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OffbeatMajor Mueller sentence filings imminent in Manafort, Cohen cases, as Comey girds for testimony before House GOP

04:05  07 december  2018
04:05  07 december  2018 Source:   foxnews.com

Trump calls for Mueller probe to end following Manafort, Cohen court filings

Trump calls for Mueller probe to end following Manafort, Cohen court filings President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Saturday that Friday's court filings showed no collusion.

Major Mueller sentence filings imminent in Manafort , Cohen cases , as Comey girds for testimony before House GOP . Trump to announce Heather Nauert as pick for UN Ambassador Friday, sources tell Fox News. Government shutdown threat looms over Capitol Hill's Christmas season.

Major Mueller sentence filings imminent in Manafort , Cohen cases , as Comey girds for testimony before House GOP .

Major Mueller sentence filings imminent in Manafort, Cohen cases, as Comey girds for testimony before House GOP© Provided by Fox News Network LLC A whirlwind week in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian meddling probe is set for a dramatic triple-threaded conclusion Friday, as fired FBI Director James Comey prepares to testify before House Republicans and prosecutors ready pivotal sentencing documents on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

With multiple reports and other indications suggesting the long-running Russia probe that began in May 2017 is nearing its conclusion, Mueller faces court-imposed Friday deadlines to explain how Manafort allegedly broke his cooperation agreement with the government, as well as how Cohen should be punished for lying to Congress about a Trump real estate project.

Giuliani trashes Mueller probe over 'unethical' tactics after Cohen guilty plea

Giuliani trashes Mueller probe over 'unethical' tactics after Cohen guilty plea President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani took aim at special counsel Robert Mueller in an interview airing Sunday, criticizing what he called "unethical" tactics by prosecutors in Mueller office after former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen plead guilty this week of lying to Congress. In an interview with AM 970's The Answer, Giuliani accused Mueller of crossing a line by "intimidating" Trump's allies into saying "what he believes [is] his version of the truth." require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

In a February 13, 2018, testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the heads of the top six American intelligence agencies unanimously reaffirmed Russian interference. This disclosure came in a court sentencing document for Alex van der Zwaan submitted by Robert Mueller .

With Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen convicted of multiple criminal charges, the investigations circled Mueller ’s team also had referred evidence in the Cohen case to federal prosecutors in New York. The afternoon of explosive legal developments comes as the White House is refocusing itself

The planned submissions are set to come just days after Mueller's office submitted a heavily redacted sentencing memorandum indicating that fired national security adviser Michael Flynn had provided "substantial assistance" with several ongoing investigations and recommending no prison time. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani called Mueller's prosecutors "sick puppies" in the wake of that filing.

Meanwhile, Comey is slated to testify behind closed doors before the House Judiciary Committee, after dropping his longshot legal challenge to congressional Republicans' subpoena earlier this week.

After Cohen plea deal, Giuliani questions ethics, tactics of Mueller’s Russia investigation

After Cohen plea deal, Giuliani questions ethics, tactics of Mueller’s Russia investigation President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani is questioning the ethics and tactics of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign, in light of the surprise plea agreement Thursday with Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer.

investigated and prosecuted major financial fraud, terrorism and public corruption cases , as well as narcotics In June 2013, Mueller defended NSA surveillance programs in testimony before a House Judiciary On October 30, 2017, Mueller filed charges against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.

Michael Cohen of New York, New York, pleaded guilty on Nov. conspiracy to obstruct justice (witness tampering). A status report with regard to sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 14, 2018, Manafort admitted his guilt of the remaining counts against him in this case .

Fox News has confirmed that a key focus of questioning will be Comey's decision to write the July 2016 statement recommending against filing criminal charges in the Hillary Clinton email probe before the former secretary of state was even interviewed, as well as the apparent political bias demonstrated in a slew of text messages by top FBI officials.

Trump fired Comey in May 2017, prompting Comey to leak memos documenting purported statements by the president that he demanded loyalty and suggested he curtail the investigation into Flynn.

The leaked memos led to Mueller's appointment, and poured fuel on Republicans' claims that Comey was unfit to lead the FBI.

FBI INACCURATELY SUGGESTED TO FISA COURT THAT YAHOO ARTICLE PROVIDED INDEPENDENT BASIS TO SURVEIL TRUMP AIDE

The president made clear early Thursday that the pending developments were on his mind, characterizing Mueller's investigation as "Presidential Harassment" that is undermining his poll numbers.

