Washington | Special Counsel Robert Mueller has filed a new set of papers in court that may increase the legal woes of US President Donald Trump in connection with the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible contacts between the Trump’s presidential campaign and Moscow.
While the court papers does not answer the central question of whether Trump or his associates conspired with the Russians, the documents suggest that the president’s legal woes are far from over and reveal a previously unreported contact from a Russian to Trump’s inner circle during the campaign, according to a report in the Washington Post.
The Court papers directly implicated Trump in plans to buy women’s silence as far back as 2014 and offering new evidence of Russian efforts to forge a political alliance with Trump before he became the president – disclosures that show the deepening political and legal morass enveloping the administration, said the report. In his filings before a US federal court in Washington DC, Muller said that Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager lied to prosecutors about his contacts with the White House and an associate with suspected ties to Russian intelligence. The president and the White House denied of any wrongdoings.
“Totally clears the President. Thank You,” Trump responded with his characteristic fiery tweets. In another court submission, Mueller said Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of Trump, has gone to “significant lengths” to assist his ongoing Russia investigation. Mueller said Cohen has provided the special counsel “with useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation that he obtained by virtue of his regular contact with company executives during the campaign.”
A federal court in New York is scheduled to give its sentencing order against Cohen on December 12. In August he had pleaded guilty to the charges of campaign-finance violations and tax frauds. Federal prosecutors have recommended substantial prison time for Cohen. The White House said none of these filing showed any involvement of the president. “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 Sanders said.
Sanders also said that the government’s filing in Cohen’s case was nothing new. “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 in another statement.
Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking member Dianne Feinstein said that these legal documents outline serious and criminal wrongdoing, including felony violations of campaign finance laws at the direction of President Trump. She said that false statements were given to Congress about communications with Russian government officials in the pursuit of Trump Tower Moscow and lies to Special Counsel Mueller about meetings with Konstantin Kilimnik, a suspected Russian intelligence operative.
“It has been clear from the outset that Special Counsel Mueller has been conducting a serious and strenuous investigation. He has now secured 36 indictments, six guilty pleas and the cooperation of key individuals,” she said. “He (Muller) is working meticulously to uncover the truth about Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential coordination with the Trump campaign. His work must be allowed to continue unfettered. The American people deserve to know the truth,” Feinstein said.
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