In 2016, Trump Planned to Give Putin a $50 Million Penthouse in Trump Tower Moscow for FreePhoto by Chris McGrath/Getty Politics Features Russia Investigation
Things are getting real, folks. This week, Paul Manafort had his plea deal nullified because Robert Mueller claims that he lied to him. Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to congress about Trump’s business deals, and from reporting, we have learned that Manafort shared information with Trump (meaning that some of Trump’s own legal communications could potentially be accessed by Mueller), and this bombshell from BuzzFeed News’ ace reporting team of Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold (who reported in May much of what Cohen admitted to in court yesterday). Per BuzzFeed News:
President Donald Trump’s company planned to give a $50 million penthouse at Trump Tower Moscow to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the company negotiated the luxury real estate development during the 2016 campaign, according to four people, one of them the originator of the plan.
Two US law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, discussed the idea with a representative of Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary.
The Trump Tower Moscow plan is at the heart of a new plea agreement by Cohen, who led the negotiations to bring a gleaming, 100-story building to the Russian capital. Cohen acknowledged in court that he had lied to Congress about the plan in order to protect Trump and his presidential campaign.
Cormier and Leopold also obtained texts between Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, a man involved in the Ukraine “peace deal” that Mueller is probing. Per Felix Sater to Michael Cohen:
Peskov would like to invite you as his guest to the St. Petersburg Forum which is Russia’s Davos it’s June 16-19. He wants to meet there with you and possibly introduce you to either Putin or [Prime Minister Dmitry] Medvedev, as they are not sure if 1 or both will be there.
This is perfect. The entire business class of Russia will be there as well.
Remember this tweet?
Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Yeah, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that’s not the case. Buckle up everyone, we are entering uncharted legal territory with a president who has been up at 2 am this week, retweeting images of his Deputy Attorney General in prison, and subsequently defending the sentiment that Rod Rosenstein belongs in prison because “he should have never picked a special counsel.”
I can’t imagine why he feels this strongly.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.