Mueller probe: Prosecutors given Friday deadline for sentencing memo on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

Mueller probe: Prosecutors given Friday deadline for sentencing memo on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen A New York judge ordered Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday to provide sentencing memos for Michael Cohen by 5 p.m. Friday. U.S. District Judge William Pauley said the filings should be delivered by hand — rather than electronically — to his chambers in Manhattan. Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and self-described fixer, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 12. He has asked for no prison time because of his cooperation with Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mueller 's office stated in a November 26, 2018, court filing that Manafort had repeatedly lied about a variety of matters, breaching the terms of his plea agreement. ^ a b " Mueller files 32 new charges in Manafort , Gates case ", The Salt Lake Tribune, February 22, 2018, retrieved June 12, 2018.

In his statement before the court, Cohen said he violated campaign finance laws "in coordination with and at Cohen initiated a private arbitration case against Daniels in February 2018, based on A few days after the raid, McClatchy reported that the Mueller investigation was in possession of evidence

SEVEN HIGHLIGHTS FROM BOMBSHELL DOJ WATCHDOG REPORT INTO FBI, DOJ MISCONDUCT

For Manafort, the sentencing document requested by Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Amy Jackson in Washington, D.C., could be electronically filed at any time on Friday. Mueller's team said in a court filing late last month that Manafort -- who avoided a trial in Jackson's courtroom in September by pleading guilty and vowing to cooperate with prosecutors -- had instead lied to the FBI and Justice Department "on a variety of subject matters."

The defense team will have two weeks to respond to Mueller's filing on Friday, and Jackson could schedule a hearing before she rules on whether to throw out Manafort's plea deal -- which could expose him to further charges. Jackson has set a tentative sentencing date of Mar. 5.

FLYNN SENTENCING MEMO SAYS HE'S PROVIDED 'SUBSTANTIAL' HELP WITH ONGOING CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Manafort was convicted on several bank and fraud charges in a separate Virginia federal case in August overseen by Judge T.S. Ellis III. A sentencing date of Feb. 8 has been set in that case.

The Latest: Russia reached out to Trump campaign in 2015

The Latest: Russia reached out to Trump campaign in 2015 President Donald Trump's former legal fixer was fielding outreach from Russians seeking to reach the Trump campaign as far back as 2015. That's according to a new court filing from special counsel Robert Mueller's office in the case of Michael Cohen. __ 5:45 p.m. An attorney for Michael Cohen is declining to comment on the recommendation by federal prosecutors that Cohen serve a "significant" prison term. Attorney Lanny Davis declined to comment Friday after prosecutors said in court filings that Cohen has overstated his assistance to law enforcement.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his Kiev colleague with obstruction of justice, but This has not escaped the attention of Judge T.S. Ellis, who is presiding over Mueller ’s case against Manafort in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

Mr. Manafort argued in the lawsuit that Mr. Mueller had gone too far. He sued both Mr. Mueller and Rod The case faces an uphill climb because Mr. Rosenstein has said publicly that he has specifically approved every significant Worse for the White House , the lawsuit also invites Mr. Mueller to give a

Manafort could have yet more involvement in other ongoing federal probes. A separate investigation referred to DOJ prosecutors by Mueller earlier this year into possible criminal activity by Clinton-linked Washington insider Tony Podesta and former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig is reportedly heating up, as prosecutors increasingly reach out to potential witnesses.

Podesta's firm previously did work for Manafort, raising the possibility that the ex-Trump campaign chairman will be involved in yet another potential prosecution. Podesta was offered so-called "use immunity" by Mueller this summer that would have compelled him to testify in Manafort's planned D.C. trial, which did not occur as scheduled because of Manafort's plea deal.

"Use immunity" is a limited form of immunity that only protects Podesta from prosecution based on his own statements on the witness stand. Even if Podesta ultimately provides testimony, he would still be open to potential prosecution based on materials that prosecutors might uncover independently from his testimony.

SHOCK COHEN GUILTY PLEA COULD LEAD TO OTHER UNUSUAL PROSECUTIONS FOR LYING TO CONGRESS

Meanwhile, U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley has imposed a 5 p.m. EST deadline for both Mueller and prosecutors in the Southern District of New York to hand-deliver separate sentencing submissions on Cohen, the former Trump attorney and right-hand man who has pleaded guilty in cases handled by both offices.

President Trump says payments to women were 'private transaction,' not criminal offense

President Trump says payments to women were 'private transaction,' not criminal offense Some Democrats say the payments could be impeachable offenses, but the president argued that they weren't campaign contributions.

