The Times reported that Cohen had left the proposal in a sealed envelope in the office of then-national security adviser Michael T. Flynn while visiting Trump at the White House, just days before Flynn's resignation last week. Sater was at the center of that project.
The other players in the story are: Trump's special counsel, Cohen, a top Trump Organization lieutenant with business and familial ties to Ukraine who is now under investigation by the FBI over his possible connections to the Kremlin; and Felix Sater, a Russian-American businessman with a decade of experience working with the Trump Organization who once pled guilty in mafia-linked stock-manipulation scheme and became a government informant.
Cohen had worked for a decade for the Trump Organization, where he earned a reputation as a trusted and aggressive defender of the celebrity mogul. Again, read the Times article to get a flavor of his ties to Trump, the Trump SoHo project and Russian Federation. When Sater's criminal past was revealed, Trump insisted he barely knew him.
Cohen told the Post that he'd met with Felix Sater - a Russian-American who once worked for Trump, served prison time for stabbing a man in the face with shards from a margarita glass, pleaded guilty in a stock manipulation scheme involving the Mafia and may have worked as an Federal Bureau of Investigation informant - and Ukrainian lawmaker Andreii Artemenko.
On its own, Trump's relationship with Sater might be written off (albeit not terribly plausibly) as simply a sleazy relationship Trump entered into to get access to capital he needed to finance his projects. Now, however, this latest story shows he could still be influential in Trump circles.
The statement appeared to reflect Ukraine's uneasiness about the intentions of Trump, who has praised Putin and vowed to improve relations with Russian Federation. Cohen hand delivering his messages to the President changes the picture considerably. But here we are.
On Monday, his party expelled him as a member, but Artemenko said this and the treason allegations were "hysteria" and signs the Ukrainian authorities could not accept any alternative points of view.
It was not clear if Flynn studied the proposal or took any action on it. In an exclusive Fox News interview, Felix Sater strongly denies any wrong doing by trying to push the plan, and says that he was never a connection between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One on his way to a "Make America Great Again" rally at Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida, U.S. February 18, 2017.