Michael Cohen Asked Qatari Investor for a Million Dollars

Ahmed Al-Rumaihi told the Washington Post that Cohen made the solicitation in late 2016 in New York prior to their meeting in Trump tower

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York, April 26, 2018.
Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York, April 26, 2018.Credit: Seth Wenig/AP

U.S. President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen asked the Qatari government for at least $1 million in December 2016 in exchange for access or insight into the Trump administration, the Washington Post reported.

Qatar turned down Cohen's offer, made weeks before Trump's inauguration, the Post reported late on Wednesday, citing several people with knowledge of the situation.

A spokesman for Sport Trinity, a company co-owned by Qatari investor Ahmed al-Rumaihi, confirmed Cohen had requested a $1 million fee in a meeting with al-Rumaihi when he was head of the investments division of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund.

But the spokesman, Robert Siegfried, said the request related to the possibility of advising Qatar on investments in U.S. infrastructure, and that at no point was access to the administration discussed.

"The conversation was regarding infrastructure investment in the U.S.," he said. "At no point did Mr. Al-Rumaihi or anyone else from Qatar Investments pay the requested fee, nor did Mr. Al-Rumaihi ever entertain making such a payment."

Cohen's attorney Stephen Ryan did not respond to a request for comment.

Al-Rumaihi told the Post that Cohen made the solicitation in early December at the Peninsula Hotel in New York, an account Siegfried confirmed. They later spoke again outside a meeting in Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 12, 2016, where al-Rumaihi was part of a Qatari delegation that included Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed al-Thani, the Post reported.

Cohen and Rumaihi at Trump Towers in December 2016.

The solicitation would be the latest such exchange offered by Cohen to be made public following acknowledgements by U.S. and European companies last week that they paid Cohen, who was Trump's lawyer for about a decade and self-described "fixer" for Trump.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG said it had paid Cohen nearly $1.2 million; U.S. telecommunications company AT&T Inc said it made payments of $600,000; and South Korea's Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd said it hired him for $150,000.

Novartis and AT&T have said they were contacted by the office of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller about the situation in late 2017. Mueller is investigating possible collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, something that Trump has repeatedly denied.

At the same time, prosecutors are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, possible campaign law violations linked to a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, and perhaps other matters related to Trump's presidential campaign, a person familiar with the probe has said.

A spokesperson for Rumaihi called the allegations "pure Holloywood fiction" and asserted that they were part of a "xenophobic campaign."

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel


Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism