Cohen's Missing Files

Dec 2015
Last week, several news outlets obtained financial records showing that Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, had used a shell company to receive payments from various firms with business before the Trump Administration. In the days since, there has been much speculation about who leaked the confidential documents, and the Treasury Department’s inspector general has launched a probe to find the source. That source, a law-enforcement official, is speaking publicly for the first time, to The New Yorker, to explain the motivation: the official had grown alarmed after being unable to find two important reports on Cohen’s financial activity in a government database. The official, worried that the information was being withheld from law enforcement, released the remaining documents.

The payments to Cohen that have emerged in the past week come primarily from a single document, a “suspicious-activity report” filed by First Republic Bank, where Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants, L.L.C., maintained an account. The document detailed sums in the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to Cohen by the pharmaceutical company Novartis, the telecommunications giant A.T. & T., and an investment firm with ties to the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

The report also refers to two previous suspicious-activity reports, or sars, that the bank had filed, which documented even larger flows of questionable money into Cohen’s account. Those two reports detail more than three million dollars in additional transactions—triple the amount in the report released last week. Which individuals or corporations were involved remains a mystery. But, according to the official who leaked the report, these sars were absent from the database maintained by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or fincen.
The official, who has spent a career in law enforcement, told me, “I have never seen something pulled off the system. . . . That system is a safeguard for the bank. It’s a stockpile of information. When something’s not there that should be, I immediately became concerned.” The official added, “That’s why I came forward.”

Whatever the explanation for the missing reports, the appearance that some, but not all, had been removed or restricted troubled the official who released the report last week. “Why just those two missing?” the official, who feared that the contents of those two reports might be permanently withheld, said. “That’s what alarms me the most.”
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person
Apr 2018
LOL Not unusual. The leaker of this info is in serious trouble though.

Schoen noted that New Yorker article acknowledges that there might have been “fully legitimate, law enforcement reasons for the absence of the reports at issue from the database the leaking official checked.”

“Secondly, the underlying matter is the subject of a full blown ongoing investigation which undoubtedly will examine all relevant SARs and the database at issue would not have been the only repository for the ones in question and this certainly was not time-senstive information of pressing national security interest or anything of the sort…if the official’s motivation truly were to ensure that the underlying information was not withheld from law enforcement, there were back door channels open to him or her to ensure that the appropriate law enforcement officials got it; but here the information the official unilaterally decided to make public was given to several news outlets and somehow and for some reason to “Stormy Daniels,” attorney who promptly trumpeted it out all over the media and who threatened to disclose more.”
Last edited: