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Donald Trump denies wrongdoing amid accusations from prosecutors in Russia probe

  • December 08, 2018

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New court filings from special counsel Robert Mueller outline the levels of cooperation from Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort.
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – A day after prosecutors implicated him in a hush money conspiracy to evade campaign laws, President Donald Trump continued Saturday to say the Russia investigation has yielded nothing.

“AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!” Trump tweeted Saturday. In another tweet, Trump said it is “Time for the Witch Hunt to END!”

He did not elaborate.

The president made his claim a day after federal prosecutors, in recommending prison time for former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, implicated Trump in a scheme to pay hush money to two women who claimed to have had affairs with him.

Prosecutors said the president – identified in court documents as “Individual-1″ – directed Cohen to make the payments to the women in an effort to buy their silence right before the election.

The unreported payments amounted to campaign contributions, and hiding them was a violation of campaign finance laws, prosecutors said.

Cohen, who has pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress, has also spoken with prosecutors about the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia, which sought to influence the election by email hacks of prominent Democrats.

As early as November 2015, prosecutors said, Cohen was in contact with an unidentified Russian national who claimed to be a “trusted person” in the Russian government. 

The person offered the Trump campaign “political synergy,” the filing said, and “repeatedly proposed” a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, though such a meeting never took place.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, a frequent target of Trump, is investigating the Russian meddling, and whether Trump’s campaign had any involvement. He is also looking into whether Trump has tried to obstruct the investigation.

Trump, who has consistently denied collusion and obstruction, has described Mueller’s probe as a politically motivated “witch hunt.”

Prosecutors also filed new documents in the case of Paul Manafort, claiming he has lied about the Trump campaign and Russia as part of a plea bargain agreement with Mueller’s office.

Trump and his allies said the Manafort filing did not implicated the president.

As for Cohen, aides described the president’s former lawyer as a liar who will say anything to get himself a lighter sentence. “Mr. Cohen has repeatedly lied and as the prosecution has pointed out to the court, Mr. Cohen is no hero” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

After the filings surfaced Friday, Trump himself sent out a somewhat cryptic tweet: “Totally clears the President. Thank you!”

Bravado or not, legal analysts said Trump could be looking at major legal problems, especially regarding Cohen’s statements.

“The real news right now is not about Cohen’s sentence,” said Neal Katyal, former acting U.S. solicitor general. “It is about the conclusion by federal prosecutors that Donald J. Trump has committed a serious felony.”

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Robin Bell, left, and Sorane Yamahira look at their work projected on the Trump International Hotel, July 23, 2018, in Washington. In a city with a long tradition of leftist street activism, Bell has become something of a local celebrity. Every few weeks, Bell puts messages of protest on the side of the Trump International Hotel. He’s called President Donald Trump a pig and a racist, used smiling poop emojis, and taunted the president with images of his former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Alex Brandon, APAdult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, speaks outside U.S. Federal Court with her lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) in Lower Manhattan, New York on April 16, 2018.
Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims to have had a consensual sexual encounter with Donald Trump a decade ago, said April 17, 2018 that she is pursuing legal action against the president because she is “done being bullied.””I’m tired of being threatened, intimidating me, and trying to say that you’ll ruin my life and take all my money and my house,” Daniels said on ABC’s “The View.””I’m done being bullied,” Daniels said of legal threats from Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, who is now embroiled in his own legal troubles.”I’m done,” Daniels said.
EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ, AFP/GETTY IMAGESIn this courtroom sketch, Joanna Hendon, right, one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, speaks as the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, left, sits next to one of his own attorneys Todd Harrison, center, with porn star Stormy Daniels visible in the audience between Cohen and Harrison, during a federal court hearing in New York, April 16, 2018. Attorneys for Cohen and Trump tried to persuade U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to delay prosecutors from examining records and electronic devices seized in the raids on the grounds that many of them are protected by attorney-client privilege. ELIZABETH WILLIAMS VIA APCBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King, left, Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti, CNN news anchor Don Lemon and FOX News talk show host Sean Hannity pose for a selfie at The Hollywood Reporter’s annual 35 Most Powerful People in Media event at The Pool on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in New York.
In court hearings on April 16, 2018, it was revealed that the client list of presidential lawyer Michael Cohen also includes Sean Hannity, one of the president’s biggest supporters.
EVAN AGOSTINI, INVISION/AP

  • Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal1 of 18
  • Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to President2 of 18
  • Robin Bell, left, and Sorane Yamahira look at their3 of 18
  • Michael Cohen leaves the U.S. Courthouse in New York4 of 18
  • Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for President5 of 18
  • Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer and confidante6 of 18
  • Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as7 of 18
  • In this courtroom sketch, Joanna Hendon, right, one8 of 18
  • Attorney Michael Cohen, US President Donald J. Trump's9 of 18
  • (L to R) Todd Harrison and Joseph Evans, attorneys10 of 18
  • Michael Cohen takes a phone call  as he sits outside11 of 18
  • CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King, left, Stormy12 of 18
  • In this Sept. 19, 2017 file photo, President Trump's13 of 18
  • The actress Stephanie Clifford, who uses the stage14 of 18
  • Michael Cohen's lawyer David Schwartz appeared on Megyn15 of 18
  • Michael Cohen, right, President Donald Trump's personal16 of 18
  • Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney,17 of 18
  • (L to R) Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President-elect18 of 18

 

 

 

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