Michael Avenatti’s Mother’s Day bombshell, explained

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Michael Avenatti’s Mother’s Day bombshell, explained


On Mother’s Day, Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stormy Daniels, posted a cryptic tweet with several images on Trump Tower on December 12, 2016. The photos featured Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who Avenatti is suing on Daniels’ behalf, Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser and several men who are more difficult to identify.

About six hours later, Avenatti revealed the identity of one of the other men in the picture. According to Avenatti, it’s Ahmed al-Rumaihi, a former Qatari diplomatic who now heads up the nation’s massive investment fund.

It has not been conclusively proven that the bald man in the elevator is Al-Rumaihi, but it looks like him.

This is where the story gets very weird.

Al-Rumaihi was one of several foreign investors in the BIG3 basketball league, a new 3-on-3 professional league started by rapper Ice Cube and his business partner Jeff Kwatinetz. The relationship between Al-Rumaihi, Ice Cube and Kwatinetz did not go well.

Ice Cube and Kwatinetz claim that Al-Rumaihi and the other foreign investors did not pay them millions they were promised. In April, they sued Al-Rumaihi and others for $1.2 billion in damages.

In a declaration filed this month in related litigation, Kwatinetz claims Al-Rumaihi and others were using their investment in the league to try to gain influence over Steve Bannon, a former senior adviser to Trump who is reportedly close to Kwatinetz. According to Kwatinetz this was part of a larger effort by Al-Rumaihi to act as an agent of Qatari intelligence.

Kwatinetz claims that Al-Rumaihi invited him on a hike in January 2018 and said that he had a message to convey from the government of Qatari government to Steve Bannon. Al-Rumaihi said that the Qatari government would underwrite all of Bannon’s political activity in return for his support on issues of importance to the country. Bannon had recently lost support from his main financial backer, Rebekah Mercer.

Kwatinetz says he told Al-Rumaihi such an offer was inappropriate. Al-Rumaihi allegedly responded by calling Kwatinetz naive and bragging that former Trump adviser Michael Flynn had no problem taking his money.

Declaration of Jeff Kwatinetz, Filed May 7, 2018

The presence of Al-Rumaihi in Trump Tower on December 12, 2016 lends more credence to Kwatinetz claim. Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI and is currently cooperating with Robert Mueller’s investigation. By including Michael Cohen in the photos, Avenatti is also suggesting he might be involved.

Last week, Avenatti disclosed that, shortly after the election, Michael Cohen had been paid millions by several large corporate entities, including $500,000 from a company with ties to a Russian oligarch. The bulk of Avenatti’s report was quickly confirmed by news organizations and the company’s themselves.






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