Published: Sat, December 08, 2018

Prosecutors Expose Trump Hush Money Payments, Russian Contacts

Prosecutors Expose Trump Hush Money Payments, Russian Contacts

In court filings, federal prosecutors in NY and those working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller made the case for why Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, deserved prison time.

President Donald Trump is marking what's expected to be a busy day for special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation by launching a Twitter broadside against the prosecutor and his team.

In addition to coming clean on the Moscow project, Cohen provided information to Mueller about several attempts by Russians to contact the Trump's campaign, according to Friday's filing.

Trump has made little secret of his frustration with the swirling probe into Russian election interference and potential misdeeds committed by those in his orbit and is seeking to undermine the legitimacy of Mueller's investigation.

Trump was undeterred, tweeting early Saturday: "AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!"

"In August 2014, Chairman-1 had met with Cohen and Individual-1, and had offered to help deal with negative stories about Individual-1's relationships with women by identifying such stories so that they could be purchased and "killed, ' " the prosecutors" memorandum says.

Trump frequently derides the Mueller probe as a "witch hunt".

Representatives for the U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment on the Trump tweets.

"The person told Cohen that such a meeting could have a "phenomenal" impact 'not only in political but in a business dimension as well'".


The former fixer last week pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in connection with a Moscow real estate deal, which was being pursued as late as one month before Trump officially became the Republican nominee for president.

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. His lawyers want the 52-year-old attorney to avoid prison time altogether.

The filings also exposed lies told by Manafort during interviews with prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The court papers say Manafort initially told prosecutors he didn't have contact with any people while they were in the Trump administration.

The documents reveal a previously unreported contact from a Russian to Trump's inner circle during the campaign.

Manafort resigned from his job on the Trump campaign as questions swirled about his lobbying work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

Cohen, citing the fact he has co-operated with investigators, had requested a sentence of no prison time. "But Cohen's description of those efforts is overstated in some respects and incomplete in others". He said Trump had directed him before the 2016 election to arrange payments to buy the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom alleged they had affairs with Trump.

In a separate filing on Friday, Mueller's office said Cohen should serve any sentence imposed for that crime concurrently with the sentence imposed for the NY charges, saying he had gone to "significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel's investigation". The court filing Friday makes clear that the payments were made to benefit Trump politically. Prosecutors wrote that Cohen had implicated Trump in the arrangement of hush-money payments to women during the 2016 election.

The meeting didn't take place.

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