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Cohen talked with Trump about meeting Putin during campaign

Cohen talked with Trump about meeting Putin during campaign

"The only thing keeping Donald Trump from being indicted and being charged with a crime, beyond wealth and privilege, is that he occupies the office of the presidency", Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) told host Ali Velshi on MSNBC Friday night.

The special counsel and federal prosecutors in NY are filing court memos detailing the cooperation of longtime Trump legal fixer Michael Cohen, who has admitted lying to Congress and orchestrating hush-money payments to protect the president.

In a separate filing on Friday, Mueller's office said Cohen should serve any sentence imposed for that crime concurrently with the sentence imposed for the NY charges, saying he had gone to "significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel's investigation".

Federal prosecutors directly implicated Trump in efforts to buy the silence of two women who claimed they had had affairs with him, saying he directed his then-attorney Michael Cohen to offer them hush money.

"When you look at what the prosecutors did in the Southern District of NY they allege that Donald Trump directed two campaign finance violations".

They also said that Cohen was in contact with a Russian national as far back as November 2015 - months before Trump formally won the presidential nomination - who offered "synergy on a government level".

The memo from NY prosecutors identifies three people at an August 2014 meeting: Cohen, "Individual 1" and "Chairman 1".

The filings say Cohen made illegal hush money payments to two women - Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal - ahead of the 2016 election to keep them quiet about their sexual encounters with Trump.

More news: Trump Says Cohen Deserves Prison Time Despite Mueller Plea Deal

In an additional filing Friday evening, prosecutors said former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to them about his contacts with a Russian associate and Trump administration officials. Cohen admitted last week to lying to Congress by saying discussions about a Trump Tower in Moscow ended in January 2016 when in fact they stretched into that June, well into the USA campaign.

The memo said while prosecutors agree that Cohen should receive credit for his assistance with the special counsel's office, since he chose not to be a formal cooperating witness, he would only get a modest reduction in sentence.

Cohen, citing the fact he has co-operated with investigators, had requested a sentence of no prison time.

The memos were interesting for showing a sharp difference of opinion between Mueller's team and other prosecutors, which will ultimately prove important to Cohen and his family.

Manafort resigned from his job on the Trump campaign as questions swirled about his lobbying work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

Federal prosecutors said Friday that Cohen deserves a substantial prison sentence despite his cooperation with investigators. "But Cohen's description of those efforts is overstated in some respects and incomplete in others". "Thank you!" he tweeted.

"After cheating the IRS for years, lying to banks and to Congress, and seeking to criminally influence the Presidential election, Cohen's decision to plead guilty - rather than seek a pardon for his manifold crimes - does not make him a hero", acting U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami wrote.

Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Sanders dismissed the latest filings in Cohen's case, saying they "tell us nothing of value that wasn't already known".


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