A Trump donor earlier this year offered President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer $10 million if he successfully secured funding for a nuclear project, including a $5 billion loan from the Department of Energy, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
A lawyer for Franklin Haney, who gave Trump’s inaugural committee $1 million through a corporation, argued to the Journal that “Neither Mr. Haney nor Nuclear Development LLC ever entered into a contract with Michael Cohen or his affiliate for lobbying services related to the Bellefonte [Nuclear Power Plant] project.”
But the Journal’s revelation, which cited unnamed people familiar with the matter, adds to the pile of legal troubles faced by Cohen, this time whether another of his post-election consulting schemes led to unregistered lobbying. Haney also agreed to pay Cohen an undetermined sum as a monthly retainer, the Journal reported.
Cohen, an unnamed person familiar told the Journal, made “several” calls to Energy Department officials to ask about the loan process, “including what could be done to speed it up,” in the paper’s words.
The Journal and Mother Jones previously reported on a meeting Haney and Cohen had in South Florida just days before Cohen’s home, office and hotel room were raided by investigators in April.
The Journal confirmed that the vice chair of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, met with Cohen and Haney near Miami Beach on April 5. Cohen spent a night on the Qatari’s yacht, the Journal noted.
It wasn’t known at the time of those initial reports what kind of offer or fees Haney and Cohen had agreed to. The Journal said Thursday it didn’t know how much Cohen had actually been paid.
Haney’s Department of Energy loan application is still pending, the Journal said.
Read the Journal’s full report here.