Closer legal peril for Trump in probes; he sees no collusion

Giuliani to CNN: Mueller Thinks Manafort Lied About Trump Tower Meeting

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.

But Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and federal prosecutors in NY indicated they believe otherwise, making clear they have determined evidence shows Trump was the maestro of illegal payments to two women during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence their accounts of extramarital affairs and had knowledge of efforts by his former "fixer" to discuss "political synergy" and potentially conflict-creating business dealings with Russian Federation.

In a tweet Saturday, he said Mueller has failed to prove collusion after "two years and millions of pages of documents".

The documents released by Mueller's team Friday indicate prosecutors are in fact continuing to look into the Trump campaign's connections to Russian Federation, including a real estate project in Moscow that Cohen was allegedly discussing with Trump "well into" the 2016 race.

In what appeared to be a new disclosure, Mueller said that around November 2015, Cohen spoke with a Russian national who could offer the campaign "political synergy" and "synergy on a government level".

Federal prosecutors filed new court papers Friday directly implicating President Donald Trump in plans to buy women's silence as far back as 2014 and offering new evidence of Russian efforts to forge a political alliance with Trump before he became president.

Manhattan prosecutors said in their sentencing filing that Cohen committed campaign-finance crimes "in coordination with and at the direction of Individual 1". The court filing Friday makes clear that the payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal were made to benefit Trump politically. He also pleaded guilty to other crimes including making a false statement to a bank and later to lying to Congress about a Trump-branded real estate project in Moscow.

Questions about how people in Donald Trump's orbit reached out to Russians during the 2016 election have often overshadowed equally interesting questions about how Russia reached out to Trump.

In an additional filing Friday evening, prosecutors said Manafort lied about his contacts with a Russian associate and Trump administration officials, including in 2018. For that reason, prosecutors said, he should be sentenced to "substantial" prison time, possibly 31/2 years.

A heavily redacted court filing said that Manafort's "lies" included untruths about his dealings with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate who United States officials suspect is a Russian intelligence operative, and about his contacts with Trump administration officials after striking a plea agreement.

Manafort, who has pleaded guilty to several counts, violated his plea agreement by telling "multiple discernible lies" to prosecutors, they said. Though he has portrayed himself as cooperative, "his description of those efforts is overstated in some respects and incomplete in others", prosecutors said.

A court filing also reveals that Cohen told prosecutors he and Trump discussed a potential meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in 2015, shortly after Trump announced his candidacy for president. Trump singled out Cohen, accusing him of lying to get a reduced prison sentence.

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