According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, former Trump lawyer and convicted criminal Michael Cohen gave the owner of an IT firm a big ol’ bag of cash in exchange for his attempts to rig early presidential polls in favor of Trump, and for creating a Twitter profile that pretended to be women thirsty for Cohen. You really can’t make this shit up.
The IT company owner, John Gauger, visited Trump Tower in 2015 to meet with Cohen, who reportedly handed him a blue Walmart bag containing between $12,000 and $13,000 in cash, and “a boxing glove that Mr. Cohen said had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter,” the Journal writes.
Gauger owns RedFinch Solutions LLC and is the chief information officer at the noxious Liberty University, which is run by Jerry Falwell Jr.
Cohen denies that he paid Gauger this way, but not that they worked together. “All monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check,” he told the Journal.
“What I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of [Mr. Trump],” Cohen wrote on Twitter. “I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it.”
Trump’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told the Journal that Cohen’s statement was “bullshit.”
“This is not true. The president did not know about this if it happened,” Giuliani said.
After his Walmart-bag hand off, Gauger says Cohen never paid him the rest of the money. And yet Cohen was reimbursed for the full $50,000 by Trump in 2017.
“The real takeaway from your story is, didn’t he steal $37,000?” Giuliani told the Journal. It’s a fair point!
The payment was mentioned by prosecutors in August when Cohen was charged with paying hush money to Stormy Daniels, among other crimes. Last month, he was sentenced to three years in prison, though the sentence was not connected to his alleged work with RedFinch.
And now, we’ve arrived at the absolute best part of the story.
From the Journal:
During the presidential race, Mr. Cohen also asked Mr. Gauger to create a Twitter account called @WomenForCohen. The account, created in May 2016 and run by a female friend of Mr. Gauger, described Mr. Cohen as a “sex symbol,” praised his looks and character, and promoted his appearances and statements boosting Mr. Trump’s candidacy. [...]
The account’s profile says it is run by “Women who love and support Michael Cohen. Strong, pit bull, sex symbol, no nonsense, business oriented and ready to make a difference!”
Yes, @womenforcohen is real, and it’s still online.
Further heightening the absurdity of this already insane situation, it seems that Gauger wasn’t even able to rig the polls correctly:
In January 2014, Mr. Cohen asked Mr. Gauger to help Mr. Trump score well in a CNBC online poll to identify the country’s top business leaders by writing a computer script to repeatedly vote for him. Mr. Gauger was unable to get Mr. Trump into the top 100 candidates. In February 2015, as Mr. Trump prepared to enter the presidential race, Mr. Cohen asked him to do the same for a Drudge Report poll of potential Republican candidates, Mr. Gauger said. Mr. Trump ranked fifth, with about 24,000 votes, or 5% of the total.
The U.S. government is now operating on the level of a comedy written by Armando Ianucci. Great job everyone.