The New York Times is reporting this evening that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating a $150,000 donation — in 2015, during the campaign — to Donald Trump’s foundation from Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk which was solicited by none other than Michael Cohen. In return, Trump made a 20-minute appearance via video link to a Kiev conference, the Times reports:
The event, his first foray into global politics during the campaign, was set up by Doug Schoen, a veteran political consultant and pollster who works with Mr. Pinchuk, according to a person familiar with how the speech was arranged. Mr. Schoen, a frequent Fox News guest, has known Mr. Trump for years and contacted him personally to set it up at the end of August 2015, according to the person.
Mr. Trump did not raise the prospect of any payment. But the next day, Mr. Cohen called Mr. Schoen to solicit the $150,000 as an honorarium, the person briefed on the matter said. Mr. Schoen, who had gotten to know Mr. Cohen by running into him in the green room at Fox News, dealt with him and not Mr. Trump directly, according to another person briefed on the exchange.
Cohen’s involvement seems almost after the fact, according to this account, which would be ironic considering his extensive family and business ties to Ukraine.
Here’s the video of Trump’s appearance: