Trump denies collusion after major revelations in Russian Federation probe

Citing 'serious' crimes Manhattan prosecutors say Michael Cohen deserves 'substantial' sentence

Initially, Cohen said his September 2015 comments on Sean Hannity's radio show predicting a "better than likely chance" that Trump would meet Putin that week at the UN General Assembly were "spontaneous and had not been discussed within the campaign".

U.S. President Trump on Friday lashed out at Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 election campaign, and suggested Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had a conflict of interest without offering any evidence.

In meetings with Mueller's team, Cohen "provided information about his own contacts with Russian interests during the campaign and discussions with others in the course of making those contacts", the court documents said. "Totally clears the president".

Prosecutors in both of the Cohen cases were required to submit separate memos yesterday on his cooperation to U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan, who will decide on the former lawyer's sentence on December 12.

The memo said while prosecutors agree that Cohen should receive credit for his assistance with the special counsel's office, since he chose not to be a formal cooperating witness, he would only get a modest reduction in sentence. Though Cohen had previously implicated Trump in the payments, the prosecutors now are linking Trump to the scheme and backing up Cohen's allegations.

The court filings will close out a week in which Mueller's team for the first time provided some details of the help they've received from former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The filing does not name Trump, but refers to an "Individual 1" that it says Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of" in giving payments to silence adult film actor Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who claimed they had affairs with Trump before the 2016 election.

Later, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in two statements that the Manafort filing "says absolutely nothing about the President" and the Cohen filings "tell us nothing of value that wasn't already known". He has said he did so to stay in sync with Trump's political messaging, and that he consulted with the White House while preparing to testify to Congress.

Mueller said that discussions about the potential Moscow development were relevant to the investigation because they occurred "at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the US presidential election".

Also Friday, Mueller filed a report that said former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort lied to prosecutors about his contacts with the White House and a pal with ties to Russian intelligence while under investigation.

The commander-in-chief vowed his lawyers would produce a "major Counter Report" to rebut Mueller's findings, as and when he delivers them.

The heavily redacted report came more than a week after prosecutors accused Manafort of "committing federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the special counsel's office on a variety of subject matters", violating his plea agreement.

A heavily redacted court filing said that Manafort's "lies" included untruths about his dealings with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate who United States officials suspect is a Russian intelligence operative, and about his contacts with Trump administration officials after striking a plea agreement.

The former fixer last week pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in connection with a Moscow real estate deal, which was being pursued as late as one month before Trump officially became the Republican nominee for president. He is to be sentenced next week, and may face several years in prison. He was motivated to do so by personal greed, and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends.

Prosecutors said the court's Probation Department estimated that federal sentencing guidelines call for Cohen to serve at least four years in prison.

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