THE LYING GAME
MUELLER: MANAFORT MISLED PROSECUTORS ABOUT CONTACT WITH RUSSIANS, TRUMP AIDES
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied about his contacts with a Russian associate and Trump administration officials, prosecutors said in a court filing today, while also calling for President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen to face prison time.
Prosecutors said Manafort violated his plea deal by telling “multiple discernible lies.” They said Manafort was called to testify before a grand jury on Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. The documents do not provide any additional details about the grand jury, or what it is probing.
They said Manafort told investigators that he spoke with officials before and after they left the Trump administration. But they said a review of his electronic documents shows he had “additional contacts” with the officials.
“There’s enough information there to cause President Trump to break into a sweat,” said Fred Bayles, professor emeritus at Boston University and former national news correspondent. “I don’t see much good in this. In fact, the wording seemed to be a really sharpened spear point.”
Prosecutors said Manafort met with investigators from Robert Mueller’s office and the FBI on 12 separate occasions. “The government’s filing in Mr. Manafort’s case says absolutely nothing about the President. It says even less about collusion and is devoted almost entirely to lobbying-related issues. Once again the media is trying to create a story where there isn’t one,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Trump’s former lawyer, Cohen, is also in hot water — federal prosecutors said today he is deserving of a “substantial” prison sentence despite his cooperation in the investigation. Cohen worked with law enforcement in a hush-money payment case that implicated the president.
Court filings by prosecutors from both New York and the Trump-Russia special counsel’s office laid out for the first time details of the cooperation of a vital witness who once said he’d “take a bullet” for the president but who in recent months has become a prime antagonist. He is due to be sentenced next week.
“I don’t think there’s anything in there for President Trump or his lawyers or his supporters to cheer about,” Bayles said.
The filings reveal that Cohen told prosecutors he and Trump discussed a potential meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in 2015, shortly after Trump announced his candidacy.
“The government’s filings in Mr. Cohen’s case tell us nothing of value that wasn’t already known. Mr. Cohen has repeatedly lied and as the prosecution has pointed out to the court, Mr. Cohen is no hero,” Sanders said.
Prosecutors said federal sentencing guidelines call for Cohen to serve at least four years in prison.
MOVING AHEAD: Court filings by prosecutors from both New York and Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller laid out for the fdetails of the cooperation of Michael Cohen. The filings also show that ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to investigators multiple times.