Mueller's Latest Filing Includes a Clue on More Russian Outreach to Trump

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"Totally clears the President".

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.

Cohen told prosecutors he never followed up on the Putin invitation, though the offer bore echoes of a March 2016 proposal presented by Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who broached to other advisers the idea of a Putin encounter.

Mueller's office has been tasked with investigating whether anyone in Trump's campaign conspired with the Russians who were waging those "active measures" against the United States and the West.

"With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election", the prosecutors in NY said.

In August, Cohen plead guilty to eight federal crimes.

Prosecutors in NY are seeking "substantial" jail time, but Mr Mueller does not recommend additional time behind bars as a result of his inquiry. Prosecutors wrote that Cohen had implicated Trump in the arrangement of hush-money payments to women during the 2016 election.

In a dueling sentencing memo, Southern District prosecutors called for the judge to impose a $500,000 forfeiture as well as a fine and only a "modest" reduction from the four-to-five year sentence recommended under standard guidelines for his crimes, arguing that he was not as cooperative in their investigation as he was with Mueller.

Trump says his campaign had nothing to do with them and he denounces Mueller's investigation as a "hoax" and a "witch hunt".

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Mueller's office, in a separate filing, did not take a position on what sentence Cohen should receive when he appears before a judge next week in New York City.

Cohen also said he discussed the project with Trump during the presidential campaign, undercutting the then-Republican presidential candidate's statements that he didn't have any deals in Russian Federation.

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

The president also praised another associate, Roger Stone, for saying he wouldn't testify against him, and Trump said a pardon for Manafort isn't off the table.

Manafort, who has pleaded guilty to several counts, violated his plea agreement by then telling "multiple discernible lies" to prosecutors, they said.

Initially, Cohen said his September 2015 comments on Sean Hannity's radio show predicting a "better than likely chance" that Trump would meet Putin that week at the UN General Assembly were "spontaneous and had not been discussed within the campaign". "Thank you!" he tweeted shortly after the report's release. 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".

Much of the media coverage after Mueller and federal prosecutors in NY released their filing documents, related to the sentencing of Cohen and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, focused on possible campaign finance crimes by Cohen and Trump related to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford) and Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The meeting did not take place.

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