US prosecutors name Trump in hush payments; detail Russian contacts

US prosecutors name Trump in hush payments; detail Russian contacts

President Donald Trump said Saturday that court filings in the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen cases showed no collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

Trump also claimed that Andrew Weissmann, a senior prosecutor on Mueller's team, had "wrongly destroyed people's lives" and is "doing the same thing to people now".

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

His help has been so substantial that a memo - also heavily redacted - on his case released earlier in the week contained a recommendation by Mr Mueller that Flynn, a former lieutenant general, serve little to no jail time for lying to federal investigators.

In one of the filings, special counsel Robert 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".

The third document, also on Cohen but this time filed by Mr Mueller, details new information provided by the lawyer about alleged contacts with Russians and the Trump campaign - one of the core issues that the special counsel is investigating as well as wider suspected meddling by the Kremlin in the polls.

One-time loyal aides are cooperating with the Russian probe into possible collusion between his election campaign and the Kremlin.

Prosecutors in both of the Cohen cases were required to submit separate memos on Friday on his cooperation to U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan, who will decide on the former lawyer's sentence on Dec 12.

Federal prosecutors said Cohen made the payments in "coordination with and the direction of" Trump.

Later, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in two statements that the Manafort filing "says absolutely nothing about the President" and the Cohen filings "tell us nothing of value that wasn't already known".

Prosecutors in Cohen's case said that even though he co-operated in their investigation into the hush money payments to women, he nonetheless deserved to spend time in prison.

US President Donald Trump speaks at the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 7, 2018.

Prosecutors in NY are seeking "substantial" jail time, but Mr Mueller does not recommend additional time behind bars as a result of his inquiry. Trump's team even reportedly tried to bribe Russian President Vladimir Putin by offering him a $50 million penthouse.

Cohen said the unidentified person "repeatedly proposed" a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, claiming it could have a "phenomenal" impact "not only in political but in a business dimension as well". In a draft plea agreement provided to conservative operative Jerome Corsi, Mueller details how Roger Stone, who the special counsel notes was in frequent contact with Donald Trump and senior campaign officials, directed Corsi to connect with WikiLeaks about the trove of stolen materials it received from Russian Federation.

In addition to coming clean on the Moscow project, Cohen provided information to Mueller about several attempts by Russians to contact the Trump's campaign, according to Friday's filing. They said his sentence should reflect a "modest" reduction from the four to five years they said federal guidelines would suggest.

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".

Considering that cooperation, Mueller suggested the sentence for lying to Congress run concurrently with the sentence in the NY case.

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