Alleged Cohen documents leaker says they were motivated by missing files

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A law enforcement official who claims to be the source of a leak about Michael Cohen claims that two documents related to suspicious transactions by President Trump’s personal attorney appear to have gone missing from a government database. 

The official told The New Yorker‘s Ronan Farrow that they had become worried after they were unable to find suspicious activity reports (SARs) pertaining to Cohen’s financial actions in a government database. The official said they released the remaining SAR because they were afraid the documents were being kept from law enforcement officials.

{mosads}The New Yorker was the first outlet to speak with the law enforcement official, who says the files were missing from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

“I have never seen something pulled off the system,” the official said. “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.”

“That’s why I came forward,” the official added. 

Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stormy Daniels, who is suing Cohen over a nondisclosure agreement she and he signed weeks before the 2016 election, first published the banking records from the released SAR last week. 

The documents showed that Cohen was paid large amounts of money from companies such as Novartis and AT&T, as well as an investment firm with connections to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. 

Novartis and AT&T have since said their payments to Essential Consultants LLC, Cohen’s shell company, came after Cohen, who is reportedly under criminal investigation for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations, offered them access to and insight on the Trump administration.

Avenatti refused to reveal his source for the information, saying investigators should detail the SARs filed on Cohen’s account.

“Why just those two missing?” the unnamed official asked The New Yorker. “That’s what alarms me the most.”

The Treasury Department established an investigation to determine the identity of the source last week. 

The department’s inspector general’s counsel, Rich Delmar, told The Hill that the office is probing allegations that federally mandated reports filed about Cohen’s banking transactions were “improperly disseminated.”

“To say that I am terrified right now would be an understatement,” the official told The New Yorker regarding potential legal consequences.

Essential Consultants is the same company that paid $130,000 to Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago. 

Tags Cohen payments Donald Trump Suspicious activity report Treasury Department
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