Court Deadlines Set Stage for More Russia Probe Details

Court Deadlines Set Stage for More Russia Probe Details

Mueller's filing did, however, acknowledge Cohen's help in the Russia investigation and also said that he has provided information about new contacts between Trump's presidential campaign and Russians, including outreach as early as November 2015 from people seeking to arrange meetings between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, in the almost 40-page memo, NY prosecutors recommended Cohen receive a "substantial" sentence, possibly 3 1/2 years. But the NY prosecutors were unsparing in their descriptions of his conduct, saying he was motivated by "personal greed" and that he "repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends". The court filing Friday makes clear that the payments were made to benefit Trump politically. "Thank you!" Trump tweeted cryptically as television networks were consumed by the Cohen documents - which the White House dismissed as revealing "nothing of value".

It was the first time the feds directly linked Trump to hush- money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal - a fact noted by former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti.

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.

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. In a footnote Mueller's team writes that Cohen conferred with Trump "about contacting the Russian Federation government before reaching out to gauge Russia's interest in such a meeting".

But Cohen didn't follow up.

Yet on Wednesday Mr Cohen, for years Mr Trump's "fixer", will be sentenced for the crimes of bank and tax fraud, and for lying to Congress - for which he pled guilty.

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.

In response to the two court filings made by federal prosecutors against Michael Cohen on Friday, President Donald Trump took to the internet.

They also suggest Trump and his family were in the loop on discussions with Russians on a Moscow project, even after the real estate tycoon secured the Republican nomination in mid-2016.

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

"Mr Cohen has repeatedly lied and as the prosecution has pointed out to the court, Mr Cohen is no hero", she said.

"It has been incorrectly reported that Rudy Giuliani and others will not be doing a counter to the Mueller Report".

For House Democrat John Garamendi, these may be "the opening days of an impeachment".

Trump on Friday announced his intention to nominate William Barr as his new attorney general - succeeding Jeff Sessions, whom he sacked last month.

Barr - a former attorney general under the late George H.W. Bush - is considered something of a consensus candidate for the sensitive post.

Although Cohen has been cooperating with investigators in New York City and with the office of Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, he does not have a full cooperation agreement with the government.

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

The filing says the meeting never happened.

"Once again the media is trying to create a story where there isn't one", said Sanders.

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