Trump calls for Mueller probe to end following Manafort, Cohen court filings

Trump calls for Mueller probe to end following Manafort, Cohen court filings

U.S. prosecutors have revealed that a Russian offered cooperation to Donald Trump's campaign as early as 2015, declaring that the president's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen had provided "relevant" and "substantial" help to the Russia investigation.

But he admitted to prosecutors "that his account was false and that he had in fact conferred with Individual 1", which is how Trump is identified in court papers. It never took place.

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.

Trump immediately declared that he was vindicated.

"Totally clears the President".

Cohen also told prosecutors that he and Trump discussed a potential meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in 2015, shortly after Trump announced his candidacy for president, the filings say.

But prosecutors gave him no such clearance.

Trump has denied any collusion with Russian Federation, and Russia has denied any interference in the USA presidential campaign.

Mueller said Cohen also shared information about his own contacts "with Russian interests during the campaign and discussions with others in the course of making those contacts". Cohen told them he had been in communication with Russian nationals as far back as November 2015, a few months after Trump formally declared he was running for president, to try to arrange possible meetings between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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He has a record of endorsing strong executive powers, which could come into play if Mueller sought to compel Trump to testify. The person told Cohen that such a meeting could have a "phenomenal" impact "not only in political but in a business dimension as well", referring to the Moscow Project, because there is "no bigger warranty in any project than consent of [the President of Russia]".

"Cohen, however, did not follow up on this invitation", the filing added.

Unlike Manhattan prosecutors in their filing, Mueller recommended leniency for Cohen when he is sentenced Wednesday by US District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan on all of the charges to which he pleaded guilty.

Payments were made to two women who alleged they had sexual relationships with Trump before he ran for president: Playboy model Karen McDougal - who reached an agreement with the publishers of the National Enquirer that she wouldn't share her story of the relationship - and adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who received $130,000 to remain silent about a liaison involving Trump.

"With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election", the prosecutors in NY said.

Trump denied the claims and called both Mueller's team and the federal prosecutors liars.

"It's a very, very weak case that Cohen has provided", Dershowitz said. His lawyers want the 52-year-old attorney to avoid prison time altogether.

Cohen continued to provide "relevant and truthful information" to assist the probe, holding seven sessions with investigators, "many of them lengthy, and continues to make himself available to investigators", it said. They said that "reflects Cohen's extensive, deliberate and serious criminal conduct".

The court documents disclosed that Trump hired Cohen in 2007 for $500,000 a year after he ousted the board of a condo that was trying to remove Trump's name from its building.

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