A U.S.-based attorney has been outed for spending over $100,000 to try and influence operations involving Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an attempt to score a job in his administration.
According to the open-government site OpenSecrets, lawyer Marcus Cohen filed his report of his activities under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, revealing he reached out to Sean Spicer and another Trump campaign aides.
[caption id="attachment_1550815" align="aligncenter" width="615"] (Photo via screen capture of FARA disclosure)[/caption]
The new records show these previously unreported meetings along with the financial disclosure of over $100,000 lobbying to promote Zelensky’s interests in the United States ahead of his election and the now-famous July 25 phone call with President Donald Trump.
"Marcus Cohen, claims his advice focused on 'interactions with the U.S. government' in an 'effort to offer advice to a potential new administration in the Ukraine' on issues such as 'anti-corruption efforts,'" Open Secrets quoted. The language is remarkably similar to Trump's comments on the impeachment investigations into his deal with Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
In the past, Cohen has said he was volunteering to help Zelensky "out of good will," but Zelensky has denied any links, saying he didn't even remember meeting Cohen.
The new filings show that isn't entirely accurate. Instead, his efforts were made “with the hope (but not expectation) that any eventual new Ukrainian administration might formally hire [Cohen] for a position within the Government,” Open Secrets quoted the filing.
"Despite his lack of notoriety, Cohen not only provided 'internal advice to the Zelensky campaign' but continued advising Zelensky’s representatives after his election, according to new FARA records," the site wrote.
Cohen said he's not getting money from Zelensky or his campaign, nor do they have a contract of any kind.