Ivanka Trump’s lawyers demanded Michael Cohen lie about her knowledge of Moscow project: ‘She was not involved’

Emails reveal first daughter's attorney requested president's former fixer make misleading statements on her involvement in Russia deal

Chris Riotta
New York
Thursday 28 March 2019 22:57 GMT
Ivanka Trump says she has 'zero concern' over Mueller investigation

Ivanka Trump’s attorney requested Michael Cohen read off a list of false statements about her involvement in a project her father’s private business was considering in Russia during the 2016 presidential election as he spoke to legislators probing the deal, according to an explosive new report.

Emails between Cohen and his lawyer Stephen Ryan discuss a series of points Ms Trump’s lawyers wanted the president’s former attorney and fixer to make ahead of his public testimony to Congress, Vanity Fair reported on Thursday.

Those included statements that Ms Trump “was not in any meetings or calls with people putting it together”, and that she had grown “sceptical” of Cohen during the time the deal was being discussed between he and Felix Sater, who has been accused of laundering millions of dollars through real estate projects linked to the president.

“Abbe asks for us to affirmatively address in our statement on the 25th,” Cohen’s lawyer begins in the email chain, referring to Ms Trump’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell. “[Ivanka] was not involved in the backs and forths with FS [Felix Sater] and MC [Michael Cohen].”

“She did not know FS was involved in the possible project in that country,” Mr Ryan continued, listing off the demands presented by Mr Lowell. “And maybe that, by then, MC knew she was at least sceptical about him.”

Cohen’s lawyer reportedly responded to Ms Trump’s attorney saying that “it may be perceived as awkward to go as specific as your requests”.

Ms Trump has sought to distance herself from the Trump Tower project in Moscow, claiming in an interview this year she knew “literally almost nothing” about the ongoing negotiations during the 2016 election.

That goes against Cohen’s explosive second testimony to Congress in which he confessed he lied to lawmakers and admit he had briefed members of the Trump family — including Ms Trump — “approximately 10” times on the deal.

Ms Trump would have been provided sprawling oversight of the project if it had gone into effect, including “all interior design elements of the spa or fitness facilities” and a self-titled spa inside of the tower.

Ms Trump was not included in a list of 81 contacts and entities close to the president who lawmakers demanded additional documents and information from amid their newly-launched investigations into Mr Trump’s financial dealings and connections to Russia.

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Meanwhile, it remains unclear what exact lies were the cause of Cohen’s indictment, though it does not seem the points listed in the emails in question are the cause of his charges.

Rather, it’s likely the charges stemmed from his lies about the timeline of conversations surrounding the Moscow project: whereas he initially claimed talks ended in February of 2016. The discussions have been found to have carried out into June, however.

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