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Michael Cohen Is Now Cooperating With Mueller's Office

Michael Cohen has started cooperating with Mueller's team. Trump's toast just got significantly crispier.

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Attorneys for Donald Trump were dealt another major blow on Friday as Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of a deal that involved pleading guilty to two conspiracy charges. Andrew Weissmann, a prosecutor from Mueller’s office, explained to the judge that as part of the deal, all other charges against Manafort will be dropped at sentencing or “at the agreement of successful cooperation.” Under the agreement, Manafort agreed to forfeit four properties and multiple bank accounts, along with cooperating with investigators by participating in interviews, providing documents and testifying in court.

Manafort is one of a number of members of Trump’s inner circle who have cut deals with the special counsel’s office, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Manafort deputy Rick Gates. In recent weeks, it has also become common knowledge among close friends of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, that Cohen is talking to the Mueller team, according to people familiar with the situation. (Cohen did not respond to request for comment, nor did his attorney, Guy Petrillo. A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment.)

The extent and purpose of those talks is not entirely clear. Last month, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of tax evasion, lying to a bank, and campaign-finance violations. During his allocution in front of a packed courtroom, Cohen read carefully chosen words stating that Trump had directed him to make payments to two women who had alleged affairs with the then-candidate, implicating the president as his co-conspirator. Trump subsequently criticized Cohen, contrasting his disloyalty with the contemporaneous actions of Manafort, who he tweeted had “refused to break” by making up stories in order to get a deal. “Such respect for a brave man!” he added. (Trump has denied sexual relationships with both women, and has maintained that he did nothing wrong.)

For months, Cohen has appeared to signal his willingness to cooperate with the government, both with the Southern District of New York and the special counsel’s office. While prosecutors for the Southern District did not initially approach Cohen about a cooperating agreement before he pleaded guilty, many speculated that he could still cut a deal in the months between the plea and his sentencing in December. Those familiar with Cohen’s thinking were unsure about what he might have to offer prosecutors, but because he had worked so closely with Trump and his family for more than a decade, it was assumed that he could potentially be a useful corroborating witness.

It is a remarkable reversal from a year ago, when Cohen told me he would take a bullet for the president. But Cohen has now been squeezed financially, emotionally, and legally in a way he could not have imagined. Since last month, his primary concern has been his family—what a prison sentence could mean for them, and what his financial situation will look like, given his mounting legal bills and lack of income. He had expressed to friends that he was willing to share what he knows, both because he wants to be on the right side of history, and to spare them. As one longtime friend of Cohen’s put it to me, “He doesn’t feel he needs to go out of his way to protect Trump anymore, particularly because Trump has gone out of his way to hurt Michael.” Earlier this week, Cohen and his attorney sat down with New York state tax-department officials, who subpoenaed him last month as part of their inquiry into the Trump Foundation.

(continued)

by Anonymousreply 1010/12/2018

(continuation)

According to people close to him, Cohen closely watched the White House’s reaction to his allocution in court last month. He listened as Trump railed against anyone who makes a plea deal, telling Fox News that cooperating with the government “almost ought to be outlawed.” And he has bristled at the feeling that he has taken the fall for a man who has refused to take any responsibility or face any consequence himself. In conversations with Mueller’s team, he is making good on what he told ABC earlier this summer: that his loyalty to Trump is no longer his lodestar.

/end

by Anonymousreply 109/16/2018

What will the cornered orange rat do?

by Anonymousreply 209/16/2018

Cohen knows where most of the bodies are buried, and he has a few months to go before his sentencing. Between now and December, there is plenty he can divulge to Bob Mueller and his team.

In a complicated criminal investigation, the methodology is to follow a spiral pattern. You start at the outside and then work your way inward toward the main target. The next step in the investigation will probably consist of indictments for Trump's closest advisers, including his children. When you see these come out, the end is imminent: Trump's indictment will follow immediately after.

These lasts four months of the year are going to be something else. I can't wait until every single scumbag weasel is behind bars.

by Anonymousreply 309/16/2018

Michael reregisters as a Democrat. What does this mean wiseguys?

by Anonymousreply 410/12/2018

R3 - I'm no longer optimistic about Mueller since he gave the President written questions and Trump's lawyers are filling them out.

We need the bastard under oath so he can hang himself with his own words. Clinton had to testify so why should this shit stain?

by Anonymousreply 510/12/2018

^ SHOULDN'T this shit stain

by Anonymousreply 610/12/2018

My hope is that he has enough without a shit stain interview....... that this is just a formality and courtesy and good politics.

by Anonymousreply 710/12/2018

I read mueller has a plan, he does everything to get trump to cooperate, including the written questions. This strengthens his argument if he subpoenas trump, he can say he did everything possible and still trump doesn't answer the questions.

I wish I could remember where I read this

by Anonymousreply 810/12/2018

Mueller has been (mainly) quiet for a time, I wonder if this is intentional as we near midterm voting next month.

by Anonymousreply 910/12/2018

Raising my hand in class!! Mueller is old school so the policy (I don't know if it's official) of the FBI is to be quiet before elections. They don't want to interfere with the outcome **cough** Comey **cough**.

Again, I apologize for not citing my sources.

by Anonymousreply 1010/12/2018
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