What We Now Know – From the Sentencing Documents for Cohen and Memo on Manafort Breaking Plea Agreement

In sentencing documents for former lawyer Michael Cohen and a memo detailing how former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort broke the terms of his plea agreement – was the detail behind what the Special Counsel’s investigation are investigating, what they already know and Mueller’s proximity to Trump.

There are five takeaways from the filings:

1.Trump directed Cohen to pay off both porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, both of whom have alleged they had affairs with Trump, during the 2016 campaign.

During the campaign, Cohen played a central role in two similar schemes to purchase the rights to stories – each from women who claimed to have had an affair with Individual-1 – so as to suppress the stories and thereby prevent them from influencing the election. With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election. Cohen coordinated his actions with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments. In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1. As a result of Cohen’s actions, neither woman spoke to the press prior to the election.

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2.Cohen provided information about attempts by other Russian nationals to reach the campaign.

In or around November 2015, Cohen received the contact information for, and spoke with, a Russian national who claimed to be a “trusted person” in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level.”

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3.Cohen lied to Congress about the nature and extent of his involvement in trying to facilitate a deal on the Moscow Project to hide the fact that assistance of the Russian government would likely be sought and required.

The defendant’s false statements obscured the fact that the Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government. If the project was completed, the Company could have received hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues.

Cohen admitted that he had lied to Congress and to the SCO about the Moscow Project. He provided detailed information about the true circumstances of the Moscow Project, including its duration, the persons involved in the discussions, contacts with Russian government officials, and discussions during the first half of 2016 about the possibility of travel to Russia in connection with the Moscow Project.

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4.Manafort lied about the extent of his contacts with a Russian — named Konstantin Kilimnik. Manafort conceded that Kililmnik had conspired with him.

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5.Manafort continued to communicate with White House officials whilst they were in administration, which Manafort had previously stated did not happen.

The evidence demonstrates that Manafort lied about his contacts. The evidence demonstrates that Manafort had contacts with Administration officials. For instance, in a text exchange from May 26, 2018, Manafort authorized a person to speak with an administration official on Manafort’s behalf.

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People with very close personal and professional ties to President Trump have now been found to have ties to the Russians. Many of those same people not only lied about those connections publicly but also to Congress and/or Mueller’s office.

In response to the Cohen and Manafort filings, Trump tweeted:

Nothing in the documents filed by either Mueller or the Southern District of New York on Friday clear President Trump.

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