BREAKING: Feds Formally Accuse Trump Of Directing Two Election-Related Crimes In 2016
In an extraordinary development, federal prosecutors revealed for the first time Friday night that Donald Trump personally directed his lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen to commit two election-related crimes in 2016, as special counsel Robert Mueller outlined new contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian nationals, CNN reports.
Those revelations came in a set of court filings in which federal prosecutors in New York said Cohen should receive a “substantial” prison sentence for tax fraud and campaign finance crimes.
It also comes as Mueller’s office accused the President’s former attorney of lying about his contacts with Russia.
The special counsel memo states that Cohen’s false statements to investigators about the Trump Tower Moscow project “obscured the fact that the Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government.”
Mueller’s office said the fact that Cohen continued to work on the Trump Tower Moscow project — and discuss it with Trump — was material to both the ongoing congressional and special counsel investigations, noting in particular that “it occurred at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the U.S. presidential election.”
Mueller argues that the false timeline that Cohen laid out publicly and in his testimony — that the Trump Tower Moscow discussions ended in January 2016 — was a deliberate effort to limit the investigations into Russia’s election interference.
In pleading guilty, Cohen disclosed that talks about the proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow had extended through June 2016, after Trump had become the presumptive Republican nominee for president, and that both Trump and his family members had been briefed on the discussions. Cohen also acknowledged pursuing plans to send Trump and himself to Russia in service of the project and discussing the proposed development directly with a representative of the Kremlin.
This is a developing story and will be updated.