Hardly a day goes by without new revelations about US President Donald Trump. From the investigation into the Russian affair it is now apparent that Russian citizens had already contacted Trump’s environment in an early phase of the presidential election campaign – in the case described above about Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.
Cohen spoke to a Russian in November 2015 who offered to establish a „political“ cooperation with Russia at the „governmental level,“ special investigator Robert Mueller said in a document released on Friday. This Russian has also repeatedly proposed to Cohen a meeting between „Individual 1“ and Russian President Vladimir Putin. „Individual 1“ is the name of the special investigator for Trump.
In the process, this Russian has argued that such a meeting could have a „phenomenal“ effect not only on a political but also on a business level. He meant the „Moscow Project“, that is, Trump’s ultimate failure to build a high-rise with luxury apartments in the Russian capital.
„Moscow Project“ ran until mid-2016
However, Cohen did not respond to the Russian’s offer to hold a meeting between Trump and Putin. However, the „Moscow Project“ continued to pursue Cohen until June 2016, as he had recently confessed – until a time when Trump had prevailed in the Republican primary to the presidential candidate’s free-choice.
This is relevant insofar as Trump repeatedly asserted in the closing stages of the election campaign and also since his entry into the White House that he had no „business“ in Russia. Cohen had previously stated that the „Moscow Project“ had already been completed in January 2016, ie before the start of the primaries.
Mueller has been investigating the suspected Russian interference in favor of Trump in the 2016 election campaign and the contacts between the Trump team and Moscow since last May. His current document, which he filed with a federal court in New York, is an opinion on sentencing for Cohen next Wednesday. According to Mueller, Cohen supported the investigation „significantly“ by providing „important and truthful information“.
Cohen threatens long prison sentence
Cohen, 52, recently pleaded guilty to lied to Congress about the Moscow real estate project and his contacts with Moscow. However, the sentence does not only refer to these false statements, but also to other offenses in Cohen’s activities as a lawyer and businessman.
The New York-based Department of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office accuses him of tax fraud, misrepresentation to financial institutions, and violations of campaign finance laws. The allegations include, among other things, hush money payments to two alleged former sex partners Trumps, the porn actress Stormy Daniels and the former „Playboy“ model Karen McDougal, during the election campaign.
New York federal attorney Robert Khuzami called on Friday for a „clear“ prison sentence for Cohen, who out of „personal greed“ for years violated a number of laws and used his power and influence for „fraudulent purposes“. He recommended imprisonment between 51 and 63 months.
Cohen has been closely involved with Trump for business and personal affairs for more than a decade and a half. In the meantime, they are enemies. Trump demanded a jail sentence for his former lawyer a few days ago.
„This washes the president completely clean“
The US president saw the release on Friday as favorable for himself. „This washes the president perfectly clean,“ he wrote on the short message service Twitter. His spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the documents in the Cohen case contained nothing of value that was not already known. „Mr. Cohen lied repeatedly,“ she said. The prosecution had pointed out that Cohen was „no hero“.