Following the conviction of President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and his implication that Trump paid ‘hush money’ to two women, Trump said Cohen made up ‘stories to get a ‘deal’ from federal prosecutors.’ Cohen is reportedly ‘more than happy’ to aid the Russian probe as Trump faces mounting pressure with the progressing investigation.
President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes on Tuesday, a victory for special counsel Robert Mueller. Manafort’s trial was the first in the Russian election meddling probe. The jury failed to reach a verdict on 10 other charges and the judge declared a mistrial on those.
President Trump said on Monday he fears statements he makes under oath to Special Counsel Robert Mueller could be used to bring perjury charges against him as part of the Russian electoral interference investigation. Trump previously said ‘there is no collusion.’ Trump asserted that he could intervene in the investigation but has chosen not to.
Rick Gates testified in court on Monday that he was involved in criminal activity with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s star witness, Gates served as Manafort’s business partner for nearly a decade until 2016. Gates initially pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and lying to federal authorities in February.
President Trump commented on Sunday that a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between top campaign-aides and a Kremlin-connected lawyer was designed to ‘get information on an opponent,’ seemingly Hillary Clinton. Trump’s comment is an admission that his team gave misleading information in July 2017 when Donald Trump Jr. said the meeting was primarily about the adoption of Russian children.
President Trump said Attorney General Jeff Sessions should end special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe on Wednesday, calling Mueller ‘totally conflicted’ and demanding the probe end ‘right now.’ Trump previously acknowledged the Department of Justice should be free from political interference. Questions have resurfaced about whether Trump’s attacks of the probe constitute obstruction of justice.
Paul Manafort’s trial, the first brought by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, on financial fraud charges began on Tuesday with the defense deflecting blame to Manafort’s longtime consulting partner Rick Gates. The prosecution claimed Manafort lied to put his money ahead of the law.
Responding to allegations that he engaged in ‘clandestine intelligence activities’ on behalf of Russia, former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page denied on Sunday that he was an intelligence agent for Russia. President Trump claimed surveillance of the former aide confirmed the Justice Department and FBI ‘misled the courts’ in the early stages of the Russian investigation.
President Trump’s lawyer in the investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election, Ty Cobb, left the case, after having apparently contemplated retirement for some time. Cobb will be replaced by Emmet Flood who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment. Flood is expected to take a more antagonistic approach to the case than Cobb.
The questions special counsel Robert Mueller will ask President Trump in the investigation into Russian collusion and obstruction in the 2016 election were published in the New York Times on Monday. The list of over 40 questions was shared with Trump’s attorney as part of negotiations. President Trump commented on Tuesday, calling the leaking ‘disgraceful.’