Trump lawyer met Rus­sian who of­fered ‘po­lit­i­cal syn­ergy’

The Philippine Star - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s for­mer lawyer, Michael Co­hen, was in touch as far back as 2015 with a Rus­sian who of­fered ``po­lit­i­cal syn­ergy’’ with the Trump elec­tion cam­paign and pro­posed a meet­ing be­tween the can­di­date and Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, the fed­eral spe­cial coun­sel said Fri­day.

Court fil­ings from prose­cu­tors in New York and spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s of­fice laid out pre­vi­ously undis­closed con­tacts be­tween Trump as­so­ciates and Rus­sian in­ter­me­di­aries and sug­gested the Krem­lin aimed early on to in­flu­ence Trump and his cam­paign by play­ing to both his po­lit­i­cal as­pi­ra­tions and his per­sonal busi­ness in­ter­ests.

The fil­ings, in cases in­volv­ing Co­hen and for­mer cam­paign chair­man Paul Manafort, capped a dra­matic week of rev­e­la­tions in Mueller’s probe into pos­si­ble co­or­di­na­tion be­tween the Trump cam­paign and the Krem­lin. They bring the le­gal peril from mul­ti­ple in­ves­ti­ga­tions closer than ever to Trump, ty­ing him to an il­le­gal hush money pay­ment scheme and con­tra­dict­ing his claims that he had noth­ing to do with Rus­sia.

They make clear how wit­nesses pre­vi­ously close to Trump — Co­hen once de­clared he’d ``take a bul­let’’ for the pres­i­dent — have since pro­vided dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion about him in ef­forts to come clean to the govern­ment and in some cases get lighter prison sen­tences.

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