Transcript for Firm with Russian ties allegedly made payments to Trump's attorney
First to that new allegation that president trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen received half a million dollars in payments from a firm reportedly linked to a Russian billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin made by stormy Daniels' attorney Michael avenatti. He will join us in a moment. First to our chief just attorneys correspondent Pierre Thomas with the latest. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning. That's right. Stormy Daniels' attorney is saying follow the money and claiming that Michael Cohen received hundreds of thousands of dollars from a company tied to a Russian billionaire with links to Putin. It's a stormy day. Reporter: This morning attorney Michael avenatti waging a public campaign against Donald Trump alleging a connection between an ally of Vladimir Putin and Michael Cohen, president trump's former personal attorney. Avenatti releasing a document that his firm prepared claiming that a company called Columbus nova transferred $500,000 in installments to a bank account maintained by Cohen. The American owned firm has ties to a company controlled by Russian oligarch Viktor vekselberg. Mr. Vekselberg has had long, very large investments in Russia, in the energy sector and is there and close so beholding to the government. Reporter: Columbus nova made a series of eight payments to a holding company established by Cohen known as essential consuls according to avenatti. He used that for a hush agreement with storm before the 016 election. "The New York Times" reported earlier that special counsel Robert Mueller's team has interviewed vekselberg. But an attorney with Columbus nova said last night that the company's ownership is entirely American and that vekselberg had nothing to do with business with Cohen. According to avenatti's memo, unconfirmed by ABC news, essential consultants received a total of $4.4 million including wire transfers from a number of major corporations doing business inside the united States. Among them, AT&T which wired Cohen payments totaling $200,000. Last night AT&T which as a major merger with Time Warner pending is being challenged by the justice department did not dispute the transaction saying they were one of several firms we engaged in 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration. They did no legal or lobbying work for us and the contract ended in December 2017. Cohen whose home and offices have been raided by the FBI has not been charged with any crime. Both he and his attorney did not respond for comment on avenatti's claims. Throughout Mueller's investigation they have maintained that Cohen has done nothing improper. It's unclear exactly how avenatti got accesr to those banking records but he's maintaining that they are authentic and deserving of investigation by prosecutors.
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