Ivanka Trump's Connections To Michael Cohen Could Spell Bad News

by Hannah Golden
Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images // Drew Angerer/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Michael Cohen, a long-time personal friend and attorney of President Donald Trump, has become one of the central targets in FBI investigations and in court cases in recent days. But the president isn't the only one who may be inextricably tied to Cohen; the Trump children prove to have ties of their own. Ivanka Trump is connected to Michael Cohen in a few key ways.

Cohen has worn many hats for the Trump family. Serving as both friend and attorney to Mr. Trump, Cohen was also Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, which is now headed by the president's eldest two sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. In fact, per Vanity Fair, it was through Don Jr. that Cohen first met Trump in 2006. But Cohen has other connections specifically to the first daughter.

New York Post's Page Six reported on April 15 that Cohen had at one time reportedly rented out Trump and Kushner's apartment to a Russian mogul with whom Cohen was partnered in a taxi operation. Elite Daily reached out to a lawyer for Cohen for comment about this report, but did not hear back at time of publication. Page Six cited an unnamed source who reportedly is familiar with Cohen, and says that the tenant was Evgeny "Gene" Friedman, better known as the "Taxi King." Per the source, Cohen has always had a strong loyalty to the president.

"[Cohen would] take a bullet for Donald," the source told Page Six. "He was hurt he wasn't given a job in the White House, but he always refers to him as 'Mr. Trump' and he gets upset when other people call him 'Donald.'"

Rolling Stone reports that Cohen, a fixture at the Trump Organization, also had business ties that encompassed Ivanka. He was long-time friends with a real estate developer named Felix Sater, per the magazine, and introduced him into the Trump family. Trump reportedly asked Sater, in 2006, to keep an eye on his children while on a trip to Moscow, and Sater apparently pulled some strings to get Ivanka a chance to sit on the official chair of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The magazine details another more recent connection between Sater, Trump, and Cohen. In 2015, when Donald Trump was looking to construct a Trump World Tower Moscow, Sater was working for Russian-owned IC Experts Investment Company. There was a proposal to include a "Spa by Ivanka Trump," which was to be brokered by Sater and Cohen. The New York Times later reported that Sater, who had also worked on the Trump SoHo building, allegedly offered to coordinate financial backing by a state-owned Russian bank. "I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected," Sater wrote in an email to Cohen, per the Times. In a March 2018 statement, Sater said he had been working to provide "extraordinary assistance to our government involving serious matters of National Security, posing tremendous risks to my safety and the safety of my family." ("He has sometimes used colorful language and has been prone to ‘salesmanship,'" Cohen said in a statement last August. “I ultimately determined that the proposal was not feasible and never agreed to make a trip to Russia.”)

As The New Yorker puts it, the Trump children were key players in their father's organization in the last several years, during which many of these international business dealings were afoot. So if prosecutors or investigators probe Cohen for his involvement in Trump's business ties, Ivanka Trump's name is almost certain to come up.

In fact, Ivanka and her other brother, Donald Trump Jr., were very nearly charged with fraud for their role the Trump SoHo building in 2012, a collaborative report by The New Yorker, WNYC, and ProPublica found. The Trump children had reportedly used falsified information in marketing the building. But the felony case was abruptly dropped after Marc Kasowitz, Donald Trump's attorney, donated to the political campaign of Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan district attorney overseeing the case. Kasowitz, per ProPublica, said his donation was unrelated to the case, and a chief legal officer for the Trump Organization reportedly did not respond to questions about the criminal case. Vance, for his part, said the donation was legal, though he planned to give the money back, according to Vanity Fair.

As FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate connections between the president's campaign and Russia, another investigation is probing potential obstruction of justice and potential misuse of campaign funding prior to the election.

On Monday, April 9, Cohen's office was raided by the FBI as part of the agency's investigation, seeking any and all documents and evidence regarding payouts Cohen in fall 2016 that may have violated federal campaign finance laws. (Cohen has admitted to paying Stormy Daniels, an adult film star, $130,000 out of pocket to buy her silence via a non-disclosure agreement over an affair she alleges she had with the president in 2006, though Cohen has also claimed the payment was not about the campaign. Both Trump and the White House have repeatedly denied such an affair.)

Given the Trump children's intimate roles in their father's business, they may be vulnerable to anything the FBI dredges up on Cohen; and Ivanka especially might have reason to be getting a little nervous.