Mueller probed Cohen’s outreach to Ford in 2017: report
Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly probed outreach by President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen to Ford Motor Co. in January 2017 offering consulting services, an offer that was rejected.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Cohen approached the company’s office in Washington, D.C., over the phone to discuss possible consulting work, but was rejected by Ford’s head of government affairs, Ziad Ojakli.
Ojakli has since been interviewed by Mueller’s team about his interactions with Cohen and investigators have requested emails and records from the company, the Journal reported.
Cohen has drawn scrutiny recently after it was revealed that he was in contact with a number other companies offering consulting services in the days after Trump won the 2016 election.
Drug company Novartis and telecom giant AT&T both paid Cohen for consulting and insights into possible policy from the Trump administration, which both companies have since called a mistake.
The reports have raised questions in to why Trump’s personal attorney accepted money from companies with business as Trump took office and whether the president himself knew about the arrangements.
The deals are also significant because Cohen’s consulting company, Essential Consultants LLC, was used to facilitate the $130,000 payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the days before the 2016 election.
Cohen made the payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in an effort to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with the president a decade earlier.
Investigators are reportedly looking into whether that payment constituted an in-kind donation to the Trump campaign, a violation of campaign finance laws, something the president’s legal team has denied.
Cohen is also under investigation for possible bank fraud.
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