Robert Mueller’s Investigation: The Charges Keep Coming

What Will The Next Batch Of Robert Mueller Documents Mean For Donald Trump? | The 11th Hour | MSNBC [2018-12-06]

White House reacts to Mueller’s Manafort, Cohen memos | Fox News [2018-12-07]

Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has yielded criminal charges against more than 30 people so far. Donald Trump, however, continues to tweet that Robert Mueller’s investigation is a “witch hunt.”

Here are just a few of those with criminal counts against them in Mueller’s investigation.

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former attorney, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. Among other things, Cohen admitted to lying when he claimed that discussions with Russian officials regarding a possible Trump Tower in Moscow ended before the 2016 election. In his admission, he said that those talks actually continued through June 2016 – after candidate Donald Trump was on the campaign trail. This raises more speculation about the Trump Organization’s business interests with Russia while Trump was campaigning.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was found guilty of eight out of 18 counts related to tax and bank fraud. In September 2018, Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice for crimes he committed over a span of time when he was a lobbyist, and later, when he worked for the Trump campaign.

As part of his plea deal, Paul Manafort agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s investigation. Later, however, he was found to have breached the agreement by lying to the FBI, as well as to the Special Counsel’s office.

Alex van der Zwann, who happens to be the son-in-law of a Russian billionaire, was the first person in Robert Mueller’s investigation to be sentenced. Van der Zwann pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about a conversation he had with former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates. The conversation was regarding a report Van der Zwann’s law firm had created about the prosecution of a Ukraining politician.

Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s first national security advisor, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI regarding contact with the Russian ambassador during the transition. Flynn had allegedly asked the Russian ambassador to “either defeat or delay” the U.N. vote on condemning Israeli settlements. He had also asked the Russians not to retaliate against Obama-era sanctions on Russia.

Flynn, too, had a plea deal in which he agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s investigation. Due to Flynn’s cooperation, prosecutors have recommended leniency in sentencing him.

Robert Mueller’s investigation has unearthed numerous bad actors associated in some way with Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The claims that it’s all a witch hunt continue, but clearly, they have not weakened the resolve of the Justice Department. Robert Mueller’s investigation may be nearing an end – or it may just be warming up.

Michael Cohen: Trump Says He’s Lying about Lying

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer, has pleaded guilty to lying with intent to mislead Congress about the timeline of real estate negotiations between Trump and Key Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump, Cohen, and others originally denied that any serious talks about a potential Moscow Trump Tower took place after January of 2016. On Thursday, November 29, however, Michael Cohen said that Trump had still been pursuing a deal in June 2016, when Trump’s presidential campaign was underway.

Trump has repeatedly said that after January 2016, he had “nothing to do with Russia,” and Cohen originally backed him up. On Thursday, however, Cohen admitted that this was not true, thereby raising questions about the veracity of statements by various members of Donald Trump’s family.

Though earlier, Michael Cohen had said that an email he sent the Kremlin regarding a potential real estate deal was never returned, he has now admitted that he did speak with a representative for Vladimir Putin about the deal. Cohen also admitted to an ongoing effort by the Trump Organization to seek Putin’s assistance in facilitating the deal.

On January 11, 2017, Trump tweeted, “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”

Donald Trump continues to insist that Michael Cohen is lying (now lying about having lied).

Trump also claims not to have known about the Trump Organization’s real estate negotiations with Russia in advance, though Michael Cohen told Congress that he did brief Trump. This, then, brings up questions again about whether Donald Trump knew in advance about the now well-publicized meeting Trump Jr. and some Trump campaign officials planned with Russians who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.

Trump has said that even if he had pursued the Trump Tower deal with Moscow, he wouldn’t have been breaking any laws. This is almost beside the point, since Cohen’s guilty plea has wider implications than just showing that Cohen himself, as well as Donald Trump, and possibly Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump, have not been truthful in their accounts of their relationship with Russia.

It reinforces the evidence that the Trump Organization was already communicating with Moscow when Moscow was attempting to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It hardly matters whether Michael Cohen is lying now about having lied earlier, or whether he is telling the truth now about his previous lies to cover for Donald Trump; the can of worms has burst open.

Full Panel: Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress | Meet The Press | NBC News [2018-12-02]

Political fallout from Michael Cohen’s new plea deal | Fox News [2018-11-29]