IV.A.1 Trump Tower Moscow Project (Mueller Report)
Welcome to the Mullahs report audio section four a subsection one trump tower Moscow project the trump organization has pursued and completed projects outside the United States as part of it's real estate portfolio. Some projects have involved the acquisition and ownership through subsidiary corporate structures of property in other cases. The trump organization has executed licensing deals with real estate developers and management companies often local go to the country where the project was located between at least twenty thirteen and twenty sixteen the trump organization explored a similar licensing deal in Russia involving the construction of a trump branded property in Moscow. The project commonly referred to as a trump tower Moscow or trump Moscow project project anticipated a combination of Commercial Hotel and residential properties all within the same building between twenty thirteen June twenty sixteen several employees of the trump organization including then president of the organization Donald J trump pursued a Moscow deal deal with several Russian counterparties from the fall of two thousand fifteen until the middle of Twenty Sixteen Michael Cohen spearheaded the trump organizations pursuit of trump tower Moscow project including by reporting on the project status to candidate trump and other executives in the trump organization Ryan a trump tower Moscow venture with the Caucus Group twenty thirteen to twenty fourteen the trump organization and the caucus group a Russian real estate conglomerate owned and controlled by Aris Agalarov began discussing Russia based real estate project shortly after the conclusion of the twenty thirteen Miss Universe pageant and Moscow Donald J trump junior served as the primary negotiator on behalf of the trump organization and then Agalarov son of Ariza Gala Rav and Irakli Ike cavalcades represented the caucus group during negotiations with the original assistance of Robert Goldstone in December twenty thirteen catalogs and trump junior negotiated and signed preliminary terms of an agreement for the trump tower Moscow project on December twenty third twenty thirteen after discussions with Donald J trump the trump organization agreed to accept an arrangement whereby the organization received a flat three and a half percent commission on all sales with no licensing fees or incentives the party's negotiated a letter of intent during January in February two thousand fourteen from January twenty fourteen through November twenty fourteen the trump organization and caucus group discussed development plans for the Moscow project sometime before January twenty four two thousand fourteen the Caracas groups sent the trump organization a proposal title for eight hundred unit one hundred ninety four meter building to be constructed at an gala route owned site and Moscow called crooked city which had also been the site of the Miss Universe pageant in February twenty fourteen Ivanka trump met with 'em and Agalarov and toured the crooked raucous city site during a visit to Moscow for March two thousand fourteen through July twenty fourteen the group's discussed design standards and other architectural elements for example in July twenty fourteen members of the trump organization sent kraken group counterparties questions about the demographics affects the prospective buyers in the crooked city area the development of neighbouring parcells crooked city and concepts for redesigning portions of the building in August twenty fourteen the trump organization requested specifications for competing Marriott branded tower being built in Caracas City the beginning in September two thousand fourteen the trump organization stopped responding in a timely fashion to correspondence proposals from the caucus group communications between the two groups continued through November twenty fourteen with decrease in frequency what appears to be the last communication. Dan Is dated November twenty four twenty fourteen the project appears not to have developed past the planning stage and no construction occurred be communications with ICY Expert Investment Company and George Ritz Elisa in the late summer of two thousand fifteen. The trump organization received a new inquiry about pursuing trump tower project Moscow in approximately September Twenty fifteen Felix Seder a new york-based real estate adviser contacted Michael Cohen then Executive Vice President of the trump organization and special. Oh Council to Donald J trump Sarah had previously worked with the trump organization and advised it on a number of domestic and international projects Seder had explored the possibility of trump tower project to Moscow while working with the trump organization and therefore new organizations general interest interest and completing a deal there seder at also served as an informal agent of the trump organization in Moscow previously and had accompanied Ivanka trump and donald trump junior to Moscow in the mid to thousands Seder contacted Cohen on behalf of icy expert investment company honey. I see expert a Russian Real Estate