Vanity Fair’s Emily Jane Fox has reported extensively on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, which finally concluded last week, as well as other investigations involving President Donald Trump and his family—including those from federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York. In a March 27 post-Mueller report article for Vanity Fair, Fox examines a 2017 e-mail exchange pertaining to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and the Trump Tower Moscow deal that fell through in 2016.
When he testified before Congress on February 27, Cohen said that in 2017, he had lied to Congress about plans for a Trump Tower Moscow. Cohen, Fox notes, previously told Congress that his negotiations for that project ended in February 2016, but now, he says the negotiations continued into June 2016. And Cohen has alleged that when he lied to Congress in 2017, President Trump encouraged him to do so. Cohen has also alleged that attorneys Jay Sekulow and Abbe Lowell “edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower negotiations before I gave it”—an allegation Sekulow has said is “completely false.”
But according to Fox, Cohen “had communications detailing these alleged edits.” Fox reports in her article that she has reviewed “an e-mail exchange between Cohen and his then-attorney, Stephen Ryan, outlining changes that Ryan said Lowell had asked them to make in order to distance Ivanka from the Moscow deal. Attached to the e-mail were drafts he said were Lowell’s suggested edits. The extent of Lowell’s involvement has not been previously reported.”
Fox notes that Ivanka Trump has said that during her father’s 2016 campaign, she knew “literally almost nothing” about the Trump Tower Moscow project. But Fox adds that Cohen, during his February 27 testimony before Congress, said he briefed the Trump family (including Ivanka Trump) about that project on “approximately ten” different occasions.
In November 2015, Fox reports, Ivanka Trump “forwarded Cohen an e-mail from a Russian weightlifter who said he could help arrange a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss real-estate opportunities in Russia.”
Although Mueller’s probe has ended, Trump family-related investigations at the federal and state levels have not—and Fox notes that the 2017 “e-mail between Cohen and his attorney about his testimony sheds light on the potential new avenues for investigators to probe as the country settles into a post-Mueller universe.”
“Since his appearance on Capitol Hill,” Fox writes, “Cohen has continued to cooperate with Congress and investigators in the Southern District of New York and the New York Attorney General’s office, who are pursuing a number of investigations that focus on Trump, his family, and their business—including the hush-money payments to women alleging affairs with Trump, matters related to the presidential inauguration, whether the Trump Organization inflated insurance claims in the past, and if the president offered Cohen a pardon.”