Friday, 14 December, 2018

Prosecutors Expose Trump Hush Money Payments, Russian Contacts

Prosecutors Expose Trump Hush Money Payments, Russian Contacts Prosecutors Expose Trump Hush Money Payments, Russian Contacts
Deanna Wagner | 08 December, 2018, 23:51

Dean's comments, made during CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" segment, follow the release of a legal memo from federal prosecutors in NY regarding Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

On Saturday morning, Trump responded to the release of the documents on Twitter (in almost all caps, of course), saying, "AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!"

Castro, a member of the House intelligence committee, which has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, was discussing prosecutors' raft of court filings Friday in the criminal cases against former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Mueller said on Friday that Cohen repeated his false statements about the project in his first meeting with Mueller's office, admitting the truth only in a later meeting in September after he had pleaded guilty to the separate NY charges.

"Totally clears the President".

Prosecutors in NY, where Cohen pleaded guilty in August to campaign finance crimes in connection with those payments, said the lawyer "acted in coordination and at the direction" of Trump.

Recent filings in the Mueller probe have suggested the White House knew that Cohen planned to lie to lawmakers about his contacts with Russians.

"The government's filings in Mr. Cohen's case tell us nothing of value that wasn't already known", Sanders said. Actually, he said in his guilty plea, they continued well into the campaign, including past the point at which Trump became the Republican front runner.

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Cohen also said he discussed the project with Trump during the presidential campaign, undercutting the then-Republican presidential candidate's statements that he didn't have any deals in Russian Federation. Mueller also said in the filing that Cohen had provided "relevant and useful information concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House" in 2017 and 2018. Cohen did not follow up on the offer, the filing says.

Trump, who has called Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt" and repeatedly denied wrongdoing, said earlier this week that Cohen had lied about Trump's business dealings in Russian Federation to get reduced jail time.

"Mr Cohen has repeatedly lied and as the prosecution has pointed out to the court, Mr Cohen is no hero", she said. Last month Mueller voided Manafort's plea agreement because, they said, he was not telling the truth.

The report was expected to provide more information on Mueller's probe, but federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson granted the special counsel's request to file the report under seal and ordered a redacted version to be released.

A heavily redacted court filing said that Manafort's "lies" included untruths about his dealings with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate who U.S. officials suspect is a Russian intelligence operative, and about his contacts with Trump administration officials after striking a plea agreement.

Prosecutors said the court's Probation Department estimated that federal sentencing guidelines call for Cohen to serve at least four years in prison. "The sentence imposed should reflect the seriousness of Cohen's brazen violations of the election laws and attempt to counter the public cynicism that may arise when individuals like Cohen act as if the political process belongs to the rich and powerful".

Cohen pleaded guilty to financial crimes in a federal court in NY in August and last week pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in a case brought by Mueller.