The special counsel and federal prosecutors in NY are filing court memos detailing the cooperation of longtime Trump legal fixer Michael Cohen, who has admitted lying to Congress and orchestrating hush-money payments to protect the president.
Attorneys from the Southern District of NY state explicitly in the court filing that Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1" in handling payments to two women who claimed to have an affair with Trump long before the election.
Prosecutors working for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY based in Manhattan asked a judge to impose a sentence that reflects a "modest downward variance" from the potential maximum of 63 months in prison that Cohen faces.
Mueller's memo is not giving a specific sentencing recommendation, but because Cohen is being cooperative and has accepted responsibility for his lies, his office is requesting that any prison time for which he might be sentenced for misleading Congress be run concurrently with the sentences he gets for his fraud and campaign violation plea bargain with the NY office.
Cohen, dubbed Trump's "legal fixer" in the past, also described his work in conjunction with Trump in orchestrating hush money payments to two women - a porn star and a Playboy model - who said they had sex with Trump a decade earlier.
In hours of interviews with prosecutors, witnesses have offered up information about pivotal episodes under examination, including possible collusion with Russian Federation and payments during the campaign to silence a porn star and Playboy model who said they had sex with Trump a decade earlier.
Cohen had asked for a sentence of no prison time, citing his cooperation.
Mueller said Cohen also shared information about his own contacts "with Russian interests during the campaign and discussions with others in the course of making those contacts".
Trump chief of staff John Kelly to leave White House job
Trump isn't saying immediately who will replace Kelly , a retired Marine general who has served as chief of staff since July 2017. Kelly's tenure working for Trump was pocked with controversies, and officials were often amazed at how he managed to survive.
Despite such specific allegations of Trump's actions, the president quickly tweeted after news of the filings: "Totally clears the President".
Trump says his campaign had nothing to do with them and he denounces Mueller's investigation as a "hoax" and a "witch hunt".
"Donald Trump has been implicated directly in campaign finance violations but it is not yet clear what these latest filings have to do with the Russian collusion investigation, if anything", Al Jazeera's correspondent Shihab Rattansi said, speaking from Washington DC.
The White House similarly dismissed that filing, arguing it "says absolutely nothing about the President".
"In his interviews with the Special Counsel's Office and the FBI, Manafort told multiple discernible lies - these were not instances of mere memory lapses", Mueller's office said in the filing.
He said the most likely result of the Mueller probe is a long report that tries to piece together a "mosaic" that shows Trump committed "political sin, but not federal crime". Though he has portrayed himself as cooperative, "his description of those efforts is overstated in some respects and incomplete in others", prosecutors said.
US Attorney Robert Khuzami accused the 52-year-old, who once vowed to take a bullet for the president, of being motivated by "personal greed" and of "repeatedly" using his power and influence for "deceptive ends".
The meeting did not take place.