Paul Manafort has recently told people he’s being treated like a “VIP” at the Virginia prison. The detention center’s staff are “very familiar with housing high-profile defendants including In another filing , Mueller ’s team on Wednesday also asked the federal court to issue 100 blank subpoenas to

Manafort faces a long list of charges that includes conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy Pay particular attention if you start seeing Mueller ’s team filing not criminal indictments but “criminal It’s important to understand that the task before Mueller ’s team of FBI agents and prosecutors isn’t to

In the Mueller probe, Cohen pleaded guilty late last month to lying to Congress about a Trump real estate project in Russia. And in August, Cohen pleaded guilty in a separate case that Mueller referred to prosecutors in the Southern District of New York because it fell outside the scope of his congressional mandate to probe possible Russia collusion.

In the August plea, Cohen admitted to violating federal campaign finance laws by arranging hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal in the weeks leading up to the election “at the direction” of then-candidate Trump.

In all, Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution.

MUELLER-REFERRED PROBE INTO CLINTON-LINKED PODESTA GROUP HEATS UP: REPORT

But legal experts were split on the significance of the plea, because campaign finance laws are notoriously murky, and Cohen's plea does not necessarily indicate that prosecutors could have successfully prosecuted a campaign finance case against Cohen or Trump. Cohen was also accused of violating numerous other banking and fraud laws, and could have pleaded guilty to the campaign finance charge to lighten his potential sentence, experts said.

TRUMP ASSOCIATE ROGER STONE TO PLEAD FIFTH TO AVOID TESTIFYING BEFORE SENATE JUDICIARY CMTE

And a former chairman for the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has said that campaign finance laws are often an unfair lose-lose proposition for candidates, which is why they are often pursued as civil matters, rather than criminal ones.

The Latest: Manafort testified before grand jury twice

The Latest: Manafort testified before grand jury twice Court documents say former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort testified before a grand jury on two occasions as part of his plea deal. Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller's office have accused Manafort of violating the agreement by lying to investigators. They say Manafort met with investigators from Mueller's office and the FBI on 12 separate occasions. They allege he told "multiple discernible lies." __ 6:10 p.m. Prosecutors say former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied about his contacts with a Russian associate and Trump administration officials. The disclosures were made in a court filing Friday evening.

Comey will be testifying this morning before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about his personal Comey has begun to speak and reveals that it was after he was fired, and the White House and President Trump Contrast that with his campaign to get a special counsel named in this case .

Comey Testifies Before Senate Intelligence Committee. Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in before testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill on June 8, 2017. In a two- sentence response to the House Intelligence Committee’s prior request for any and all records

"Suppose Trump had used campaign funds to pay off these women," former FEC chairman Bradley Smith wrote in The Washington Post. "Does anyone much doubt that many of the same people now after Trump for using corporate funds, and not reporting them as campaign expenditures, would then be claiming that Trump had illegally diverted campaign funds to 'personal use?'"

Trump has played down Cohen's pleas, saying in a series of tweets that campaign finance laws are rarely prosecuted at the criminal level, and are often handled as civil matters -- unless politics gets involved.

GIULIANI CALLS MUELLER TEAM 'SICK PUPPIES' AFTER FLYNN MEMO DROP

"Michael Cohen plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime," Trump wrote on Twitter in August. "President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!"

That was an apparent reference to a nearly $400,000 fine issued in 2013 by the Federal Election Commission against Obama's 2008 presidential campaign for a slew of administrative violations.

And after Cohen's plea last month, the president swiftly fired back, blasting Cohen as a "weak person," and claiming his former attorney was "lying" to get a reduced sentence. Cohen is set for sentencing the morning of Dec. 12.

Other potential former Trump associates and prominent conservatives seemingly remain in the crosshairs. At a speech at the American Priority Conference in Washington, D.C., GOP operative Roger Stone said he was "proud" to have Trump's public support as he vowed to never testify against the president.

"Few Americans, I think, could withstand the kind of legal proctological examination that I have been under for the last two and a half years," Stone said. "Mr. Mueller and his strike force have examined every aspect of my personal life. My family life. My social life. My business life. My political life. My sex life. FBI agents have been seen rummaging through my garbage. My cleaning lady was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"Yet I ask this question," he added. "What does any of that have to do with Russia collusion?"

Stone this week invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to testify and produce documents before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a closed-door setting.

Raising an objection similar in some ways to Comey's concerns about offering testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Stone said he wanted to avoid a "replay" of the situation in September 2017, when he testified privately before the House Intelligence Committee but remains unable to see a transcript of his own remarks.

"I will not testify unless I am allowed to testify in public so the American people can hear every word," Stone said to applause. He said the Russia probe is focused not on collusion, but on "perjury traps and trumped-up process crimes."

Fox News' Bill Mears and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

Russia probe details expected soon to meet court deadlines.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is set to reveal more details about his Trump-Russia probe on Friday as he faces court deadlines in the cases of Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, who both worked closely with President Donald Trump. The Republican president continues to lash out at the Russia investigation and people who help prosecutors.

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