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

Marsha Scott
December 9, 2018

President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Saturday that Friday's court filings in the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen cases showed no collusion between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russian Federation. "Thank you!" he tweeted shortly after the report's release. They said his sentence should reflect a "modest" reduction from the roughly four to five years they said federal guidelines would suggest.

Last week, Cohen made a surprise guilty plea to lying to Congress, a move that refocused attention on Trump's ties to Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign.

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.

Filings by prosecutors from both NY and the Trump-Russia special counsel's office laid out for the first time details of the cooperation of Cohen, a vital witness who once said he'd "take a bullet" for the president but who in recent months has become a prime antagonist and pledged to come clean with the government.

"In August 2014, Chairman-1 had met with Cohen and Individual-1, and had offered to help deal with negative stories about Individual-1's relationships with women by identifying such stories so that they could be purchased and "killed, ' " the prosecutors" memorandum says.

Prosecutors urged Pauley to hit Cohen with a $500,000 fine and forfeit his assets in addition to the prison sentence.

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".

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

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The court documents make clear how witnesses previously close to Trump - Cohen once declared he'd "take a bullet" for the president - have since provided damaging information about him in efforts to come clean to the government and in some cases get lighter prison sentences.

He explained that the Manafort filing reveals the former Trump campaign chairman is not cooperating in the investigation, and the Cohen memo doesn't reveal anything new about hush money payments to women who allegedly had sexual encounters with Trump.

Trump says his campaign had nothing to do with them and he denounces Mueller's investigation as a "hoax" and a "witch hunt".

"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.

Manhattan prosecutors said in their sentencing filing that Cohen committed campaign-finance crimes "in coordination with and at the direction of Individual 1".

US Attorney Robert Khuzami accused the 52-year-old, who once vowed to take a bullet for the president, of being motivated by "personal greed" and of "repeatedly" using his power and influence for "deceptive ends".

He said the worst-case scenario for the president, on the other hand, would be if Mueller has yet-unseen evidence of criminal conduct.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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