By Andrew O’Reilly-Fox News
A sentencing memo written by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s legal team is sparking interest with hints about what President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen may have told prosecutors investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Mueller’s memo makes clear that Cohen cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation, saying he provided “useful information,” though it doesn’t detail what he told them.
“Cohen provided the [special counsel’s office] 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,” Mueller wrote in his memo.
Cohen has admitted lying to Congress about how long he worked on the Trump Tower Moscow project and repeating the falsehoods to the media. But Mueller’s team doesn’t just consider this self-protection. It was a “deliberate effort” to publicly present a “false narrative” in the hopes of limiting the scope of the various Russia investigations, Mueller’s team wrote in the memo.
While the memo does not go into great details, it does provide new information about one of the earliest known contacts between Russia and a Trump campaign associate. In fall 2015, Cohen was months into his work on a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow when an unidentified Russian national proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. This person, prosecutors say, claimed to be a “trusted person” in Russia who could offer the Trump campaign “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level.”
This person sought to connect the Trump business project with the campaign, saying the meeting could have a “phenomenal” impact on the proposed tower in Moscow. There is “no bigger warranty in any project than the consent of” Putin, the person told Cohen.
Prosecutors say Cohen didn’t follow up and that the meeting never occurred.
Trump and his lawyers have played down the Trump Tower Moscow proposal. The president has said he never put any money into it and ultimately decided not to do it. But Mueller’s team reveals that if he did, they believe they know the windfall.
According to Cohen’s filing, the deal could have yielded “hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues.”
The memo also hints that Cohen provided “useful and relevant information” about his contacts within the White House during the first year of President Trump’s term in office and that he detailed who he prepared and circulated his responses to congressional inquiries.
Since his guilty plea, Trump has attacked Cohen as a liar who is telling “stories” to get a reduced prison sentence. But prosecutors revealed Friday that they’re not just taking Cohen’s word for it.
The information Cohen told prosecutors in seven separate interviews “has been credible and consistent with other evidence obtained” in Mueller’s investigation, Mueller notes in the sentencing recommendation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.