Rus­sian of­fered Trump cam­paign ‘po­lit­i­cal’ co­op­er­a­tion in 2015

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - WORLD -

NEW YORK: US prose­cu­tors have re­vealed that a Rus­sian of­fered co­op­er­a­tion to Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign as early as 2015, declar­ing that the pres­i­dent’s ex-lawyer Michael Co­hen had pro­vided ‘rel­e­vant’ and ‘sub­stan­tial’ help to the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In a sep­a­rate case, fed­eral prose­cu­tors de­manded ‘sub­stan­tial’ jail time of be­tween 51 to 63 months – four to five years – for Co­hen for bank fraud and cam­paign fi­nance vi­o­la­tions to which he plead guilty in Au­gust.

US At­tor­ney Robert Khuzami ac­cused the 52-year-old, who once vowed to take a bul­let for the pres­i­dent, of be­ing mo­ti­vated by ‘per­sonal greed’ and of ‘re­peat­edly’ us­ing his power and in­flu­ence for ‘de­cep­tive ends.’

“To­tally clears the Pres­i­dent. Thank you!” tweeted the US pres­i­dent cryp­ti­cally as tele­vi­sion net­works were con­sumed by the Co­hen doc­u­ments – which the White House dis­missed as re­veal­ing ‘noth­ing of value.’

The cam­paign fi­nance vi­o­la­tions to which Co­hen plead guilty – un­re­lated to the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion – con­cerned hush pay­ments he made on Trump’s be­half to al­leged for­mer lovers of the pres­i­dent, in­clud­ing porn star Stormy Daniels.

In the 40-page doc­u­ment Khuzami drew a di­rect link be­tween Co­hen’s il­le­gal be­hav­iour and Trump.

“In par­tic­u­lar, and as Co­hen him­self has now ad­mit­ted, with re­spect to both pay­ments, he acted in co­or­di­na­tion with and at the di­rec­tion of In­di­vid­ual-1,” the doc­u­ment reads, re­fer­ring to Trump.

Robert Mueller, the spe­cial coun­sel head­ing up the probe into Rus­sian med­dling in the 2016 vote, fol­lowed up with a sep­a­rate fil­ing say­ing Co­hen had made “sub­stan­tial and sig­nif­i­cant ef­forts to re­me­di­ate his mis­con­duct, ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for his ac­tions, and as­sist” the spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion, a thorn in Trump’s side.

Co­hen con­tin­ued to pro­vide ‘rel­e­vant and truth­ful in­for­ma­tion’ to as­sist the probe, hold­ing seven ses­sions with in­ves­ti­ga­tors, “many of them lengthy, and con­tin­ues to make him­self avail­able to in­ves­ti­ga­tors,” it said.

He had pro­vided in­for­ma­tion about con­tacts with Rus­sian in­ter­ests dur­ing the cam­paign, at­tempts by Rus­sians to reach the cam­paign and about con­tacts with “per­sons con­nected to the White House” in 2017-2018, the fil­ing added. — AFP

MICHAEL CO­HEN

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