Early Russian outreach to Trump campaign detailed by Mueller

08 Décembre, 2018, 22:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Court deadlines set stage for more Russia probe details

The separate filings came from special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in NY ahead of Wednesday's sentencing of Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

The court documents make clear how witnesses previously close to Trump - Cohen once declared he'd "take a bullet" for the president - have since provided damaging information about him in efforts to come clean to the government and in some cases get lighter prison sentences.

"Totally clears the President".

While Cohen implicated the president in the hush payments to two women - adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal - in his guilty plea in August in NY, the filing on Friday marked the first time federal prosecutors officially concurred.

In the 40-page document Khuzami drew a direct link between Cohen's illegal behavior and Trump.

In fact, Mueller said Cohen provided substantial assistance to his team in its probe into Russian interference in the presidential race as well as "useful information concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House during the 2017-2018 time period". "The last thing I want is help from Russian Federation on a campaign".

Cohen told prosecutors he never followed up on the Putin invitation, though the offer bore echoes of a March 2016 proposal presented by Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who broached to other advisers the idea of a Putin encounter.

Trump tweets: "Robert Mueller and Leakin' Lyin' James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest".

The White House similarly dismissed that filing, arguing it "says absolutely nothing about the President".

"The government's filings in Mr. Cohen's case tell us nothing of value that wasn't already known", Sanders said.

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Cohen and Manafort are among five former Trump associates whom prosecutors have accused of lying either to federal investigators or to Congress.

Manhattan prosecutors said in their sentencing filing that Cohen committed campaign-finance crimes "in coordination with and at the direction of Individual 1".

Cohen also discussed a Moscow real estate deal that could have netted Trump's business hundreds of millions of dollars and conversations with a Russian intermediary who proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as offering synergy with the campaign, prosecutors said.

Mueller said that discussions about the potential Moscow development were relevant to the investigation because they occurred "at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the USA presidential election".

President Donald Trump spoke to reporters this afternoon and, before confirming John Kelly's imminent departure, he had a few comments about the newest developments from the Mueller investigation.

In the latest filings Friday, prosecutors will weigh in on whether Cohen deserves prison time and, if so, how much. He also said his lawyers were preparing a "counter to the Mueller Report". Last month Mueller voided Manafort's plea agreement because, they said, he was not telling the truth.

In an additional filing Friday evening, prosecutors said former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to them about his contacts with a Russian associate and Trump administration officials.

Cohen provided prosecutors with a "detailed account" of his involvement, along with the involvement of others, in efforts during the 2016 presidential campaign to complete a deal to build a Trump Tower Moscow, the documents said.

"Mr Cohen has repeatedly lied and as the prosecution has pointed out to the court, Mr Cohen is no hero", she said. But the NY prosecutors were unsparing in their descriptions of his conduct, saying he was motivated by "personal greed" and that he "repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends".

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