Mueller: Cohen spoke with Russia looking for "political synergies" with the campaign


The federal prosecutors filed new court proceedings on Friday that directly imply President Trump in plans to buy women's silence as early as 2014 and offer new evidence of Russian efforts to forge a political alliance with Trump before becoming president – revelations that show the morass political and legal deepening that envelops administration.

The separate documents came from special adviser Robert S. Mueller III and federal prosecutors in New York before the Wednesday conviction of Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

Taken together, the documents suggest that the president's legal problems are all but over and disclose a previously unrelated contact from a Russian to Trump's inner circle during the campaign. But the documents do not answer the central question at the center of Mueller's work – whether the president or those around him conspired with the Kremlin.

The documents offer a ferocious portrait of his former lawyer as a criminal who deserves little sympathy or pity because he is still held back by telling the FBI everything he knew. For that reason, prosecutors said they should be sentenced to "substantial" prison time, probably suggesting three and a half years.

Trump immediately stated that he had been confirmed. "Completely cancel the president, thank you!" he tweeted. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Cohen's minutes "tell us nothing of value that was not already known."

The special consultant's office revealed that Cohen had provided "useful information" on their current investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, as well as "relevant information" on his contacts with White House-related persons between 2017 and 2018.

Mueller revealed that Cohen told them about what appeared to be an unknown contact of November 2015 by a Russian citizen, who claimed to be a "trusted person" in the Russian Federation by offering the campaign "political synergy" and "governmental synergy ". "

Cohen told investigators that the person, who has not been identified, has repeatedly proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that such a meeting could have a "phenomenal" impact, "not only in the political sphere but also in a corporate dimension "the special consultant's office wrote.

Cohen, however, did not follow the invitation, because he was already working on a Trump project in Moscow through a different person who believed he had ties to the Russian government, wrote the special council office.

Prosecutors also identified Trump as directly involved in efforts to buy the silence of women who could level public accusations against him.

The memorandum of New York prosecutors records three people at a meeting in August 2014: Cohen, "Individual 1" and "Chairman 1." The document elsewhere identifies the individual 1 as Trump, and people familiar with the case claim that President 1 is David Pecker of the National Enquirer.

"In August 2014, President-1 met Cohen and Individual-1 and offered to help deal with negative stories about individual-1 relationships with women by identifying such stories so they could be bought and" killed " , the memorandum of prosecutors says.

Cohen pleaded guilty to violating the electoral finance law when he arranged payments to an adult movie star during the 2016 election. He pleaded guilty in August for this and for a handful of other crimes, including a false statement to a bank. In recent weeks, he pleaded guilty to having lied to Congress about his efforts during the 2016 presidential campaign to get a Trump Tower built in Moscow.

Cohen had requested a conviction without a prison, citing his collaboration with the investigators. Mueller's office gave Cohen some credit for his help, saying that while his crime was "serious," he "took significant steps to mitigate his criminal conduct."

"He has chosen to accept responsibility for his misrepresentations and admits to his conduct in open court, he has also done everything to assist the special consultant's investigations," they wrote.

New York prosecutors, however, were much more severe in assessing Cohen's character, claiming he would only have to make a modest reduction in an expected prison term of about five years. In their 38-page filing, they suggest he should receive about three and a half years in prison.

"Look for extraordinary clemency – a sentence without a prison time – based primarily on his rosy vision of the seriousness of crimes, his affirmations on a comprehensive personal story, and his provision of certain information to the forces of order", the prosecutors wrote in their deposit. "But the crimes committed by Cohen were more serious than allowed by his submission and were marked by a deception scheme that pervaded his professional life".

The filing also suggests that Cohen's cooperation with the ordering forces was not so significant for investigations around the president.

"To be clear: Cohen does not have a cooperation agreement and he is not … properly described as a" cooperating witness ", as that term is commonly used in this district," prosecutors wrote.

Prosecutors also accused Cohen of holding back some of what he knew.

