President Trump's attorney Michael Cohen reached out to Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin's personal spokesman, during the presidential campaign to ask for help moving forward a stalled Trump Tower project in Moscow, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing documents submitted to Congress. In the January 2016 email, Cohen explicitly requested Peskov's "assistance," as communications between the Trump team and the Russia-based company had at that point "stalled." "I respectfully request someone, preferably you, contact me so that I might discuss the specifics as well as arranging meetings with the appropriate individuals," Cohen, who also serves as the Trump Organization's executive vice president, wrote to Peskov.
The Post noted that Cohen's email "marks the most direct interaction yet documented of a top Trump aide and a similarly senior member of Putin's government." Cohen said in a statement to congressional investigators that he reached out to Peskov at the recommendation of Felix Sater, the Russian-American businessman working on the Moscow project. Cohen claims he does not remember hearing back from Peskov, and the project was ultimately "abandoned" just two weeks after the email was sent, the Post reported.
Negotiations for the Trump Tower project in Moscow started back in September 2015, just months after Trump announced his presidential bid in June 2015. The New York Times also revealed Monday that during the presidential campaign, Sater pushed the Moscow project, telling Cohen that it would boost Trump's prospects of winning the presidency. "Our boy can become president of the U.S.A. and we can engineer it," Sater wrote to Cohen. "I will get all of Putin's team to buy in on this."
Read more at The Washington Post.