Michael Cohen, the lawyer for Donald Trump’s real estate company, reached out to Vladimir Putin’s personal spokesman for help with a real estate deal during the presidential campaign last year, according to new emails provided to Congress on Monday.
The Washington Post reports that Cohen asked Dmitry Peskov for help building Trump Tower in Moscow.
“Over the past few months I have been working with a company based in Russia regarding the development of a Trump Tower — Moscow project in Moscow City,” Cohen wrote Peskov, The Post reports.
“As this project is too important, I am hereby requesting your assistance. I respectfully request someone, preferably you, contact me so that I might discuss the specifics as well as arranging meetings with the appropriate individuals. I thank you in advance for your assistance and look forward to hearing from you soon,” he continued.
Cohen had been communicating about the Moscow real estate deal with Felix Sater, a Russian immigrant who has brokered real estate deals for Trump Organization in the past.
Sater emailed Cohen on Nov. 3, 2015, promising to set up the Trump Tower deal. He also suggested that he could get Putin to help Trump win the presidency.
“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Sater wrote to Cohen in the emails, published by The New York Times. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”
“I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected,” Sater continued.
The Trump Tower deal never materialized, but Sater’s emails to Cohen and Cohen’s to Peskov raise questions about the extent of any ties between Trumpworld and the Russian government.
Three congressional committees and Special Counsel Robert Mueller are investigating Russian meddling in the presidential campaign. Investigators are looking into whether collusion took place or whether Russian operatives attempted to infiltrate the Trump campaign.
According to The Post, Cohen told Congressional investigators that he contacted Peskov on the suggestion of Sater. Cohen claimed that he reached out to Peskov because the Trump Tower deal would have required approval from the Russian government. After not receiving a response from Peskov, the real estate deal was tabled two weeks after the email, Cohen told Congress.
In a statement to The Post, Cohen claimed that the Trump Tower deal had nothing to do with Trump’s campaign.
“It should come as no surprise that, over four decades, the Trump Organization has received and reviewed countless real estate development opportunities, both domestic and international,” Cohen said. “The Trump Moscow proposal was simply one of many development opportunities that the Trump Organization considered and ultimately rejected.”
Sater recently gave an interview in which he seemed to indicate that he knew he would soon be involved in the Trump-Russia probe.
Earlier this month, New York magazine published an interview with Sater in which he hinted that he knew a bombshell Trump story was looming.
“In about the next 30 to 35 days I will be the most colorful character you have ever talked about. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it now, before it happens. And believe me, it ain’t anything as small as whether or not they’re gonna call me to the Senate committee,” Sater told New York Magazine.
When asked about his remark by The Daily Caller, Sater denied that he was talking about Trump-Russia matters.
“Not the investigation, in medical research. Where does everyone get this nonsense from,” he said in an email.