An Internal Revenue Service analyst was charged Thursday with leaking confidential reports that revealed President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen sought to profit from his White House access.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California charged analyst John Fry for leaking a suspicious activity report (SAR) to Michael Avenatti, the attorney who represented pornographer Stormy Daniels in her defamation case against President Trump.
Avenatti published the SAR on Twitter last May, revealing to the public that Cohen set up a shell company known as Essential Consultants in order to collect payments from a number of corporations hoping to influence Trump administration policy. Cohen used the same shell company to make a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels.
During the Trump campaign and transition period, Cohen received hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporations, including Korea Aerospace Industries, AT&T, and Columbus Nova, a New York affiliate of the Russian corporation Renova Group which is owned by a Russian oligarch who donated to Trump’s campaign and has been sanctioned by the U.S.
According to the indictment filed Thursday, Avenatti also shared Fry’s information with the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow.