March 10, 2018

STRIPPING AWAY THE LAYERS:

How Stormy Daniels could impact the Russia investigation (Marshall Cohen, 3/10/18, CNN)
 
Here's a step-by-step guide of how the Daniels affair could potentially creep into the Mueller probe:

STEP 1: MUELLER INVESTIGATES COHEN'S TIES TO RUSSIA

First things first, an investigation of Cohen could open the door to examining the payments.

The New York Times reported that Cohen is under FBI scrutiny in the Russia investigation. The Washington Post reported that Mueller has requested documents and interviewed witnesses about Cohen, specifically regarding pursuit of a Russian business deal during the campaign and his involvement in an effort to craft a "peace plan" for Ukraine.

CNN has previously reported that Mueller's team asked witnesses about the failed efforts to build a Trump-branded tower in Moscow. Cohen played a leading role in those negotiations.

Cohen is also mentioned in the controversial dossier, written by former British spy Christopher Steele, that alleges widespread collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Cohen vehemently denies all the allegations in the dossier. CNN has reported that members of Mueller's team met last summer with Steele, presumably to learn about the dossier claims.

STEP 2: MUELLER BROADENS HIS COHEN INQUIRY

If investigators are already looking into Cohen's activities during the campaign, it is possible they could broaden their inquiry to include his financial arrangement with Daniels.

Mueller was authorized by the Justice Department to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, any potential ties between Trump associates and the Russians, potential obstruction of justice and "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation."
That last phrase is how Mueller could investigate the payment to Daniels.

Posted by at March 10, 2018 1:11 PM

  

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