- Lucas Jackson/Reuters
- Korea Aerospace paid $150,000 to Essential Consulting, a firm linked to President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen.
- The company said the payment was for consulting regarding US accounting standards.
- Korea Aerospace is attempting to secure a contract from the US Air Force to provide training aircraft.
Korea Aerospace Industries made payments to President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen at the same it was looking to secure a US government contract, according to new records.
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing the adult-film star Stormy Daniels, released a report Tuesday that detailed payments from corporations to Essential Consulting, a firm linked to Cohen. A payment from Korea Aerospace, which is backed by the South Korean government’s Export-Import bank, was among those in the report.
According to the documents, the aerospace and defense company paid $150,000 in November 2017 to Essential Consulting.
The company said Wednesday that the payment to the Cohen-linked firm was for “legal consulting concerning accounting standards on production costs” and that the money was sent at the end of the contract with the firm.
Korea Aerospace is attempting to procure its way into the lucrative US defense industry. The Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade – a South Korean think tank – said a joint bid from the company and Lockheed Martin was “well placed” to receive an Air Force contract worth up to $16.3 billion to provide aircraft for the Advanced Pilot Training project.
Lockheed denied having any knowledge of the connection.
“We had no knowledge of a business relationship between Korea Aerospace Industries and Mr. Cohen, and are not aware of any connection that it may have to the US Air Force Advanced Pilot Training competition,” the company said in a statement.
The payments were made to Cohen in November. The government was set to award the contract by the end of 2017 but in October, Air Force Under Secretary Matt Donovan told Defense News that the deadline would be pushed back to early 2018
Avenatti’s report also alleged that a $500,000 from Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg to a separate LLC shortly after the 2016 election helped pay alleged hush money to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Vekselberg has also been linked to the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.