Sunday, 16 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
Ellis Copeland | 09 December, 2018, 04:04

Despite such specific allegations of Trump's actions, the president quickly tweeted after news of the filings: "Totally clears the President".

Former Nixon White House lawyer John Dean said he thinks Congress will have "little choice" but to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump following a Friday evening court filing involving Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen.

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.

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".

"With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election", the prosecutors in NY said. One Russian even offering "political synergy" with Trump's campaign.

The memo from NY prosecutors identifies three people at an August 2014 meeting: Cohen, "Individual 1" and "Chairman 1".

The filing does not name Trump, but refers to an "Individual 1" that it says Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of" in giving payments to silence adult film actor Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who claimed they had affairs with Trump before the 2016 election.

These are all from New York's federal courts and are unrelated to the investigation of whether anybody in Trump's circle coordinated with Russian officials in their attempts to manipulate the outcome of the 2016 election.

"In his interviews with the Special Counsel's Office and the FBI, Manafort told multiple discernible lies - these were not instances of mere memory lapses", Mueller's office said in the filing.

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Cohen, an attorney and businessman, committed four distinct federal crimes over a period of several years.

The new details about Mueller's investigation are set to become public as Trump continues to lash out at the Russian Federation investigation and those who help prosecutors.

In Manafort's case, prosecutors are expected to lay out what torpedoed the cooperation agreement he made when he pleaded guilty in September to two felony charges of conspiracy.

"After cheating the IRS for years, lying to banks and to Congress, and seeking to criminally influence the Presidential election, Cohen's decision to plead guilty - rather than seek a pardon for his manifold crimes - does not make him a hero", acting U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami wrote.

Cohen pleaded guilty to those crimes back in August and said back then that he arranged payments on then-candidate Trump's behalf and at his request.

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".

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

As well as recommending jail time, the filing says that Cohen had claimed Trump instructed him to approve payments that violated campaign finance law.

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