The Trump campaign team was offered “political” cooperation with Moscow in November 2015, according to new revelations in the sprawling investigation by the special prosecutor Robert Mueller, which Donald Trump continues to want to discredit.
The information comes out of a series of documents filed Friday by the Special Prosecutor and Justice of New York, in anticipation of the sentencing expected Wednesday for Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney Donald Trump, who recognized to have lied to the Congress about his contacts with Russia during the campaign and to have violated the rules on electoral financing.
On this last point, distinct from the Russian investigation, the New York prosecutors pointed out a possible personal responsibility of the American president in illegal payments made to two women to buy their silence and to avoid that a sexual scandal explodes.
But Donald Trump as the White House quickly swept away these new revelations.
“The president is totally whitened, thank you!” Tweeted Donald Trump cryptically.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the new documents said “nothing important that is not already known” on the Cohen file.
In his seven-page memo, Mueller reports that Michael Cohen admitted to having been in touch in November 2015 – eight months before Donald Trump was invested as the Republican party’s candidate – with a Russian claiming to be “a trusted person.” ” of the government.
- “Phenomenal impact”
This individual would have proposed to Mr. Cohen a meeting between Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin, mirroring “a phenomenal impact”, both politically and on the real estate project Trump was striving for at the time of building a “trump tower” in Moscow .
Cohen, however, said he did not follow up on the proposal, according to the prosecutor’s memo to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and a possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump team.
These latest revelations testify to the extent of Cohen’s cooperation – who had once claimed to be ready to “take a ball” for Donald Trump – with Robert Mueller’s office.
The special prosecutor said the 52-year-old father had made “significant efforts” to correct his misrepresentations in Congress about his contacts with Moscow for real estate projects by the New York magnate.
On November 29, Michael Cohen admitted to lying to Congress about the length of these contacts, claiming that they had stopped in January 2016 – long before the Republican party invests Donald Trump as his White House candidate in July 2016 – while he later admitted that they had continued until the summer of 2016.
Michael Cohen has already met with Mr. Mueller’s men seven times, “often at length,” and “committed to continuing to provide true and relevant information” for the Russian investigation, Mueller said.
Despite this help, Cohen, 52, may be sentenced Wednesday to several years in prison.
The New York federal prosecutor Robert Khuzami, who had charged Mr Cohen in August for tax and banking fraud, and violation of campaign finance laws, with no direct connection to the Russian investigation, called for a “punishment” for him. significant “, from 51 to 63 months in prison, or about four to five years behind bars.
In a 40-page memo, the New York prosecutor said that Cohen – who had tried to buy, just before the November 2016 presidential election, the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels and another woman on their alleged relationship with Donald Trump – had committed “serious and deliberate acts”.
“In particular, and as Cohen himself admits now, for these two payments, he acted in coordination and under the direction of” Donald Trump, adds the prosecutor, directly implicating the Republican candidate become president.
Donald Trump intensified in recent days his attacks against Mueller and the Russian investigation, which he continues to call “witch hunt”.
Earlier Friday, the president had launched seven angry tweets, witnesses to his frustration with an investigation that he believes is unfounded and has lasted too long.
- New Minister of Justice
He denounced Mr. Mueller’s alleged “numerous conflicts of interest” and promised a “counter-report” to that prepared by the special prosecutor, which no one knows when it will be made and in what form.
In this complex investigation, Mueller also detailed Friday all the lies alleged against Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign director, who had promised to cooperate with the special prosecutor and is now facing a more severe prison sentence.
Mr Manafort, who is being prosecuted for malpractices prior to 2016, has reportedly lied about his contacts with a Russian businessman, Konstantin Kilimnik, whom US officials suspect of working for the intelligence service in Moscow.
These developments come as the President has announced the appointment of William Barr as Minister of Justice to replace Jeff Sessions.
The latter was sacked last month, raising fears of a resumption of the very sensitive investigation into possible collusion between the billionaire’s campaign team and Russia.