Michael Cohen tossed another bomb at Donald Trump late Friday night by publicly disclosing that he told his former boss, who was then a presidential candidate, about a phone call he made to Moscow in 2016. Cohen said he called the Kremlin to request help from the Russian government in building a Trump Tower in Russia’s capital city.
Not only that, but Cohen also maintains that he got guidance from Trump’s lawyers and his White House staff in 2017 while he drafted his false statement to Congress seeking to cover up the truth about the Moscow project and the fact that Donald Trump was heavily involved in the project.
Both of these new, explosive accusations were made by Cohen’s attorneys late Friday night as part of the case being prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. They were part of a “sentencing memo” in which Cohen asked for a no-jail sentence in exchange for his cooperation with Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Cohen’s new filings with the court completely contradict the statements of President Trump who said he had little knowledge and no involvement in the Moscow project.
Last year Cohen told both the House and Senate intelligence committees that he briefed Donald Trump just three times about the plan to build a 100-story skyscraper in Russia’s capital. He also said told the committees that his requests to the Kremlin went unanswered.
But the Special Counsel’s office has asserted that Cohen briefed Trump many times about the huge Moscow real estate project. They also said that Cohen had a 20-minute phone call with a Kremlin official in which Cohen asked the Russian government for help securing financing and land for Trump’s tower in January 2016.
Cohen’s lawyers wrote in the statement Friday that Trump was fully briefed by Cohen about the request for help from the Kremlin while Trump was running for president.
In addition to being Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Cohen was also an executive of the Trump Organization at the time.
News about the Trump Tower Moscow proposal came out in 2017 and subsequently Cohen was called to testify to Congress about his role in it. He was also questioned about other Russia-related matters that involved the Trump campaign and presidency.
On Thursday Cohen admitted to a federal judge that he lied to Congress about the extensive nature of his and Donald Trump’s involvement in the Trump Tower Moscow project.
Cohen falsely told the congressional committees that the Moscow project died in January 2016, but in fact it was still alive and he and Trump were working on it through June of 2016.
Cohen’s lawyers said in the new filing that Cohen’s false testimony was prepared while Cohen “remained in close and regular contact with White House-based staff and legal counsel” to Trump. They said Cohen “specifically knew” that Trump and his spokespersons sought to portray the Moscow project as “effectively terminated” before the Iowa caucuses in February of 2016.
“At the time, Michael justified his false summary of the matter on the ground that the Moscow project ultimately did not go forward,” the lawyers wrote.
On Thursday, Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress about the Moscow project; he is expected to be sentenced next week. He will also learn how much time he will serve behind bars for charges of financial and election fraud for his role in paying off two alleged Trump mistresses, which he pleaded guilty to in August.
The new accusations concerning President Trump were made by Cohen’s lawyers in a sentencing memorandum that was delivered to a federal judge in Manhattan on Friday night.
Donald Trump has been downplaying his knowledge of the Moscow Trump Tower project, but Michael Cohen has now filed a court document saying he knew everything and was intimately involved in the project every step of the way. And Cohen said that his lies to Congress were in effect drafted with the knowledge and assistance of Donald Trump and his lawyers.
Trump keeps trying to run away from this scandal, but the faster he tries to run, the more it catches up with him.
It is only a matter of time now until the scandal completely envelops him. The presidency of Donald Trump will soon be over.