The FBI discovered two unreported Russian contacts associated with the Trump Organization. Documents handed over to the White House by the Trump Organization itself, revealed these connections. Both of these unreported Russian connections involve Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Now both, Trump and Cohen are in trouble.
A few weeks prior to the Republican National Convention, Cohen exchanged emails with “business associate” Felix Sater. The content of the emails were about attending a certain Russian economic conference where President Putin would also be present. Cohen reportedly turned down the invitation.
The second instance dates back to late 2015. Cohen was invited to company’s event regarding a Moscow residential project. The company belonged to Russian billionaire and politician, Sergei Gordeev. Cohen said:
“I did not accept this invitation. I have never been to Russia.”
This was the second of two Moscow projects pitched to Trump during his presidential campaign. The first one was the one with the proposal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, soon after his presidential bid.
Alan Garter, the lawyer for the Trump Organization suggested that the business deals from Moscow are supposed to be understood “in context” and that these proposals are hardly “ever pursued”. He also said that:
“Like any other international real estate brand, it is not uncommon for third party developers to submit proposals for potential real estate projects all over the world.”
Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer, refused to comment.
Although Cohen declined both the proposals, emails indicating Sater had other offers for Cohen, surfaced. Sater had promised to get Putin to assist Trump’s victory in the presidential elections in exchange of the deals. Gordeev too was in touch with Cohen via emails.
A third player, Giorgi Rtskhiladze, an international financier, was also in touch with Cohen. According to a spokesperson of the financier, Cohen turned down Rtskhiladze citing involvement with another Russian developer. Gordeev’s spokesperson refused to comment.
The words in the emails discovered, and the silence of these associates indicate evident foul play and Russian interference in Trump’s presidential campaign. Special Counsel Robert Mueller now has enough leverage to see things through to the end.