What We Really Know About Michael Cohen's Connection To Ukraine

Michael Cohen used to have a reputation for being tough and was in the past referred to as the former president Donald Trump's political "pit bull," per ABC

However, Cohen has since turned his back on Trump, and in 2018, he pleaded guilty to federal tax crimes, lying to Congress and to campaign financial violations, CNBC reported. In 2021, Trump's former personal lawyer completed his criminal home confinement sentence and vowed to assist law enforcement to investigate the former president, the Trump Organization, and others within the Trump circle. 

"I will continue providing testimony, documents and cooperation on all investigations to ensure that others are held responsibly for their dirty deeds and that no one is 'ever' believed to be above the law," Cohen said in a statement following his release.

So, long gone are the days when Cohen was viewed as one of Trump's most trusted advisors. However, questions about who Cohen really is and who he was connected to still linger — especially when it comes to his connections to Ukraine.

Michael Cohen has deep connections in Ukraine

Michael Cohen's deep connections to Ukraine start with his family. As The Sun reported, Cohen's wife, Laura Shusterman, is originally from Ukraine — and her father, Fima Shusterman, is believed to have first introduced Cohen to Donald Trump, according to the book "Trump / Russia: A Definitive History," penned by the Associated Press reporter Seth Hettena.

Per Newsweek, Cohen and his younger brother Bryan, who is also married to a Ukrainian, were directors of the International Ethanol of Ukraine, and also have their names on two financial companies based in the country incorporated in 1998. 

According to CBS News, it was also reported back in May 2018 that Cohen was allegedly paid around $400,000 in secret to arrange talks between the Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko and former president Trump. The BBC's Paul Wood also reported that Cohen was paid via intermediaries acting on president Poroshenko's behalf.