Development Corporation controlled by Andre Vladimirovich Rozov Seder had known Rozov since approximately two thousand seven and then two thousand fourteen had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during rose loves purchase of a building in New York York City Seder later contact Rozov and proposed that I see expert pursue a trump tower Moscow project in which I see expert would license the name and brand from the trump organization but construct the building on its own Saito worked on the deal with Roosevelt and another employee of icy expert Burt Cohen was the trump organization representative to negotiate directly with icy expert or its agents in approximately September twenty fifteen colon obtained approval to negotiate with icy expert from candidate trump who was then president of the trump organization Coen provided updates directly to trump about the project route twenty fifteen and into twenty sixteen assuring him the project was continuing going also discuss the trump Moscow project with vodka trump as to design elements such as possible architects to us for the project and Donald J trump junior hear about his experience in Moscow impossible involvement in the project during the fall of two thousand fifteen also during the fall of twenty fifteen coen communicated about the trump Moscow proposal with Georgie rich Lada a business executive who previously had been involved in development element deal with the trump organization in Batumi Georgia Cohen stated that he spoke to Ritz Elisa in part because it's Lada had pursued business ventures in Moscow including a licensing deal with the Agalarov owns caucus group on September twenty to twenty fifteen Coen oh and forwarded a preliminary design study for the trump Moscow project to Ritz hlavsa adding. I look forward to your reply about the spectacular project and Moscow Ritz allows afforded Cohen's email to an associate wrote. If we could organize the meeting in New York at the highest S. level of the Russian government and Mr Trump this project would definitely receive the worldwide attention on September twenty four two thousand fifteen ritz allows us sent Cohen and attachment that he described as a proposed letter to the mayor of Moscow from trump org explaining that we need descend this letter to the mayor of Moscow second guy in Russia. He is aware of the potential project emo pledge his support in a second email to Cohen sent the same day where it's Alonzo provided a translation of the letter which described the trump Moscow project as a symbol of stronger economic. Economic and cultural relationships between New York and Moscow and therefore United States and the Russian Federation on September Twenty Seven Twenty fifteen ritz allowed to another email to Cohen proposing the trump organization partner on the trump Moscow project with global development group L._l._C. which he described as being controlled by Mikhail Poseican a rush architect and Simon Nitsa Raja Cohen told the office that he ultimately declined the proposal and instead continued to work with icy expert the company represented by Felix Seder see letter of intent and contacts to Russian government October Two Thousand Fifteen through January twenty sixteen one trump signs the letter of intent on behalf of the trump organization between approximately October thirteen money fifteen in November two thousand fifteen the trump organization through its subsidiary trump acquisition l._l._C. and icy expert completed a letter of intent ally for a trump Moscow property. The Elewa signed by trump for the trump organization and Rozov off on behalf of icy expert was intended to facilitate further discussions in order to attempt to enter into a mutually acceptable agreement related to the trump branded project in Moscow the Elo I contemplated development with Residential Hotel Commercial and office components and called for approximately two hundred fifty first class luxury residential condominiums as well as one first class luxury hotel consisting of approximately fifteen floors and containing not fewer than one hundred fifty hotel rooms for the residential and commercial portions of the project the trump organization would receive between one percent and five percent of all condominium sales plus three percent of all rental and other revenue for the Projects Hotel portion. The trump organization will receive a base fee of three percent of gross operating revenues for the first five years and four percent thereafter plus a separate incentive fee of twenty percent of operating profit under the L. A. Y.. The trump organization also would receive a four million dollar upfront fee prior to groundbreaking under these terms the trump organization organization stood to earn substantial sums over the lifetime of the project without assuming significant liabilities or financing commitments on November three two thousand fifteen the day after the trump organization transmitted the L. A. Y.. Seder emailed Cohen suggesting that the trump Moscow project could be used to increase candidate trumps chances at being elected writing buddy are boy can become president of the