- Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
- President Donald Trump tweeted an all-caps rebuke Saturday morning of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election and possible Trump campaign collusion.
- Less than a day after Mueller released new filings in the probe, Trump declared there was “NO COLLUSION!”
- The filings, released Friday evening, described several instances of fraud by Trump’s former personal lawyer that he seemingly said were done under Trump’s direction.
President Donald Trump tweeted an all-caps rebuke, Saturday, of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election and possible Trump campaign collusion.
“AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION,” Trump wrote of the investigation that is estimated to cost nearly $17 million and Friday delivered several bombshell filings against some his formerly close associates.
Federal prosecutors recommended in a Friday filing “substantial” prison time for Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to financial crimes, campaign violations, and lying to Congress. Prosecutors recommended a 3 1/2-year sentence and a $100,000 fine.
Cohen previously pleaded guilty in a New York court to eight federal crimes, including tax fraud, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations that he said were under Trump’s direction. Cohen could have faced up to 65 years in prison if he had gone to trial and had been convicted.
The filings conclude that Cohen “acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1,” an apparent reference to Trump that implicates him in campaign finance violation for payments to two women who said they had affairs with Trump that prosecutors said showed intention to influence the election.
Speaking to reporters on the South Lawn Saturday, Trump denied directing Cohen to commit anything illegal.
In a separate Friday filing, Mueller wrote that Cohen told prosecutors about previously unknown contact with a Russian national who claimed to be a “trusted person” in the Russian Federation who offered the campaign “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level.” Cohen claimed that person repeatedly suggested a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mueller said in a separate filing Friday that Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Trump’s campaign, told prosecutors “discernible lies” about his contacts with the White House, breaching his cooperation agreement.
On Friday afternoon, Trump tweeted thanks to the investigation, saying the findings about two of his former close associates “totally clears the President.” Trump offered no further explanation.
Trump has long sought to undercut Mueller’s investigation, calling it a “witch hunt” and lashing out on Twitter around significant developments in the probe. In 18 months, the investigation has charged 32 people and 3 companies.