Ex-lawyer says he told Trump about Kremlin contact: court filing

03 December, 2018, 23:16 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress

Corsi, who rejected the plea deal, has said he expects to be charged by Mueller with lying to investigators as part of the probe's scrutiny of WikiLeaks and whether he or Stone had advance knowledge of the group's release of thousands of hacked emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

He faces a possible sentence of up to five years in prison on the false statement charge and a potential $200,000 fine, but sentencing guidelines in the plea deal ranged from zero to six months.

Manafort stood accused of hiding about $16 million USA in income from the Internal Revenue Service between 2010 and 2014 by allegedly disguising the money he earned advising pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine as loans and hiding it in foreign banks. Jurors deadlocked on those Virginia counts and convicted Manafort on eight others. The judge declared a mistrial on the 10 other counts after jurors were unable to reach a unanimous consensus. He pleaded guilty in September and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors examining suspected Russian meddling in the US election and possible coordination between Moscow and Trump's team.

Earlier this year, Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed off evidence against Cohen in connection with his illegal $130,000 hush payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY.

What happened? A conservative commentator and InfoWars contributor named Jerome Corsi walked away from a guilty plea he has been negotiating with Mueller's office, he told news organizations this week.

Cohen also said he talked with Trump, referred to as "Client-1" in the filing, about traveling to Russian Federation to pursue the project deep into the 2016 presidential campaign. Meanwhile, it was waging a campaign of "active measures" against the USA and the West aimed at corroding faith in democracy and, ultimately, helping Trump become president.

Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling during the 2016 campaign, accused Manafort earlier this week of lying to prosecutors after signing onto a plea agreement that mandated his full cooperation.

Trump has said he feels "very badly" for Manafort and believes it has been an unfair prosecution. There's an ongoing debate, however, about whether a president can be prosecuted for such transgressions while in office. In that plea, Cohen implicated Trump in hush-money payments to two women during the 2016 campaign to hide affairs they said they had with Trump.

Trumps lawyers have repeatedly argued that the president should not be questioned about obstruction of justice, with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani arguing the questions would intrude on the president's constitutional authority.

Trump is handling continued worries relating to whether he might excuse Manafort.

Cohen had pleaded guilty in August to eight criminal charges, including tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations, in a separate case brought by federal prosecutors in NY.

Papadopoulos started his sentence at a federal prison in Wisconsin earlier this week.

Manafort succeeded Corey Lewandowski in directing Trump's campaign, and was essentially replaced in that role by Steve Bannon.

They said Cohen is also cooperating with prosecutors from the USA attorney's office "concerning an ongoing investigation", the NY state attorney general's office's civil lawsuit against the Trump Foundation and state tax authorities.

Trump has tried to downplay his relationship to Manafort, citing his relatively short time on the campaign.

"While there are many reasons to be alarmed about a candidate for president of the United States, soon to be designated the presidential nominee of a major political party, contemplating a significant real estate deal in the capital of a hostile foreign power, that in and of itself does not constitute criminal behaviour."

Trump has called Mueller's investigation, which has cast a cloud over his presidency, a witch hunt. Cohen, Trump's longtime fixer, said in federal court this past week that he had misled Congress about the details of a Trump hotel project in Moscow because he did not want to contradict the president's own false characterizations of his business dealings in Moscow.

"That determination has not been made yet", Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said at a federal court hearing in Washington.


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