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- Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former longtime attorney, gave “very detailed updates” on the status of the proposed construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow to members of Trump’s family, according to investigators cited in a BuzzFeed News report.
- Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who now serves as a White House senior adviser, was reportedly expected to oversee the development of a spa at the proposed tower.
- Representatives for Ivanka reportedly downplayed her knowledge of the project and said she was only “minimally involved.”
- Previous denials from Donald Trump Jr. and a Trump Organization executive, were also scrutinized by investigators involved in the probe.
- Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office disputed some of BuzzFeed News’ revelations in a statement on Friday night.
Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former longtime attorney, told the special counsel he had extensively briefed Trump and members of his family on the status of a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow, according to a BuzzFeed News report published Thursday night.
Cohen, who pleaded guilty to lying about the Trump Tower Moscow deal in his previous testimony to lawmakers, reportedly admitted in his plea deal with the special counsel Robert Mueller that he gave the Trumps “very detailed updates” about the project, federal law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation said to BuzzFeed News.
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who now serves as a White House senior adviser, was reportedly expected to oversee the development of a spa at the proposed tower. Ivanka owns her own spa brand, “The Spa by IVANKA TRUMP,” which has locations in family projects like the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver.
Ivanka is also believed to have recommended an architect for the project and told Cohen to confer with a Russian athlete who had “synergy on a government level” to fast-track the multimillion the Trump Tower Moscow deal.
In a memo filed by Mueller in December, Cohen revealed to prosecutors that a “trusted person” in Russia had offered “political synergy” to members of the Trump campaign a year prior to the 2016 US presidential election.
Emails reviewed by BuzzFeed News indicated that Cohen, who had turned down the Russian athlete’s suggestions, angered Ivanka.
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Representatives for Ivanka reportedly downplayed her role in the project and said she was only “minimally involved.”
“Ms. Trump did not know about this proposal until after a non-binding letter of intent had been signed, never talked to anyone outside the Organization about the proposal, never visited the prospective project site and, even internally, was only minimally involved,” Peter Mirijanian, a spokesperson for Ivanka’s attorney, said to BuzzFeed News.
Previous denials from Donald Trump Jr. were also reportedly scrutinized by investigators involved in the probe. Investigators in the report claimed Cohen and Trump Jr. had several conversations about the project during the campaign.
Trump Jr. previously testified to Congress that he “wasn’t involved” in the project and was only “peripherally aware” of it. He also claimed he was unaware of Cohen’s dealings with the Kremlin, which, according to the investigators, resulted in a conversation with a government aide.
Trump Jr.’s statements were already under scrutiny by Democratic lawmakers, who alleged he had committed a felony by lying to the House Intelligence Committee during his testimony.
The bombshell report centers around Cohen’s allegations that Trump directed him to lie to Congress about the timeline of the negotiations around the project, “in order to obscure Trump’s involvement.” Cohen reportedly walked back his previous testimony that the negotiations ended in January 2016, when in fact they continued through June.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office disputed some of BuzzFeed News’ revelations in a statement on Friday night.
“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” spokesman Peter Carr said in a statement to INSIDER.