GEORGIAN BUSINESSMAN RELEASES TEXTS WITH COHEN THAT WERE LEFT OUT OF MUELLER REPORT
- A Georgian-American businessman is calling for a retraction of a footnote in the special counsel’s report that refers to a text message exchange with Michael Cohen about a rumored Trump sex tape.
- Giorgi Rtskhiladze’s lawyer sent a letter to the attorney general claiming that the Mueller report has “glaring inaccuracies.”
- The report quoted a text message in which Rtskhiladze told Cohen he was “stopping the flow” of tapes of Trump. But in a text message left out of Mueller’s report, Rtskhiladze suggested he did not believe the rumor.
A Georgian-American businessman is accusing special counsel Robert Mueller of publishing “glaring inaccuracies and misrepresentations” about rumors of alleged sex tapes of President Donald Trump during a visit to Moscow in 2013.
In a letter sent to Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday, a lawyer for the businessman, Giorgi Rtskhiladze, called on the Justice Department to retract a footnote in Mueller’s report mentioning an Oct. 30, 2016 text message exchange he had with attorney Michael Cohen about a rumored Trump tape.
Rtskhiladze claims that the special counsel’s report inaccurately quotes his text message with Cohen. He says that additional text messages not quoted in the report show that he was doubtful about a rumor he had heard from an associate in Moscow about the existence of a tape.
“We strongly demand that a full and immediate retraction of these falsehoods should be issued forthwith to restore his good name,” wrote A. Scott Bolden, a lawyer for Rtskhiladze. The letter was first reported by Bloomberg News and obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Bolden’s letter takes issue with several parts of the the special counsel’s report, including the quote of Rtskhiladze’s text message as reading: “Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else. Just so you know.”
Rtskhiladze actually wrote that he had “stopped flow of some tapes,” the text messages show.
Rtskhiladze told prosecutors during interviews in 2018 that he was told that the tapes were fake but that he did not communicate that to Cohen, according to Mueller’s report. Cohen told Mueller’s team in a Sept. 12, 2018 interview that he notified Trump about the message from Rtskhiladze. (RELATED: Cohen: ‘I Have No Reason To Believe’ The Pee Tape Exists)
Rtskhiladze claims that his additional texts with Cohen show that he had no direct knowledge of the tapes and that he saw them as mere rumor, rather than fact. Bolden also says that Rtskhiladze did not hear the rumor first-hand.
“Not sure of the content but person in Moscow was bragging had tapes from Russia trip. Will try to dial you tomorrow but wanted to be aware. I’m sure it’s not a big deal but there are lots of stupid people,” Rtskhiladze wrote in the texts, which were provided to TheDCNF.
“You have no idea,” Cohen replied.
Rtskhiladze responded: “I do trust me.”
Giorgi Rtskhiladze text messages with Michael Cohen are pictured, Oct. 30, 2016. (Courtesy of Melanie Bonvicino)
Bolden says in the letter that Rtskhiladze was not present at the event in Moscow where the claim about the tape was allegedly made.
Melanie Bonvicino, a spokeswoman for Rtskhiladze, told TheDCNF that he has not been in Russia in more than a decade. She said that Rtskhiladze does not know who made the comment at the Moscow party, but that he heard about it from another person. Rtskhiladze identified the intermediary during interviews with Mueller’s team.
Rtskhiladze has also voluntarily agreed to meet with the House Intelligence Committee, Bonvicino said.
The footnote in the special counsel’s report reignited speculation about the most salacious allegation contained in the infamous Steele dossier. In the unverified report, author Christopher Steele alleged that the Kremlin had video of Trump with a group of prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room during his visit there in November 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant.