Cohen hired firm to rig polls, only paid part of bill with bag of cash: report

The head of a small polling firm used by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Overnight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Hillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license MORE's campaign during the 2016 election says that Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, hired his firm to rig two online polls in the president's favor and paid less than half of what was owed in cash.

John Gauger, director of RedFinch Solutions LLC and the chief information officer at Liberty University, told The Wall Street Journal that Cohen gave him just more than $12,000 in a Walmart shopping bag that also contained a boxing glove Cohen said was from a Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter.

The cash, Gauger told the Journal, was for his firm's unsuccessful attempts to rig the polls.


Gauger said that Cohen also directed him during that time to set up a Twitter account, "Women for Cohen," which remains active today and describes Cohen as a booster of the president and a sex symbol.

Gauger's lawyer also told the Journal that Cohen promised but failed to deliver future work for the firm on behalf of the Trump campaign.

“Mr. Cohen promised but never was able to develop the business he predicted,” said attorney Charles James.

Cohen's deal with the company and alleged failure to pay the debt in full was mentioned in court filings last year, according to the Journal, when federal prosecutors charged Cohen with numerous financial crimes, including campaign finance violations.

Cohen denied paying for the firm's services in cash in a statement to the Journal, but did not comment on whether the debt was paid in full.

“All monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check,” Cohen said, according to the newspaper.

In a tweet after the Journal article was published, he said "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.

The president's former lawyer, who was sentenced to three years in prison last month for various financial crimes, has agreed to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in February.

Updated at 9:21 a.m.