President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen reportedly asked a technology company for assistance in manipulating online polls in favor of Trump, including one in conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report.
Cohen asked RedFinch Solutions in 2014 to write a computer script that would repeatedly vote for or cast Trump in a positive light ahead of the 2016 presidential election, a Thursday report in The Wall Street Journal says.
Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion, bank fraud, illegal campaign contributions and lying to Congress in December, sought the assistance of John Gauger, owner of RedFinch and chief information officer at Liberty University, in February 2015 to rig the results of a Drudge Report poll of potential Republican candidates.
Gauger told the WSJ that Trump ranked fifth of all candidates, with roughly 24,000 votes, or 5% of the total votes. Some reports suggest Gauger was unsuccessful in his attempts to rig the polls.
Gauger alleges Cohen did this for other online polls as well, dating back to a 2014 CNBC online poll identifying the best businessmen in the country and also hired him to create overall positive internet search results and content for him, his friends and other businesses.
Cohen paid Gauger $50,000 for a project involving a New Jersey assisted-living company, but claims Cohen owes him more for the other work, including a Twitter account Cohen asked for called @WomenForTrump.
The lawyer responded to The WSJ’s report Thursday, tweeting that what he did “was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of” Trump.
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) January 17, 2019
Cohen is set to publicly testify Feb. 7. His lawyer, Lanny Davis, hopes the testimony will lead to a reduced prison sentence.
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