Trump lawyer: Moscow project wasn’t feasible
ended early last year when Cohen determined that the project was not feasible, according to a copy of Cohen’s statement obtained by The Associated Press. Cohen also disclosed that Trump was personally aware of the deal, signing a letter of intent and discussing it with Cohen on two other occasions.
The potential deal shows that the Trump Organization was actively considering doing business in Russia during the presidential election, providing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators considerable fodder for turning their investigation into Russian collusion toward Trump’s personal and business finances. Trump has said Mueller would be crossing a red line by delving into his finances.
In a statement, the Trump Organization emphasized that the licensing deal “was not significantly advanced,” noting that no site or financing materialized during the negotiations. The company also said it was never paid any fees as part of the deal, and the signed letter of intent was nonbinding.
“To be clear, the Trump Organization has never had any real estate holdings or interests in Russia,” the company said.
The negotiations of the possible Trump Tower Moscow deal were first reported Sunday night by The Washington Post. On Monday, The New York Times reported on an email in which Sater appeared to boast that the real estate deal could help Trump get elected. Sater did not respond to a request for comment from the AP on Monday.
“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Sater wrote in an email, according to the Times. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”
He also said in another email about a possible ribbon-cutting: “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected.”
Sater was a former real estate executive at Bayrock Group LLC, a development company that leased space in Trump Tower and also partnered with him on various deals.