MANHATTAN, NEW YORK – The City of Cleveland is now clearly known as the site where candidate Donald Trump’s ex-attorney, Michael Cohen, told Special Counsel Robert Mueller and federal investigators that “colluding” players met in 2016 to discuss a way to give a $50 million bribe to Russian President Vladmir Putin.
Lifting sanctions against the Russian government was also on the table for a Cleveland discussion. So was a way to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential nomination within the Democratic Party.
The convenience of a partnership with the Cleveland law firm of Squire, Patton & Boggs (formerly Squire, Sanders & Dempsey) John Adams High School graduate Frederick R. Nance leads as “global managing partner,” with an office in Moscow, gave Cohen access to one of Putin’s firm that’s been doing “unregistered” business with the Russian government for well over three decades.
Nance oversees lawyers and employees in 47 offices spread out over 20 nations. The firm entered a strategic partneship with Cohen in April 2017 that came with a $500,000 kick off fee and Manhattan office space. Nance’s Moscow office is located at 2, bld. 1 Romanov pereulok 125009 Moscow Russian Federation. The telephone number is T +7 495 258 5250.
The firm’s officials in distancing themselves from Cohen after FBI agents raided their Manhattan office said they provied him with space and a private server but that he did no work for which he was paid.
Cohen introduced Nance’s firm to five clients. The Wall Street Journal exposed U.S. Immigration Fund, LLC as one of the five. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is tied to the company and it’s been used to sell real estate to foreigners with $500,000 who want an EB-5 U.S. residency visa. Nance’s firm picked up $370,000 to lobby their law partner’s client’s administration.
The information in the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York’s criminal complaint against Cohen for lying to Congress identifies two individuals by #1 and #2 who are Trump and his Russian real estate partner, Felix Sater. Putin is identified as “Russian individual #1.”
Cohen was brokering Trump’s plan to bribe Putin with a $50 million penthouse in a 100-story Moscow Trump Tower he wanted to build in Russia’s capitol city. The presidential candidate envisioned his Moscow property as housing Russia’s oligarchs and Putin was his carrot to attract them.
What Cohen’s plea agreement proves is that Trump, Sater, Cohen and team were working on the 100-story real estate deal directly with Putin and his administration, even if through intermediaries, during the 2016 presidential campaign. Cleveland was where all the players, according to texts between Cohen and Sater, could talk about his trip to finalize the details.
Trump hasn’t tweeted that Cohen is lying because he now knows his former attorney recorded their conversations; and that they’ve been shared with Mueller.
Cohen described the project as nothing more than a real estate deal where he was doing his job and told three lies to Congress.
He lied that the Moscow Project ended in January 2016 and was not discussed extensively with others in the Company.
He lied that he never agreed to travel to Russia in connection with the Moscow Project and “never considered” asking Individual 1 (Trump) to travel for the project.
He lied that he did not recall any Russian government response or contact about the Moscow Project.
Trump was in on the discussions, according to Cohen’s story to Mueller and his investigators. He knew about Sater’s proposal of the $50 million proposed housing gift to Putin in the Moscow Trump Tower. He knew about the calls Cohen made to the Kremlin.
When questioned by reporters after Cohen’s conviction, Trump’s words of truth underscored how the previous lies he told fit his “say anything to win” and “all about me” outlook that’s caused him to be one of the most distrusted presidents in U.S. history.
“There was a good chance that I wouldn’t have won … in which case I would have gotten back into the business, and why should I lose lots of opportunities?” Trump said.