U._S._A.. And we can engineer it. I will get all of Putin's team to buy in on this. I will manage this process. MICHAEL PUTIN PUTIN GETS ON STAGE WITH DONALD FOR A ribbon cutting for trump Moscow and Donald owns the Republican nomination and possibly Beats Hillary and our boys in we will manage this process better than anyone you and I will get Donald and Vladimir honest aged together very shortly shortly that the game changer later that day Seder followed up Donald doesn't stare down he negotiates and understands the economic issues and Putin only want to deal with the pragmatic leader and a successful businessman is a good candidate for someone who knows how to negotiate negotiate business politics whatever it all is the same for someone who knows how to deal. I think I can get Putin to say that at the trump Moscow press conference if he says we own this election America's most difficult adversary agreeing. Donald is a good guy to negotiate. We can <music> own this election Michael. My next steps are very sensitive with Putin's very very close people. We can pull this off Michael. Let's go to boys from Brooklyn getting a U._S._A.. President elected this is good really good. According to Cohen He- did not consider the political import of the trump Moscow project to the two Thousand Sixteen U._S. presidential election at the time going also did not recall candidate trump or anyone affiliated with the trump campaign discussing the political implications of the trump Moscow project with him however however Cohen recalled conversations with trump in which the candidate suggested that his campaign would be a significant infomercial for trump branded properties to post alawite contacts with individuals in Russia given the size of the trump Moscow project Seder Cohen believed the project required approval whether express or implicit from the Russian national government including from the presidential administration of Russia Seder stated that he therefore began to contact the presidential administration through another Russian business contact in early negotiations with the trump organization Seder had alluded to the need for government approval and his attempts to set up meetings with Russian officials on October twelve thousand fifteen for example Seder wrote to Cohen that all we need is Putin on board and we are golden and that a meeting with Putin and top OP deputy is tentatively set for the Fourteenth of October looks like a name redacted citing grand jury this meeting was being coordinated by associates in Russia and that he had no direct interaction with the Russian government approximately a month later after the yellow had been signed Lana Air Tova emailed Ivanka trump on behalf of their Chavez then husband Dmitri cloak off to offer cloak ops assistance to the trump campaign cloak off was at that time director of external communications for P._J.. S._C. Federal Grid Company Anthony Up unified energy system a large Russian electricity transmission company and had been previously employed as an aide press secretary to Russia's Energy Minister Ivanka trump forwarded the email to cohen he told the office that after receiving this inquiry he he had conducted an Internet search for clubs name and concluded incorrectly the clock off was a former Olympic weightlifter between November eighteen and nineteen twenty fifteen clo- Common Cohen had at least one telephone call an exchange several emails describing describing himself in emails to Cohen as a trusted person who could offer the campaign political synergy and synergy on a government level cloak of recommended that Coen traveled to Russia to speak with him and an unidentified intermediary cloths said those conversations could facilitate data later meeting in Russia between the candidate and an individual cop described as our person of interest in an email to the office H._o._v. later identified the person of interest as Russian President Vladimir Putin in the telephone call and follow on e mails cloak off Colin discuss his desire to use a near-term trip to Russia to do site surveys and talk over the trump Moscow project with local developers going registered his willingness also to meet with Glukhov and the unidentified intermediary but was emphatic that all meetings in Russia involving him or candidate trump including a possible meeting between candidate trump and Putin would need to be in conjunction with the development and unofficial visit with the trump organization receiving a formal invitation to visit cloak off had written previously that the visit by candidate trump to Russia has to be the informal cloak off it also previously recommended to Cohen that he separate negotiations over a possible meeting between trump and the person of interest from any existing business track re-emphasizing that his outreach was not done on behalf of any business cloak off added in second email to Cohen if publicized well such a meeting could have phenomenal impact in business dimension and that the person of interest most important support could have significant ramifications for the level of projects and their capacity cloak off concluded