Mueller accuses Manafort of lying, but not about Russian Federation collusion

Cohen’s Crimes Were ‘Serious,’ U.S. Says in Urging 42 Month Term

In response to the two court filings made by federal prosecutors against Michael Cohen on Friday, President Donald Trump took to the internet. "Thank you!" Mr. Trump tweeted shortly after the filing. They said his sentence should reflect a "modest" reduction from the roughly four to five years they said federal guidelines would suggest.

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.

While Cohen implicated the president in the hush payments to two women - adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal - in his guilty plea in August in NY, the filing on Friday marked the first time federal prosecutors officially concurred.

They continued: "The fact that Cohen continued to work on the project and discuss it with [Trump] well into the campaign was material to the ongoing congressional and [special counsel] investigations, particularly because it occurred at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the US presidential election".

Cohen, citing the fact he has co-operated with investigators, had requested a sentence of no prison time.

The filings also disclose an attempt by a Russian to wield influence in the campaign.

"In total, the prosecutors seem to be saying the president was more aware than he has claimed to be", former federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin said.

In one filing, Mueller details how Cohen spoke to a Russian who "claimed to be a "trusted person" in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign "political synergy" and 'synergy on a government level'".

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Prosecutors in NY, where Cohen pleaded guilty in August in connection with those payments, said the lawyer "acted in coordination and at the direction" of Trump.

"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.

The court papers say Manafort initially told prosecutors he didn't have contact with any people while they were in the Trump administration. Cohen did not follow up on the offer, the filing says.

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", they wrote. Though Cohen had previously implicated Trump in the payments, the prosecutors now are linking Trump to the scheme and backing up Cohen's allegations.

In meetings with Mueller's team, Cohen "provided information about his own contacts with Russian interests during the campaign and discussions with others in the course of making those contacts", the court documents said.

The meeting didn't take place.

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