Russian Federation offered Trump campaign political co-op in 2015, U.S. prosecutors say

Michael Cohen exits federal court in November

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

Prosecutors said probation officials recommended a sentence for Cohen of three-and-a-half years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to other crimes including making a false statement to a bank and later to lying to Congress about a Trump-branded real estate project in Moscow.

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.

In a footnote, special counsel Robert 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", though it never took place.

China promises prompt action on US trade pact
In return, Washington said China would purchase "very substantial" amounts of U.S. agricultural, energy, industrial and other products.


The person repeatedly dangled a meeting between Trump and Putin, saying such a meeting could have a "phenomenal" impact "not only in political but in a business dimension as well".

He had provided information about contacts with Russian interests during the campaign, attempts by Russians to reach the campaign and about contacts with "persons connected to the White House" in 2017-2018, the filing added. Prosecutors wrote that Cohen had implicated Trump in the arrangement of hush-money payments to women during the 2016 election.

The situation is complicated by the fact that Mr Trump, who has railed against the "witch hunt, recently sacked his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and replaced him with an arch critic of the Mueller probe, Matthew Whitaker".

In hours of meetings with prosecutors, Cohen detailed his intimate involvement in an array of episodes, including some that directly touch the president, that are at the center of investigations into campaign finance violations and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

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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.

A heavily redacted court filing said that Manafort's "lies" included untruths about his dealings with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate who USA officials suspect is a Russian intelligence operative, and about his contacts with Trump administration officials after striking a plea agreement. But prosecutors say they recovered "electronic documents" showing contacts with multiple administration officials not identified in the filings. Last month Mueller voided Manafort's plea agreement because, they said, he was not telling the truth. Though he has portrayed himself as cooperative, "his description of those efforts is overstated in some respects and incomplete in others", prosecutors said.

In the 40-page document Khuzami drew a direct link between Cohen's illegal behavior and Trump. It never took place.

This filing does not constitute a charge against the president, but it implies that prosecutors have the evidence in hand beyond Cohen's admissions to make such a frank statement.

US, China agree to delay January 1 tariff hike
Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche told reporters that additional US investments are contingent on conditions remaining the same. The market is closed Wednesday as the United States celebrates a National Day of Mourning for the late President George H.W.


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