Cohen's sentencing documents show that Trump told him to 'reach out' to Russia

In short, it appears that investigators found Cohen helpful and honest on the charges where he would provide information, but he refused to fully cooperate by providing information on other maters. It also appears that much of Cohen’s cooperation can late in the day, after it was clear the SDNY had collected much of the information on their own.

Shortly after the SDNY delivered their document, the special counsel document arrived. Robert Mueller was much kinder in his description of Cohen’s cooperation, saying that Cohen’s information to the Russia investigation was helpful, and was consistent with information from other witnesses.

On the specific issue of Cohen’s involvement in payments that represent a violation of campaign funding regulations, the Mueller document also seems to condemn the actions of “Individual One” saying that “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.” 

Mueller noted that Cohens’ lies to Congress were “deliberate and premeditated.” It doesn’t make it clear if these lies were also coordinated with Trump.

When it comes to Russian involvement, the sentencing document notes that Cohen gave information related to Trump’s ongoing “Moscow project” to make a real estate deal, and also assisted the special counsel concerning other attempts from Russia to make contacts within the Trump campaign. This area was not detailed, but the special counsel’s office treats it as significant.

But even at first glance, the sentencing documents for Cohen note both that Trump was directly involved in payments that were in violation of campaign finance laws. More importantly it shows that, far from being unaware, Trump was the one initiating contact, asking Cohen to “gauge Russia’s interest.”

There’s no way to read these documents that doesn’t move Trump into the category of “unindicted co-conspirator.”


Note: Stay tuned. I’ve had all of five minutes to look at 50 pages of documents.

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