Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman says the alleged payment from a Russian oligarch to Trump's fixer Michael Cohen could be the key to proving criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The bombshell report released by Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti on Tuesday afternoon could "prove the conspiracy between the [Trump] campaign and the Russians," according to former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman.
Ackerman made the remarks during an appearance on MSNBC's "The Beat," just after Avenatti released the report alleging that Trump's fixer Michael Cohen was reimbursed by a Putin-linked Russian oligarch for the hush money he paid to Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.
"Do you see any potential criminal liability?" asked host Ari Melber.
Ackerman noted that the information in Avenatti's report looked like it came straight from a bank record — and based on that information, "The crimes involved here are numerous."
"This could prove the conspiracy between the campaign and the Russians," he said, adding that the bank records could provide evidence of conspiracy at multiple points during the campaign, including involving the hacked emails and the use of social media to suppress Democratic voters.
In other words, according to Ackerman, Cohen's financial records could be the key that opens the vault and reveals the secrets that the Trump campaign has tried so hard to keep hidden.
The report released by Avenatti alleges that Cohen received approximately $500,000 in the months after the 2016 presidential election from Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, who was recently questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, and his cousin Andrew Intrater.
While the most immediate implication is that it appears Cohen may have been repaid for the hush money by a sanctioned Putin ally, the bank records "really open up all the different avenues that the special counsel might be pursuing in the Russia investigation," Ackerman noted.
As Trump's fixer, Cohen was supposed to be the keeper of secrets. But with his financial history on display for all to see, the deepest, darkest secrets in Trump's closet may be about to see daylight.