Mueller accuses Manafort of lying, but not about Russian Federation collusion

The separate filings came from special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in NY ahead of Wednesday's sentencing of Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Prosecutors working for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY based in Manhattan asked a judge to impose a sentence that reflects a "modest downward variance" from the potential maximum of 63 months in prison that Cohen faces. 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 US campaign.

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.

Dean, who served as Nixon's counsel from 1970 to 1973, was chosen by the president to lead a special investigation into the Watergate scandal.

The special counsel's office said Cohen had provided "useful information" about its ongoing probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as "relevant information" about his contacts with people connected to the White House between 2017 and 2018.

The memo was harsh on Cohen's payoffs of the two women, and sought to tie them to Trump's win, arguing that Cohen "coordinated" with the Trump campaign.

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". Russian Federation has denied interfering in the election to help Trump.


Despite such specific allegations of Trump's actions, the president quickly tweeted after news of the filings: "Totally clears the President".

In hours of meetings with prosecutors, Cohen detailed his intimate involvement in an array of episodes, including some that directly touch the president, that are at the center of investigations into campaign finance violations and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

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.

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

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. It never took place. Though he has portrayed himself as cooperative, "his description of those efforts is overstated in some respects and incomplete in others", prosecutors said. The Manhattan prosecutors' charges against Cohen stemmed from a referral from Mueller's team.

"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", they wrote.


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