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Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report contained “glaring inaccuracies and misrepresentations” stemming from a text conversation between a Georgian-American businessman and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, according to the businessman.
The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross reported that Giorgi Rtskhiladze has now sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr demanding the Department of Justice retract a footnote from the Mueller report mentioning the exchange.
“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, Rtskhiladze’s attorney.
His letter also claimed the report’s explanation of the conversation “spliced the dialogue to produce the ugly insinuations and allegations of Footnote 112 to attract publicity — all while impugning Mr. Rtskhiladze’s character,” Bloomberg reported.
Bolden’s letter contains the actual text message exchange.
In one instance describing the conversation, the Mueller report says, “On October 30, 2016, Michael Cohen received a text from Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze that said, ‘Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else. Just so you know….”
Rtskhiladze actually texted Cohen: “Stopped flow of some tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else. Just so u know…” (Emphasis added.)
Cohen then responded: “Tapes of what?”
Rtskhiladze replied: “Not sure of the content but person in Moscow was bragging had tapes from Russia trip.” The businessman followed up this text by letting Cohen know he himself did not think the tapes amounted to much.
“Will try to dial you tomorrow but wanted to be aware,” he texted. “I’m sure it’s not a big deal but there are lots of stupid people.”
Cohen replied to Rtskhiladze, saying “You have no idea.”
“I do trust me,” Rtskhiladze responded.
Rtskhiladze told Mueller’s team in 2018 that he didn’t mention to Cohen that he knew the tapes were fake. Cohen told investigators he alerted Trump to the existence of the alleged tapes.
Bolden’s letter makes it clear that Rtskhiladze did not have first-hand knowledge of the alleged tapes and merely heard a rumor about them. Mueller’s report made it seem as though Rtskhiladze heard the rumor in Russia, but the businessman had not been to the country in over 10 years.
As Ross further reported, Trump has always denied the existence of a tape alleged to show him engaged in depraved activity with Russian prostitutes, and no tape has been produced. The claim was included in ex-British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele’s dubious dossier, but “People who were with Trump during his visit to Moscow have doubted the claims about the tape, saying that he only stayed one night in the Russian capital and was only alone for a few hours,” Ross reported.
Rtskhiladze and his attorney also objected to Mueller’s report referring to him as a “Russian businessman.”
“Mr. Rtskhiladze was born in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Since 1991, Georgia an independent country, is an important U.S. ally in the region and has had a strained relationship with Russia due to the latter’s military invasion in 2008 and unlawful occupation of 20% of Georgian territory,” Bolden wrote. “The mere suggestion that Mr. Rtskhiladze is cavorting with Russian associates belittles his personal identity and integrity, tarnishes his reputation and impedes his ability to do business in his native country.”
The letter also notes that Rtskhiladze has been a permanent U.S. resident for 23 years.