WH: Mueller Filing On Manafort Lies 'Says Absolutely Nothing About The President'


The special counsel overseeing the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 United States election detailed on Friday multiple "lies" that Donald Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort had told investigators, leading to a termination of his cooperation deal.

But none of those lies point to Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

Federal prosecutors on Friday asked a judge to sentence Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, to a "substantial" prison term for paying an adult film star hush money on Trump's behalf and evading taxes.

"The government's filing in Mr. Manafort's case says absolutely nothing about the President".

While Cohen implicated the president in the hush payments to two women - adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal - in his guilty plea in August in NY, the filing on Friday marked the first time federal prosecutors officially concurred. Russian Federation has denied interfering in the election to help Trump. That meeting "ultimately did not take place", Mueller said.

In new tweets on Friday, Trump again questioned prosecutors and accused federal investigators and senior officials of having conflicts of interest, without offering any evidence.

They continued: "The fact that Cohen continued to work on the project and discuss it with [Trump] well into the campaign was material to the ongoing congressional and [special counsel] investigations, particularly because it occurred at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the USA presidential election".

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In another ominous sign for the president, the filing Friday also said that Cohen had told the investigation about "certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation" that Cohen knew of because of his regular contact with executives in the Trump Organization during the 2016 campaign.

In addition to coming clean on the Moscow project, Cohen provided information to Mueller about several attempts by Russians to contact the Trump's campaign, according to Friday's filing.

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

The filing was made to demonstrate to the federal district court why sentencing Manafort on financial fraud and witness tampering charges should be moved up to as early as this month rather than next year, as Manafort's original cooperation deal envisaged.

Trump also has focused his criticism specifically on Cohen, calling him a liar who is making up stories to convince the government to ease his sentence in the New York City crimes to which he's also pleaded guilty.

Considering that cooperation, Mueller suggested the sentence for lying to Congress run concurrently with the sentence in the NY case.

They said Cohen should receive some credit for cooperating with Mueller but noted he had not entered into a similar agreement with their office.