Discussions with Mueller team about possible Trump-Russia conspiracy and pardon of Cohen


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Donald Trump’s former long-time lawyer Michael Cohen is cooperating with the team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the Trump-Russia investigation.

Cohen has been interviewed multiple times in the past month by prosecutors, according to “two people with knowledge of the sessions”.

The cooperation was aniticipated when Cohen pleaded guilty last month to eight felony charges over his financial affairs, including his “hush money” to two women — Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who have alleged sexual affairs with Trump. During his statement to the court, Cohen implicated Trump in criminal activity over the payoffs.

But the confirmation adds to the pressure on the temperamental Trump, who was rocked earlier this month when his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort — after holding out for almost a year — also agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team.

Cohen has been interviewed in Washington and New York. Topics included possible conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and discussion with Trump and his inner circle about a pardon for the lawyer.

Cohen is also cooperating with New York state prosecutors into the operations of the Trump family charity and the Trump Organization, where the lawyer was executive vice president and special counsel to Trump for 10 years.

It is unclear how much Cohen can reveal about the political connections between Trump’s camp and the Russians in 2016. At the time of his guilty plea, sources close to him said he had damaging information about Trump’s involvement over a June 2016 meeting between his top advisors — Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner — and three Kremlin-linked envoys, set up to discuss Russian provision of information damaging to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis soon stepped back from the claim.

However, Cohen does have detailed knowledge about Trump’s business affairs. In late 2015, he had a series of e-mail exchanges with Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman and Trump business associate, about the possibility of a Trump Tower in Moscow. In the exchange, Sater said, “I will get [Russian President Vladimir] Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected.”


At Nevada Rally, Trump Lies About Health Care and Clean Water

Speaking at a rally in Las Vegas on Thursday night, Donald Trump put out a series of lies as he urged the crowd to vote for Republicans in November’s Congressional elections.

Dan Diamond of Politico notes Trump’s blatant falsehood about health care, as his Administration tries to undermine the Affordable Care Act:

Trump also falsified statistics about water provision, as Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star noted in a series of fact checks:

The deceptions appear to part of an Administration strategy to present Republicans as the guardian of social services for November’s vote. Dale explains: