White House Says Latest Mueller Filings Do Nothing to Damage Trump

Putin and Trump are seen at the G20 in Buenos Aires Argentina. File

Analyst Explains Why Cancellation of Direct Putin Trump G20 Talks is Flop for US Sputnik Владимир Астапкович

The government is seeking a "substantial term of imprisonment" for Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, it said in court documents submitted on Friday - but would like a judge to give consideration to cooperation he has rendered in the Russian Federation and other investigations.

Cohen also discussed a Moscow real estate deal that could have netted Trump's business hundreds of millions of dollars and conversations with a Russian intermediary who proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as offering synergy with the campaign, prosecutors said.

"In total, the prosecutors seem to be saying the president was more aware than he has claimed to be", former federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin said.

Trump's praise comes amid the federal prosecutors' sentencing recommendation for the president's former attorney, Michael Cohen, and another filing detailing how his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, breached his plea agreement with Mueller and the FBI. Cohen's lawyers have asked that he receive no jail time, saying he has cooperated extensively with Mueller and NY prosecutors and has taken responsibility for his actions.

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Mueller said on Friday that Cohen repeated his false statements about the project in his first meeting with Mueller's office, admitting the truth only in a later meeting in September after he had pleaded guilty to the separate NY charges.

There is "no bigger warranty in any project than consent of (the president of Russia)", the person told Cohen.

In addition to coming clean on the Moscow project, Cohen provided information to Mueller about several attempts by Russians to contact the Trump's campaign, according to Friday's filing. Cohen also tried to "minimize" the links between Trump and the proposal, Mueller said.

"The person told Cohen that such a meeting could have a "phenomenal" impact 'not only in political but in a business dimension as well, '" the filing said.

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Trump says his campaign had nothing to do with them and he denounces Mueller's investigation as a "hoax" and a "witch hunt". He also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in a separate case handled by Mueller.

However, in the crimes to which he pleaded guilty in August, he was motivated "by personal greed and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends".

The filing was made to demonstrate to the federal district court why sentencing Manafort on financial fraud and witness tampering charges should be moved up to as early as this month rather than next year, as Manafort's original cooperation deal envisaged.

They said Cohen should receive some credit for cooperating with Mueller but noted he had not entered into a similar agreement with their office.

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