by telling Cohen that there was no. No bigger warranty in any project than the consent of the person of Interest Cohen rejected the proposal saying that currently our L._O._I.. Developer is in talks with V._P.'s chief of staff and arranging a formal invite for the to meet this email appears to be their final exchange inch and the investigation did not identify evidence that Cohen brought glow cons initial offer of assistance to the campaigns attention or the anyone associated with the trump organization or the campaign dealt with cloak Hav at a later date going explained that he did not pursue the proposed meeting because he was already working on the Moscow project with Seder who go and understood to have his own connections to the Russian government by late December twenty fifteen however Cohen was complaining that Seder had not been able to use those connections to set up the promise meeting with Russian government officials officials Cohen told Seder that he was setting up the meeting myself on January Eleven Twenty Sixteen Cohen emailed the office of Dmitri Peskov. The Russian governments press secretary indicating that he desired contact with Sergei Ivanov Putin's chief of Staff Cohen erroneously use the email address p._r.. Underscore Pessoa at P._R.. Press Dot G._O.. F. R. U. Instead of P._R.. Underscore Petkova at P._R.. Press Dot G._O.. v Dot are you so the email apparently did not go through on January fourteen two thousand Sixteen Cohen email the different address info at P._R.. Press Dot g-o-v e argue with the following message dear Mr Peskov over the past few months I have been working with a company based in Russia regarding the development of a trump tower Moscow project in Moscow city without getting into lengthy specifics. The communication between our two sides has stalled as this project is too important. I am here by requesting your assistance. I respectfully request someone. Preferably you contact me so then I might discuss the specifics as well as arranging meetings with the appropriate individuals I thank you in advance for your assistance and look forward to hearing from you soon. Two days later Cohen sent an email to p._r.. Underscore Petkova at P._R.. Press Dot G-o-v E. R. U.. Repeating his request to speak with Sergei off Coen testified to Congress and initially told the office that he did not recall receiving a response to this email inquiry and that he decided to terminate any further work on the trump Moscow project as of January Twenty Sixteen Cohen later admitted at these statements were false fact Cohen had received and recalled receiving a response to his inquiry and he continued to work on and update candidate trump on the project through as late as June twenty sixteen on January twenty twenty sixteen Cohen received an email mail from Elena Polyakova Peskov personal assistant writing from her personal email account polyakova stated that she had been trying to reach Cohen and ask the he call her on the personal number that she provided shortly after receiving Poliackova Email Cohen called then spoke to her for twenty minutes Coen described a Paalea Cova his position at the trump organization and outlined the proposed trump Moscow project including information about the Russian counterparty with which the trump organization had partnered Cohen requested assistance moving during the project forward both insecure land to build the project and with financing according to Cohen Poliackova ask detailed questions and took notes stating that she would need to follow up with others in Russia Cohen could not recall any direct follow up from Paalea Cova or from any other representative of the Russian government nor did the office identify any evidence of direct follow up however the day after Cohen's call with Poliackova Seder Texted Cohen asking him to call me when you have a few minutes to chat. It's about Putin they call today Seder then sent draft invitation for Cohen to visit Moscow to discuss the trump Moscow project along with a note to tell me at the letter is good as amended by me or make whatever changes you want and send it back to me. After a further round of edits on January twenty eighty five two thousand sixteen Seder Sent Cohen an invitation signed by Andrei Riot Bensky of the company M H J to travel to Moscow for a working visit about the prospects of development and the construction business in Russia the various land plots available suited for Construction Section of this enormous tower and the opportunity to coordinate a follow up visit to Moscow by Mr Donald Trump according to Cohen he- elected not to travel at the time because of concerns about the lack of concrete proposals about land plots that could be considered as options for for the project the discussions about Russia travel by Michael Cohen or candidate trump December twenty fifteen through June twenty sixteen one sater's which is to Cohen to travel to Russia the late January communication was neither neither I nor the last time that Coen contemplated visiting Russia in pursuit of the trump Moscow project beginning late twenty fifteen seder repeatedly tried to arrange for Cohen