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President Trump on Russian Federation probe: no proof of collusion after 2 years

President Trump on Russian Federation probe: no proof of collusion after 2 years

Trump's own Justice Department has now implicated him in a crime, accusing him of directing illegal hush-money payments to women during his 2016 presidential campaign.

The more that special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors reveal, the darker grow the legal clouds over President Donald Trump.

"AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!"

In a separate filing on Friday, Mueller's office said Cohen should serve any sentence imposed for that crime concurrently with the sentence imposed for the NY charges, saying he had gone to "significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel's investigation".

The aside is included as part of Mueller's call for a federal judge to be lenient on Cohen and sentence him to no additional jail time in a case brought by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY on tax evasion, making false statements in an application for a bank loan, making an illegal campaign contribution and lying to Congress. The November 2015 outreach - which Mueller says Cohen did not pursue - appears to be the earliest known effort by Russian Federation to build ties with the Trump campaign.

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.

Mueller's office, in a separate filing, did not take a position on what sentence Cohen should receive when he appears before a judge next week in New York City.

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Much of the media coverage after Mueller and federal prosecutors in NY released their filing documents, related to the sentencing of Cohen and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, focused on possible campaign finance crimes by Cohen and Trump related to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford) and Playboy model Karen McDougal.

In the latest filings Friday, prosecutors will weigh in on whether Cohen deserves prison time and, if so, how much.

Prosecutors in NY are seeking "substantial" jail time, but Mr Mueller does not recommend additional time behind bars as a result of his inquiry.

Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about negotiations between Trump's business and powerful Russians about a prospective Trump Tower in Moscow, a building that ultimately was never built.

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

Mueller's office hinted that Manafort could be slapped with new charges, despite being convicted in August of eight counts related to his work with a pro-Russian political party. Though he has portrayed himself as cooperative, "his description of those efforts is overstated in some respects and incomplete in others", prosecutors said.

Among other things, those documents indicated that prosecutors believe Trump ordered Cohen to pay hush money to two women he'd had affairs with to protect his presidential run. "Thank you!" after the court filings, the documents suggest that Trump may have known more about campaign and business contacts with the Russians than he has admitted.