It is well-known that since May, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, and there is increasing information that there was in fact, Russian collusion before the election and during the Trump administration’s transition into office. Now, Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, who is already clothed in scandal, has been found to have Russian connections.
According to The New York Times:
‘Eleven days before the presidential inauguration last year, a billionaire Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet with Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, according to video footage and another person who attended the meeting.’
It was revealed that during that meeting on the 26th floor, Cohen met with Russian oligarch Vekselberg to discuss strengthening Russia’s relations with the United States. According to American businessman, Andrew Intrater, the men also arranged to see one another at the inauguration which marks their second of three meetings. The Times reported:
‘Days after the inauguration, Mr. Intrater’s private equity firm, Columbus Nova, awarded Mr. Cohen a $1 million consulting contract, a deal that has drawn the attention of federal authorities investigating Mr. Cohen, according to people briefed on the inquiry.’
Mr. Intrater said:
‘Obviously, if I’d known in January 2017 that I was about to hire this high-profile guy who’d wind up in this big mess, I wouldn’t have introduced him to my biggest client, and wouldn’t have hired him at all.’
The recent disclosure of this meeting sheds new light on Mr. Trump’s inner-circle and campaign, and his ties to the Russian Kremlin.
According to The Times:
‘The meeting came after Mr. Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., met at Trump Tower during the campaign with a Kremlin-linked lawyer claiming to have damaging information on his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and a former campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, met with Russian intermediaries in Europe. During the campaign, Mr. Cohen was pursuing a deal to build a Trump high-rise in Moscow, which did not come to fruition.’
Certainly, the Trump Tower meeting is enough in itself to insist collusion really happened. According to New York Magazine:
‘Then of course there is the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. I would argue that the publicly available information pertaining to that episode amounts to proof of Trump campaign collusion with Russia. You have a Russian agent dangling Russian assistance in the election (“part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump”), and the offer of help being accepted (“if it’s what you say I love it”). It doesn’t even matter to what degree or even whether the offer was actually followed through. If you take a meeting to plan a crime, and the crime later happens and you benefit, you are an accessory to the crime whether or not you participated after the meeting.’
The plot continues to thicken and Cohen is headed for some serious explaining. It seems it would be difficult for him to wiggle out of this one.
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