Michael Cohen, former lawyer and fixer for President Donald Trump, hired an IT company to influence online polls in Trump’s favor before his presidential campaign, then stiffed the company out of most of the fee, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
John Gauger, owner of IT firm RedFinch Solutions LLC, told the newspaper he showed up at Trump Tower in 2015 to try to collect the $50,000 owed to him, and Cohen handed him a blue Walmart bag containing $12,000 to $13,000 in cash, and, “randomly, a boxing glove that Mr. Cohen said had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter.”
Cohen denied that he gave Gauger cash and said payment was by check.
Cohen requested $50,000 for “tech services” during the campaign, according to an August 2018 document from prosecutors charging Cohen with eight felonies, including campaign finance violations for arranging hush-money payments to women who alleged affairs with Trump. While prosecutors didn’t identify the company, people familiar with the matter say it was RedFinch, the Journal reported.
Cohen also asked Gauger to create the @WomenForCohen Twitter account, which was started in May 2016 and is run by a female friend of Gauger’s. The account tweeted praise for Cohen and is for “Women who love and support Michael Cohen. Strong, pit bull, sex symbol, no nonsense, business oriented, and ready to make a difference!” according to its Twitter bio.
Cohen has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud, making false statements to a bank, a campaign finance violation and lying to Congress about negotiations for a Trump Tower project in Moscow.
Trump has bashed Cohen for turning against him, ahead of Cohen’s planned testimony before the House oversight committee on Feb. 7. Trump said Cohen is lying “to get a sentence reduced.”
Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis said the attacks are coming because Cohen is “the greatest threat” to Trump.