and candidate trump as representatives of the trump organization to travel to Russia to meet with Russian government officials also possible financing partners in December twenty fifteen seder sent cohen a number of emails about logistics for travelling to Russia for meetings on December nineteen twenty fifteen seder wrote. Please call me. I Have Jenny Devos going on the other line. He needs a copy of urine. Donald's passports they need a scan of every page of the passports. Invitations and visas will be issued this week by B._T.. Bank to discuss financing trump tower Moscow politically neither Putin's office nor Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot issue invite invite so they are inviting commercially. Slash business is Russia's two biggest bank and Bank C._E._O.. Andre Coast and we'll be at all meetings with Putin so that it is a business meaning not political we will be invited to Russian consulate this week to receive invite and have issued in Response Cohen Texted Seder an image of his own Passport Cohen told the office that at one point he requested a copy of candidate trumps passport from Rana graph trump's executive assistant at the trump organization and that graph later brought trump's passport office the investigation did not however established that the passport was ordered to Seder into the spring of two thousand Sixteen Seder and Cohen continued to discuss a trip to Moscow in connection with the trump Moscow project on April April twenty two thousand sixteen Seder wrote Cohen. The people wanted to know when you're coming on May four twenty sixteen Seder followed up. I had a chat with Moscow assuming the trip does happen. The question is before or after the convention. I said I believe but I don't know for sure that it's probably after the convention obviously the pre meeting trip. You only can happen anytime you want but the two big guys where the question I said I would confirm and revert. Let me know if I was right by saying I believe after Cleveland Blend and also when you want to speak to them and possibly fly over Cohen responded my trip before Cleveland trump wants he becomes the nominee after the convention the day after this exchange Seder tied Cohen's traveled to Russia to the Saint Petersburg international or National Economic Forum form an annual event attended by prominent Russian politicians and businessmen Seder told the office that he was informed by business associate that Peskov wanted to invite Cohen to the Forum on May Five Twenty Sixteen. Gene Seder wrote to Cohen Peskov would like to invite you as his guests to the Saint Petersburg forum which is Russia's Davos. It's June sixteenth through nineteen. He wants to meet their with you and possibly introduce you to either Putin or Medvedev as they are not sure if one or both will be there this is perfect. The entire business class of Russia will be there as well. He said anything you want to discuss including dates and subjects are on the table to discuss the following day Seder ask Cohen to confirm those dates would work for him to Travel Bible. Cohen wrote back works for me on June Nine Twenty Sixteen Seder Sent Cohen notice that he seder was completing the badges for the forum adding Putin is there on the seventeenth very strong chance you will meet him as well On June Thirteen Gene Twenty Sixteen Seder Forwarded Cohen an invitation to the forum signed by the Director of the Russ Congress Foundation the Russian entity organizing forum Seder also sent Cohen a Russian visa application and asked him to send to passport photos according to Cohen the invitation gave no indication that Peskov had been involved in inviting Him Cohen was concerned that Russian officials were not actually involved or not interested in meeting with him as Seder had alleged and so he decided not to go to the Forum on June Fourteen Twenty Sixteen Sixteen Cohen met Seder in the lobby of the trump tower in New York in informed him that he would not be traveling at that time to candidate trumps opportunities to travel to Russia the investigation identified evidence that during the period the trump Moscow project was under consideration the possibility of candidate trump visiting Russia arose into context I in interviews with the Office Cohen stated that he discussed the subject of traveling to Russia with trump twice once in late twenty fifteen and again in spring twenty sixteen according to Cohen Trump indicated a willingness to travel. If it would assist the project significantly on one occasion trump told Cohen to speak within campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to coordinate the candidates schedule Cohen recalled that he spoke with Hausky who suggested tested they speak again when Cohen had actual dates to evaluate Cohen indicated however that he knew that travel prior to the Republican National Convention would be impossible given the candidates pre existing commitments to the campaign second like Cohen Trump received and turn down on an invitation to the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum in late December Twenty Fifteen Mira Duma a contact of vodka trump's from