Cohen talked with Trump about meeting Putin during campaign

Cohen talked with Trump about meeting Putin during campaign

Kerry Wise
December 9, 2018

President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was in touch as far back as 2015 with a Russian who offered "political synergy" with the Trump election campaign, the federal special counsel said Friday in a court filing.

Attorneys from the Southern District of NY state explicitly in the court filing that Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1" in handling payments to two women who claimed to have an affair with Trump long before the election.

But also, significantly, the memo documents Cohen's claims that he was operating at the behest of Trump when he paid off two women Trump allegedly had affairs with to keep them from going to the press during the 2016 presidential campaign.

On Saturday morning, Trump responded to the release of the documents on Twitter (in almost all caps, of course), saying, "AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!"

Mueller said that discussions about the potential Moscow development were relevant to the investigation because they occurred "at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the USA presidential election".

Yesterday, Mueller said Cohen's false statements to Congress had "obscured the fact" that the skyscraper project held the potential to reap "hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources" for the Trump Organization. Trump singled out Cohen, accusing him of lying to get a reduced prison sentence.

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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".

Cohen provided prosecutors with a "detailed account" of his involvement, along with the involvement of others, in efforts during the 2016 presidential campaign to complete a deal to build a Trump Tower Moscow, the documents said.

"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.

US prosecutors said yesterday President Donald Trump directed his personal lawyer to make illegal hush payments to two women ahead of the 2016 election, and also detailed a previously unknown attempt by a Russian to help the Trump campaign. 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".

Dean's comments, made during CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" segment, follow the release of a legal memo from federal prosecutors in NY regarding Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

"Time for the Witch Hunt to END!" Though Cohen had previously implicated Trump in the payments, the prosecutors now are linking Trump to the scheme and backing up Cohen's allegations. But prosecutors say they recovered "electronic documents" showing contacts with multiple administration officials not identified in the filings. It never took place. 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".