Cohen, who is now in a dispute with his attorneys about some of his legal bills, plans to seek new representation soon, the people said. He wants to find a New York lawyer more familiar with the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, they said.
.. In Washington, Mueller has been examining Cohen’s role in at least two episodes involving Russian interests, as The Post has previously reported.
One area of interest to the special counsel is negotiations Cohen undertook during the 2016 campaign to help the Trump Organization build a tower in Moscow, according to people familiar with the probe. Cohen brought Trump a letter of intent in October 2015 from a Russian developer to build a Moscow project. Later, he sent an email to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chief spokesman seeking help to advance the stalled project. He has said he did not recall receiving a response.
.. Another area that Mueller’s team has explored is a proposal to end tensions in Ukraine, viewed by some as a plan that would benefit Russia
.. The meeting was organized by Felix Sater, a Trump business partner who had also worked to broker the deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the presidential campaign.
The back-channel proposal offered a pathway for resolving the Ukrainian dispute that could have eventually led to the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Russia, a top goal of Putin.
.. Cohen told the news outlet that he took it to Washington and left it in Flynn’s office days before Flynn was fired.
.. But in interviews last year with The Post, Cohen called that account “fake news” and denied that he gave the proposal to Flynn or that he had ever said he had done so. Instead, Cohen told The Post he threw away the unopened envelope in a trash can at his New York apartment.
“I never looked at it,” Cohen said. “I never turned it over to anyone.”
.. Cohen also told The Post that Artemenko indicated to him that his peace initiative for Ukraine came with Russian support. “He said Russia was on board — the Russian government,”
.. Artemenko said he met repeatedly with U.S. officials, including members of Congress, to promote the proposal in Washington. The meetings, he said, he were set up by Curt Weldon, a Republican former congressman from Pennsylvania.
.. He said the nuclear power plan would have been a blow to Russia because it would have provided independent power to neighboring states that had been dependent on Russian energy sources. “Since this was an anti-Russia energy development proposal, it was no surprise to me that U.S. officials would support this project,” Sater said.