the fashion industry. I pass along invitations for Ivanka trump and candidate trump from Sergei Perko a deputy prime minister minister of the Russian Federation on January Fourteen Twenty Sixteen Rana graph sent an email to Duma stating the trump was honored to be asked to participate in the highly prestigious sports event but the he would have to decline the invitation given his very grueling and full travel schedule as a presidential candidate graph asked Duma whether she recommended the graphs and a formal note to the deputy prime minister declining his invitation Duma replied that a formal note would be great. It does not appear that graph prepared that note immediately the according to written answers from president trump graph received an email from deputy prime minister college go on March Seventeen Twenty sixteen again inviting trump to participate in the twenty sixteen forum in Saint Petersburg two weeks later on March thirty one twenty sixteen sixteen graph prepared for trump's signature a to paragraph letter declining the invitation. The letter stated that trump's schedule has become extremely demanding because of the presidential campaign and that he already had several commitments in the United States for the time of the forum but he otherwise would've gladly given every consideration to attending such an important event graph forwarded the letter to another executive assistant at the trump organization with instructions to print the document on letterhead for trump to sign at approximately the same time that the letter was being prepared impaired Robert foresman a new york-based investment banker began reaching out to graph to secure an in-person meeting with candidate trump according to foresman he had been asked by Anton Kobe cough a Russian presidential aide involved with Ross Congress Foundation to see if trump could speak the forum foresman. I emailed graph on March thirty one twenty sixteen following a phone introduction brokered through trump business associate mark Burnett who produced the television show the apprentice in his email foresman referenced his long-standing personal and professional professional expertise in Russia and Ukraine his work setting up an early private channel between Vladimir Putin and former U._S.. President George W Bush and an approach he had received from senior Kremlin officials about the candidate foresman. Ask Graph for we're meeting with the candidate Corey Lewandowski or another relevant person to discuss this and other concrete things foresman felt uncomfortable discussing over unsecure email on April four twenty sixteen graph forwarded foresman meeting request just to Jessica Macchia another executive assistant to trump with no response forthcoming foresman twice sent reminders to graph I on April twenty six and again on April thirty two thousand sixteen graphs sent an apology to foresman and forwarded his April twenty any six e mail as well as his initial march twenty sixteen email to Lewandowski's on March to two thousand sixteen graph forward enforcements April thirty email which suggested an alternate meeting with Donald Trump junior or eric trump so that foresman could convey to them the information that should be conveyed to the candidate personally or to someone the candidate absolutely trusts to policy adviser Stephen Miller no communications or other evidence obtained by the office indicate that the trump campaign learned the foresman was reaching out to invite the candidate to the form or that the campaign otherwise followed up with horsman until after the election when he interacted with the transition team as he pursued a possible position in the incoming administration when interviewed by the Office foresman denied the specific approach from senior Kremlin officials noted in his March thirty one twenty sixteen email was anything other than Kobe Calms invitation to Rust Congress according to foresman the concrete things he referenced in the same email where a combination of the invitation itself Force One's personal perspectives on the invitation and Russia policy in general and details of Ukraine plan supported by U._S.. think-tank eastwest Institute foresman told the office that Kobe Cov had extended similar invitations through him to another Republican presidential candidate and one other politician Asian foresman also said the Kobe Cov had asked foresman to invite trump to speak after that other presidential candidate withdrew from the race and the other politicians participation did not work out finally foresman claim to have no plans to establish a backchannel involving trump stating dating the reference to his involvement in the Bush Putin backchannel was meant to burnish his credentials to the campaign foresman commented that he had not recognized any of the experts announced his trump's foreign policy team in March twenty sixteen and wanted to secure an in-person meeting with the candidate to share his professional background and policy views including the trump should decline Kobe cops invitation to speak at the forum and that concludes subsection one trump tower Moscow project within section for A.