Pros­e­cu­tors: Sub­stan­tial prison term for Co­hen

Memo out­lines Rus­sia con­tacts, pay­ments to women

Hartford Courant - - World&nation - By Chad Day, Eric Tucker and Jim Mus­tian As­so­ci­ated Press

WASH­ING­TON — 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, the fed­eral spe­cial coun­sel said Fri­day in a court fil­ing.

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 Co­hen, a vi­tal wit­ness who once said he’d “take a bul­let” for the pres­i­dent but who in re­cent months has be­come a prime an­tag­o­nist and pledged to come clean with the gov­ern­ment.

Fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors said Fri­day that Co­hen de­serves a sub­stan­tial prison sen­tence de­spite his co­op­er­a­tion with in­ves­tiga- tors. He is to be sen­tenced “mul­ti­ple dis­cernible lies” next week, and may face to pros­e­cu­tors, they said. sev­eral years in prison. Co­hen also dis­cussed a

In hours of meet­ings Moscow real es­tate deal with pros­e­cu­tors, Co­hen that could have net­ted de­tailed his in­ti­mate in­Trump’s busi­ness hun­dreds volve­ment in an ar­ray of of mil­lions of dol­lars and episodes, in­clud­ing some con­ver­sa­tions with a Rusthat di­rectly touch the pres­sian in­ter­me­di­ary who proident, that are at the cen­ter posed a meet­ing be­tween of in­ves­ti­ga­tions into camTrump and Rus­sian Pre­si­paign fi­nance vi­o­la­tions and dent Vladimir Putin as well po­ten­tial col­lu­sion be­tween as of­fer­ing syn­ergy with the the Trump cam­paign and cam­paign, pros­e­cu­tors said. the Krem­lin. Co­hen, dubbed Trump’s

In one of the “le­gal fixer” in the past, also fil­ings, Mueller de­scribed his work in con­de­tails how Co­hen junc­tion with Trump in spoke to a Rus­sian or­ches­trat­ing hush money who “claimed to pay­ments to two women — be a ‘trusted pera porn star and a Play­boy son’ in the Rus­sian model — who said they had af­ter Trump an­nounced his Fed­er­a­tion who sex with Trump a decade can­di­dacy for pres­i­dent, the could of­fer the ear­lier. Pros­e­cu­tors in New fil­ings say. cam­paign ‘poli­tiYork, where Co­hen pleaded In a foot­note, spe­cial cal syn­ergy’ and guilty in Au­gust in con­nec­coun­sel Robert Mueller’s ‘syn­ergy on a gov­ern­ment tion with those pay­ments, team writes that Co­hen level.’ ” said the lawyer “acted in con­ferred with Trump

The fil­ing says the meet­co­or­di­na­tion and at the di“about con­tact­ing the Rus­ing never hap­pened. rec­tion” of Trump. sia gov­ern­ment be­fore

In an ad­di­tional fil­ing De­spite such spe­cific al­reach­ing out to gauge RusFri­day evening, pros­e­cu­tors lega­tions of Trump’s ac­sia’s in­ter­est in such a meet­said for­mer Trump cam­tions, the pres­i­dent quickly ing,” though it never took paign chair­man Paul Manatweeted af­ter news of the place. fort lied to them about his fil­ings: “To­tally clears the In an ad­di­tional fil­ing con­tacts with a Rus­sian Pres­i­dent. Thank you!” Fri­day evening, pros­e­cu­tors as­so­ciate and Trump adCo­hen also told pros­e­said Manafort lied to them min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials. cu­tors that he and Trump about his con­tacts with a

Manafort, who has dis­cussed a po­ten­tial meetRus­sian as­so­ciate and pleaded guilty to sev­eral ing with Putin on the sideTrump ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­counts, vi­o­lated cials.his­pleali­ne­soft­heU.N.Gen­eral agree­ment by then telling Assem­bly in 2015, shortly Manafort, who has pleaded guilty to sev­eral counts, vi­o­lated his plea agree­ment by then telling “mul­ti­ple dis­cernible lies” to pros­e­cu­tors, they said.

Also Fri­day, for­mer FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey spoke to House in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­hind closed doors for al­most seven hours, grudg­ingly an­swer­ing ques­tions about the Jus­tice Depart­ment’s de­ci­sions dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Comey, who ap­peared un­der sub­poena, an­nounced af­ter the meet­ing that he would re­turn for more ques­tion­ing Dec. 17. Ap­pear­ing an­noyed, he said “we’re talk­ing about Hil­lary Clin­ton’s emails, for heaven’s sake, so I’m not sure we needed to do this at all.”

A tran­script of the in­ter­view, ex­pected to be re­leased shortly, “will bore you,” Comey said.

Two GOP-led com­mit­tees brought Comey in as they sought to wrap up a year­long in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the depart­ment’s de­ci­sions in 2016. Repub­li­cans ar­gue that depart­ment of­fi­cials were bi­ased against Trump as they started an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his cam­paign’s ties to Rus­sia and cleared Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton in the probe into her email use.

ALEX EDEL­MAN/GETTY-AFP

For­mer FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey, cen­ter, talks to re­porters af­ter tes­ti­fy­ing in a closed hear­ing be­fore House in­ves­ti­ga­tors deal­ing with in­ves­ti­ga­tions he over­saw.

Co­hen

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