Lawyer says proposal for Trump Tower in Russian Federation was abandoned

Jerome Frank
August 31, 2017

Mariotti said he wasn't surprised that the Trump Organization had a potential investment in Russian Federation, and that whether or not special counsel Robert Mueller - who is overseeing the FBI's probe into Russia's election interference - finds the information relevant will depend on whether Trump knew anything about the deal himself.

Cohen also said he sent an e-mail to Peskov asking for help with the deal based on the advice of a Russian-born business associate of Trump, Felix Sater, who claimed to have deep connections with the Kremlin, media reported.

The discussions about the potential development occurred in the fall of 2015, months after Trump had declared his candidacy, and ended early a year ago when Cohen determined that the project was not feasible, according to Cohen's statement.

The attorney told the broadcaster he had discussed the tower proposal with Trump on three occasions and also admitted sending Kremlin spokesman Dimity Peskov "an email that went unanswered that was exclusively regarding a real estate deal and nothing more". "I think it's a good thing if we have great relationships, or at least good relationships, with Russia", Trump said.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that Cohen tried to contact Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman in January 2016 for help with the project.

But Sater, a Manhattan real estate developer who kept an office in Trump Tower, exchanged emails with Cohen touting the proposed project and his ties to Putin, which he said could help get Trump elected. Neither responded immediately to a request for comment.

Fox News obtained the email sent on January 14, 2016 by Michael Cohen, the company's executive vice president and Trump's special counsel at the time. "I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process".

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He also said in another email about a possible ribbon-cutting: "I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected". Peskov was asked about the matter during a press conference in Moscow and stated that although he saw the request, he didn't reply as it was irrelevant to his office's work.

"The Trump Moscow proposal was simply one of many development opportunities that the Trump Organization considered and ultimately rejected", Cohen said in a written statement.

While the Kremlin seeks to quickly answer queries related to the activities of the Russian president, Peskov said, those related to business are not normally responded to or passed up to Putin.

In Sater's published emails, he repeatedly tries to convince Cohen he has extensive contacts in Russian Federation and this could help Trump's election chances.

"No, this was not the case", Peskov told state news agency Itar-Tass tersely.

Sater served time in jail after stabbing a man in the face with the stem of a margarita glass during a 1991 bar fight; in 1998, he pleaded guilty to his role in a Mafia-orchestrated stock fraud scheme.

The Post report cited people familiar with the proposal and records viewed by Trump Organization lawyers. Federal prosecutors have opposed disclosing such information, arguing doing so could jeopardize investigations and put lives at risk. The late night show host reminded viewers that Trump has thus far denied any knowledge of Mr. Sater or any of his machinations. "I did not feel that it was necessary to routinely apprise others within the Trump Organization of communications that Mr. Sater made only to me". But Cohen said he rebuffed the overtures. He was appointed head of the presidential press service during Putin's first term in 2000, and has served as a spokesman for Putin in various roles since, moving with Putin into the government during his four years as prime minister.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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