Fil­ing open win­dow into Mueller’s probe

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Milwaukee Wisconsin - Kevin John­son and Bart Jansen

WASH­ING­TON – The win­dow into Jus­tice Depart­ment spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian elec­tion in­ter­fer­ence could be­come clearer Fri­day with a sim­ple con­ver­gence of the fed­eral court cal­en­dar.

In Wash­ing­ton, prose­cu­tors are due to file pa­pers ex­plain­ing last week’s col­lapse of a co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment with Paul Manafort, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s for­mer cam­paign chair­man. The fil­ing is likely to out­line what Mueller’s team char­ac­ter­ized as Manafort’s re­peated lies and ad­di­tional “crimes,” lead­ing to a breach of his plea agree­ment.

In New York, Mueller’s team is sched­uled to file a sen­tenc­ing mem­o­ran­dum for its new­est co­op­er­at­ing wit­ness – for­mer Trump lawyer and “fixer” Michael Co­hen.

Co­hen pleaded guilty to a se­ries of cam­paign fi­nance law of­fenses as part of a plea agree­ment in Au­gust with fed­eral prose­cu­tors in New York. He reached a sep­a­rate deal with Mueller’s team last week in which he pleaded guilty to ly­ing to Congress about plans for a Trump Tower project in Moscow.

The sen­tenc­ing doc­u­ments will prob­a­bly re­veal the scope of Co­hen’s co­op­er­a­tion in both cases, which has in­cluded al­le­ga­tions about Trump’s hush money pay­ments to two women al­leg­ing ex­tra­mar­i­tal af­fairs with him and the pres­i­dent’s ef­forts to con­ceal plans for a Moscow tower project even as Trump de­nied any Rus­sian busi­ness in­ter­ests dur­ing the 2016 cam­paign.

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