Special counsel Robert Mueller may have withheld key information in its plea deal with Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former attorney. The information could exonerate the president and also bring into question the original purpose of naming Mueller. In the report by Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations, it was noted that Cohen pleaded guilty to lying in 2017 to the Senate intelligence committee in testimony about the Trump Organization's supposed plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Cohen told the committee under oath that negotiations over the proposed building that he conducted ended five months before they actually did. 

In his lengthy charging document, which he personally signed, Mueller failed to include the fact that Cohen had not direct contacts with high level government authorities in Russia, which would counter the now long standing narrative that the Trump political organization enjoyed a so-called “backchannel” to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. 

On page 7 of the nine-page charging document that was filed against Cohen, Mueller notes that Trump’s former attorney tried to send two emails to Putin’s office in January 2016. However, Mueller failed to mention that Cohen had no direct points of contact with the highest levels of the Russian government. Instead, Cohen merely sent emails to the Kremlin’s general media email address. According to RealClearInvestigations, these additional emails demonstrate that this fact undermines the narrative of the “back channel,” as well as Mueller’s case for supposed collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Also, a letter from Cohen to the Senate intelligence committee in August 2017 holds that Trump “was never in contact with anyone about this [Moscow Project] proposal other than me," According to Sperry, Mueller does not contest this as false, which in turn means that the "prosecutors have tested its veracity through corroborating sources" and found it to be truthful. Mueller also failed to challenge Cohen’s statement that he "ultimately determined that the proposal was not feasible and never agreed to make a trip to Russia." According to the report, a Congressional investigator stated, “Though Cohen may have lied to Congress about the dates, it's clear from personal messages he sent in 2015 and 2016 that the Trump Organization did not have formal lines of communication set up with Putin’s office or the Kremlin during the campaign. There was no secret ‘back channel.’” The report from RealClearInvestigations noted that its source said, “So as far as collusion goes, the project is actually more exculpatory than incriminating for Trump and his campaign.”

Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, according to RCI, said that Mueller has conflated the cancelled “Russia business venture with the Russia collusion theory he was actually hired to investigate.” He added, "This is a transparent attempt to try to embarrass the president."

Democrats and legacy media outlets have continued to push the narrative of supposed collusion. For example, CNN claimed that Mueller’s charging documents against Cohen suggested that Trump had a business relationship with Putin, who thus "had leverage over Trump." CNN news anchor Wolf Blitzer said: "Well into the 2016 campaign, one of the president’s closest associates was in touch with the Kremlin on this project, as we now know, and Michael Cohen says he was lying about it to protect the president." CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin claimed that Trump "might not finish his term." And Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is the probable incoming chairman of the House intelligence committee, said Trump was dealing directly with Putin on real estate business. He vowed that his fellow Democrats will investigate whether Russians engaged in money laundering through the Trump Organization.
 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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