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
President Trumps lawyer Michael Cohen exits the US Federal Court on April 16, 2018, in Lower Manhattan, New York. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. Some of the documents reportedly relate to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims a one-night stand with Trump a decade ago, and ex Playboy model Karen McDougal who also claims an affair. / AFP PHOTO / EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ (Photo credit should read EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, (C) also known as Stormy Daniels arrives for a court hearing at the US Courthouse in New York on April 16, 2018. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. / AFP PHOTO / Hector RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Attorney for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti(C), arrives for a court hearing at the US Courthouse in New York on April 16, 2018. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Michael Avenatti (R), attorney for Stormy Daniels, arrives for a court proceeding regarding the search warrants served on President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, at the United States District Court Southern District of New York, April 13, 2018 in New York City. Cohen and his lawyers are asking the court to block Justice Department officials from reading documents and materials related to his relationship with President Donald Trump that they believe should be protected by attorney-client privilege. Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences earlier in the week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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“After making partial payment to the BIG3, there were numerous occasions during the 2017 season where Mr. Al-Ruhmaihi would bring up Mr. Bannon’s name to me and comment about Mr. Bannon’s political positions, his views on the blockade, the Trump administration’s position toward Qatar, and he persistently inquired about wanting to meet with Mr. Bannon,” Kwatinetz stated in the affidavit.

“Mr. Al-Rumaihi requested I set up a meeting between him, the Qatari government, and Steven Bannon, and to tell Steve Bannon that Qatar would underwrite all of his political efforts in return for his support.”

Kwatinetz, who is a friend of Bannon’s, said that he rejected the offer because he considered it a bribe. He stated that he did not tell Bannon of the conversation.

Kwatinetz said in the affidavit that “Al-Rumaihi laughed and [said] that I shouldn’t be naive, that so many Washington politicians take our money.” 

Avenatti also tweeted a photo in the lobby of Trump Tower the same day of the apparent meeting of Cohen talking with Michael Flynn. But that photo appeared to be a screen grab from a different YouTube video of the lobby. Flynn is not seen with the man who appears to be al-Rumaihi or the group he is with. Trump fired Flynn as his national security adviser after Flynn lied about his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Avenatti’s tweets.

Avenatti indicated that the photos and information he posted Sunday were payback for the “refusal of various” unspecified “parties to come clean” and to “stop with the personal attacks.” Although he didn’t specify who he was talking about, the attorney taunted: “Keep pushing us.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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