"This office understands that the information provided by Cohen to (the Mueller office) was ultimately credible and useful for his ongoing investigations," prosecutors wrote, but they said they would not give him a letter lawyer detailing his cooperation because "Cohen has repeatedly refused to provide information on the extent of any additional criminal behavior in which he may have acted or had knowledge."

The two memos were submitted to US District Court Judge William H. Pauley III, who plans to convict Cohen.

Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice, said the news shows that Cohen "was trying to have both things" and that instead of succeeding, he became "a textbook example of how not to collaborate with federal public prosecutors ".

Mueller presented a seven-page memo that does not take a firm stand on how long Cohen should spend in prison.

In their memorandum, the federal prosecutors of New York have criticized Cohen, exposing in detail his lies to the IRS and to the banks and his games in the financial system of the US campaigns – acts that the prosecutors have said that they were guided in much of it from its "same ambition and greed".

Cohen, they argued, appreciated Trump's role as "fixer", trying to use it to take over a role in the administration, and then, when that failed, he proposed to cheat companies out of money and trick them into thinking he could provide access. and insights.

In reality, however, they said that Cohen was not much more than "a man whose vision of life was often cheating," and did not deserve to be spared completely because he eventually decided to plead guilty.

"After cheating the IRS for years, lying to the banks and Congress, and trying to criminalize the presidential elections, Cohen's decision to plead guilty – rather than seek forgiveness for his multiple crimes – does not make him a hero ", he wrote the accusation.

Prosecutors have repeatedly pointed out that what they suggested was the minimal information provided by Cohen, noting that while he also met New York State investigators and tax authorities, such cooperation "does not merit consideration as a mitigating factor" because Cohen does not he told them nothing of value besides that they would probably have gone without his help.

The Mueller memorial says that Cohen "repeated many of his previous false statements" when he met the Special Adviser's office in August, and was only in a second meeting on 12 September – after he had pleaded guilty to the funding allegations of the campaign – which admitted that "his previous statements about the Moscow project had been deliberately false and misleading".

The special adviser's office wrote that Cohen's lies at the Congress "obscured the fact that the Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that required, and probably required, the assistance of the Russian government" and that, if completed, Trump's organization could have received "Hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in license fees and other revenue." They noted, as Cohen had already admitted, that Cohen and Trump discussed the "good in the countryside" project.

The special consultant's office added, however, that Cohen "did everything to assist the Special Advisor's investigation".

The special council office wrote that Cohen had "explained the financial aspects of the agreement that would have made it very profitable", and, without delay, had corrected other statements made about his contacts with Russian officials during the campaign.

For example, in September 2015, Cohen declared in a radio interview that Trump would have to meet the President of Russia during the U.N. General Assembly. and he maintained for some time that the comment had been "spontaneous" and not discussed with the campaign members. Indeed, the special council's office said that Cohen admitted that he had conferred on Trump to contact the Russian government for the meeting, which eventually did not take place.

In demanding a conviction without prison, Cohen emphasized his extensive collaboration with Mueller, as well as investigators from other agencies. His attorneys linked his blame directly to Trump, writing that Cohen was motivated to pay women to keep quiet and lie in Congress for his "proud loyalty" to Trump. Trump had publicly denied the business, and said he had "stayed away" from business in Russia.

"He would have been able to fight the government and continue to maintain the party line, positioning himself perhaps for forgiveness or clemency, but instead – for himself, his family and his country – he took personal responsibility for his mistakes and he has contributed, and is ready to continue contributing, to an investigation that he considers absolutely legitimate and vital, "Cohen's lawyers wrote in court proceedings presented last week.

For his part, Trump has ridiculed Cohen's request on Twitter and seemed to oppose him to Roger Stone, a long-time Trump counselor who publicly suggested that he would not be willing to cooperate against the president.

Of Cohen, Trump said, "He lied for this result and should, in my opinion, serve a complete and complete sentence." Of Stone, he said, "Nice to know that some people still have the courage!"


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