p. 134 – 139

According to [the president’s lawyer, Michael] Cohen, in approximately September 2015 he obtained internal approval from Trump to negotiate on behalf of the Trump Organization to have a Russian corporation build a tower in Moscow that licensed the Trump name and brand. Cohen thereafter had numerous brief conversations with Trump about the project. Cohen recalled that Trump wanted to be updated on any developments with Trump Tower Moscow and on several occasions brought the project up with Cohen to ask what was happening on it. Cohen also discussed the project on multiple occasions with Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump.”

In the fall of 2015, Trump signed a Letter of Intent for the project that specified highly lucrative terms for the Trump Organization. In December 2015, Felix Sater, who was handling negotiations between Cohen and the Russian corporation, asked Cohen for a copy of his and Trump’s passports to facilitate travel to Russia to meet with government officials and possible financing partners. Cohen recalled discussing the trip with Trump and requesting a copy of Trump’s passport from Trump’s personal secretary, Rhona Graff.”

“After January 2016, Cohen continued to have conversations with Sater about Trump Tower Moscow and continued to keep candidate Trump updated about those discussions and the status of the project. Cohen recalled that he and Trump wanted Trump Tower Moscow to succeed and that Trump never discouraged him from working on the project because of the campaign. In March or April 2016, Trump asked Cohen if anything was happening in Russia. Cohen also recalled briefing Donald Trump Jr. in the spring-a conversation that Cohen said was not ‘idle chit chat’ because Trump Tower Moscow was potentially a $1 billion deal.”

During the summer of 2016, Cohen recalled that candidate Trump publicly claimed that he had nothing to do with Russia and then shortly afterwards privately checked with Cohen about the status of the Trump Tower Moscow project, which Cohen found ‘interesting.’ …that summer, Cohen recalled having a brief conversation with Trump in which Cohen said the Trump Tower Moscow project was going nowhere because the Russian development company had not secured a piece of property for the project. Trump said that was ‘too bad,’ and Cohen did not recall talking with Trump about the project after that. Cohen said that at no time during the campaign did Trump tell him not to pursue the project or that the project should be abandoned.”

“At the time of Trump’s inaugeration in January, 2017, Cohen understood he had to abide by ‘party lines'(something that he had discussed to Trump) and lie that the Trump Moscow deal came to in end on January 2016. Cohen thought it was important to say the deal was done in January 2016, rather than acknowledge that talks continued in May and June 2016 because it limited the period when candidate Trump could be alleged to have a relationship with Russia to an early point in the campaign, before Trump had become the party’s presumptive nominee.”

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