Former Donald Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen on Thursday acknowledged that he paid a technology company to rig Trump’s position in two online polls before the presidential campaign.
He tweeted that “what I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of Trump”. “I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it,” he added.
Cohen’s comments were in response to an article in The Wall Street Journal that said he had stiffed the owner of the technology company out of tens of thousands of dollars he promised for work which included using a computer script to enter fake votes for Trump in a 2014 CNBC poll asking to identify top business leaders and a 2015 poll of potential presidential candidates.
The company owner, John Gauger, told the newspaper that he was promised $50,000 for the work but instead received a blue Walmart bag stuffed with between $12,000 and $13,000 in cash along with a boxing glove that Cohen claimed had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter.
Cohen disputed, telling the Journal that “all monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check” and offered no other comments.
He was charged last summer with violating campaign-finance laws by arranging hush-money payments to two women claiming they had extramarital affairs with Trump. During this time, federal prosecutors had referred to a payment to Gauger’s company (no name was mentioned at the time).
The charging document stated that Cohen had been reimbursed by the Trump Organization for payments to the women, in addition to $50,000 for “tech services” that he requested in a handwritten note.
Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told The Associated Press that the president “had no knowledge” of any effort to manipulate polling data on his behalf.
He called Cohen a “liar” and a “thief” for seeking reimbursement for more money than he’d paid Gauger’s company, RedFinch Solutions LLC.
Cohen was recently sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to tax crimes, bank fraud and campaign violations – not related to his dealings with Gauger and his company.
He’s scheduled to report to prison in March.