Cohen says Trump tried to bribe Putin with a $50 million penthouse “gift”

CLEVELAND, OH – The City of Cleveland is now clearly known as the site where candidate Donald Trump’s ex-attorney, Michael Cohen, told Special Counsel Robert Mueller and federal investigators that “colluding” players met in 2016 to discuss a way to give a $50 million bribe to Russian President Vladmir Putin. 

Lifting sanctions against the Russian government was also on the table for a Cleveland discussion.  So was a way to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential nomination within the Democratic Party.

The convenience of a partnership with the Cleveland law firm of Squire, Patton & Boggs (formerly Squire, Sanders & Dempsey) John Adams High School graduate Frederick R. Nance leads as “global managing partner,” with an office in Moscow, gave Cohen access to one of Putin’s firm that’s been doing “unregistered” business with the Russian government for well over three decades.

Donald Trump’s Russian real estate partner, Felix Sater, is identified as “Individual #2 in attorney Michael Cohen’s indictment for lying to Congress.

Nance oversees lawyers and employees in 47 offices spread out over 20 nations.  The firm entered a strategic partneship with Cohen in April 2017 that came with a $500,000 kick off fee and Manhattan office space.   Nance’s Moscow office is located at 2, bld. 1 Romanov pereulok 125009 Moscow  Russian Federation.  The telephone number is T +7 495 258 5250.

The firm’s officials in distancing themselves from Cohen after FBI agents raided their Manhattan office said they provied him with space and a private server but that he did no work for which he was paid. 

Cohen introduced Nance’s firm to five clients.  The Wall Street Journal exposed U.S. Immigration Fund, LLC as one of the five.  Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is tied to the company and it’s been used to sell real estate to foreigners with $500,000 who want an EB-5 U.S. residency visa. Nance’s firm picked up $370,000 to lobby their law partner’s client’s administration.

The information in the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York’s criminal complaint against Cohen for lying to Congress identifies two individuals by #1 and #2 who are Trump and his Russian real estate partner, Felix Sater.  Putin is identified as “Russian individual #1.”

Cohen was brokering Trump’s plan to bribe Putin with a $50 million penthouse in a 100-story Moscow Trump Tower he wanted to build in Russia’s capitol city.  The presidential candidate envisioned his Moscow property as housing Russia’s oligarchs and Putin was his carrot to attract them. 

What Cohen’s plea agreement proves is that Trump, Sater, Cohen and team were working on the 100-story real estate deal directly with Putin and his administration, even if through intermediaries, during the 2016 presidential campaign.  Cleveland was where all the players, according to texts between Cohen and  Sater, could talk about his trip to finalize the details.

The texts between attorney Michael Cohen and Donald Trump’s Russian mob connected real estate partner, Felx Sater, are too comfortable to ignore because of how they prove the president lied about his interactions with President Vladmir Putin. He told Americans he’d never met him.

Trump hasn’t tweeted that Cohen is lying because he now knows his former attorney recorded their conversations; and that they’ve been shared with Mueller.

Cohen described the project as nothing more than a real estate deal where he was doing his job and told three lies to Congress.

  1. He lied that the Moscow Project ended in January 2016 and was not discussed extensively with others in the Company.
  2. He  lied that he never agreed to travel to Russia in connection with the Moscow Project and “never considered” asking Individual 1 (Trump) to travel for the project.
  3.  He lied that he did not recall any Russian government response or contact about the Moscow Project.

Trump was in on the discussions, according to  Cohen’s story to Mueller and his investigators.  He knew about Sater’s proposal of the $50 million proposed housing gift to Putin in the Moscow Trump Tower.  He knew about the calls Cohen made to the Kremlin. 

Squire, Patton & Boggs is open about its presence in Moscow and work with the Russian Federation as an unregistered foreign agent.

When questioned by reporters after Cohen’s conviction, Trump’s words of truth underscored how the previous lies he told fit his “say anything to win” and “all about me” outlook that’s caused him to be one of the most distrusted presidents in U.S. history.

“There was a good chance that I wouldn’t have won … in which case I would have gotten back into the business, and why should I lose lots of opportunities?” Trump said.


Eric Jonathan Brewer

Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more.

Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings.

As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national.

Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year.

Known in Cleveland for his encyclopedic knowledge of government and history, and intimately-connected with the region's players, every local major media outlet in Cleveland has picked up on one of Eric's stories since 1979. There is no mainstream newspaper, television or radio outlet in Cleveland that does not include an interview with Eric Jonathan Brewer in its archives over the past 40 years.