2016 primaries, Cohen sentencing memo, greed, licensing fees, Michael Cohen, Moscow Project, New York, primaries, Putin, Russia, Russian Government, SDNY, Special Counsel Investigation, Trump Moscow, Trump Organization, Trump Tower, White House
Michael Cohen’s “false statements obscured the fact that the Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government. If the project was completed, the [Trump Organization] could have received hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues. The fact that Cohen continued to work on the project and discuss it with [Trump] well into the campaign was material to the ongoing congressional and SCO [Special Counsel Office] investigations, particularly because it occurred at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the U.S. presidential election. Similarly, it was material that Cohen, during the campaign, had a substantive telephone call about the project with an assistant to the press secretary for the President of Russia…” (USA v. Michael Cohen, filed December 7, 2018, and signed Robert Mueller)
Obviously, the “Company”, mentioned in the filings, is the Trump organization, and Individual 1 is Donald J. Trump. We added the names in brakets for clarity.
Excerpts from (full text as screen shots follows):
“UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. MICHAEL COHEN,
Defendant. No. 18 Cr. 850 (WHP)
GOVERNMENT’S SENTENCING MEMORANDUM
“The defendant’s crime was serious. He withheld information material to the investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election being conducted by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (“SSCI”), the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (“HPSCI”), and the SCO. The defendant lied to Congress about a business project (the “Moscow Project”) that he worked on during the 2016 presidential campaign, while he served as Executive Vice President at a Manhattan-based real estate company (the “Company”) [Trump Organization] and as Special Counsel to the owner of the Company (“Individual 1”) [Donald J. Trump]. The defendant admitted he told these lies—which he made publicly and in submissions to Congress—in order to (1) minimize links between the Moscow Project and [Trump] Individual 1 and (2) give the false impression that the Moscow Project had ended before the Iowa caucus and the first presidential primaries, in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations being conducted by Congress and the SCO.
In recent months, however, the defendant has taken significant steps to mitigate his criminal conduct. He chose to accept responsibility for his false statements and admit to his conduct in open court. He also has gone to significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel’s investigation… The information he has provided has been credible and consistent with other evidence obtained in the SCO’s ongoing investigation…
By publicly presenting this false narrative, the defendant deliberately shifted the timeline of what had occurred in the hopes of limiting the investigations into possible Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election—an issue of heightened national interest.
The defendant’s false statements obscured the fact that the Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government. If the project was completed, the Company [Trump Organization] could have received hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues. The fact that Cohen continued to work on the project and discuss it with Individual 1 [Trump] well into the campaign was material to the ongoing congressional and SCO investigations, particularly because it occurred at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the U.S. presidential election. Similarly, it was material that Cohen, during the campaign, had a substantive telephone call about the project with an assistant to the press secretary for the President of Russia…
Cohen admitted that he had lied to Congress and to the SCO about the Moscow Project. He provided detailed information about the true circumstances of the Moscow Project, including its duration, the persons involved in the discussions, contacts with Russian government officials, and discussions during the first half of 2016 about the possibility of travel to Russia in connection with the Moscow Project. In addition to correcting the timeline and detailing the contacts he had during pursuit of the Moscow Project, Cohen explained financial aspects of the deal that would have made it highly lucrative for the Company and himself. The information provided by Cohen about the Moscow Project in these proffer sessions is consistent with and corroborated by other information obtained in the course of the SCO’s investigation.2
[Footnote] 2 The defendant, without prompting by the SCO, also corrected other false and misleading statements that he had made concerning his outreach to and contacts with Russian officials during the course of the campaign. For example, in a radio interview in September 2015, the defendant suggested that [Trump] Individual 1 meet with the President of Russia in New York City during his visit for the United Nations General Assembly. When asked previously about these events, the defendant claimed his public comments had been spontaneous and had not been discussed within the campaign or the Company. During his proffer sessions, the defendant admitted that this account was false and that he had in fact conferred with Individual 1 [Trump] about contacting the Russian government before reaching out to gauge Russia’s interest in such a meeting. The meeting ultimately did not take place…
The defendant’s assistance has been useful in four significant respects. First, the defendant provided information about his own contacts with Russian interests during the campaign and discussions with others in the course of making those contacts. For example, and as described above, the defendant provided a detailed account of his involvement and the involvement of others in the Moscow Project, and also corrected the record concerning his outreach to the Russian government during the week of the United Nations General Assembly. The defendant also provided information about attempts by other Russian nationals to reach the campaign. For example, in or around November 2015, Cohen received the contact information for, and spoke with, a Russian national who claimed to be a “trusted person” in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level.” The defendant recalled that this person repeatedly proposed a meeting between [Trump] Individual 1 and the President of Russia. The person told Cohen that such a meeting could have a “phenomenal” impact “not only in political but in a business dimension as well,” referring to the Moscow Project, because there is “no bigger warranty in any project than consent of [the President of Russia].” Cohen, however, did not follow up on this invitation.3
Second, Cohen provided the SCO with useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation that he obtained by virtue of his regular contact with Company executives during the campaign.
Third, Cohen provided relevant and useful information concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House during the 2017–2018 time period…
Footnote “3 The defendant explained that he did not pursue the proposed meeting, which did not take place, in part because he was working on the Moscow Project with a different individual who Cohen understood to have his own connections to the Russian government…”
Cohen sentencing memo Southern District of New York: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5453401-SDNY-Cohen-sentencing-memo.html
Trump tower under contruction photo released to public domain via wikipedia: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Image-Trump_Tower_Chicago_060517.jpg
Archived copy: https://archive.is/epLbh