Trump calls for his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen to be jailed


The office investigating alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 USA election has said it is not pursuing a jail sentence for ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn pled guilty in December 2017 to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation officials during an interview the previous January, during which he said he misrepresented his statements to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, his previous interactions with Russian government figures, and his contacts with Turkish government figures.

That episode, which Trump has denied, is among those under scrutiny by Mueller as he looks into whether the president tried to obstruct the Russian Federation investigation.

He is so far the only member of Trump's administration to plead guilty to a crime uncovered during Mueller's wide-ranging investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 USA election and potential collusion by Trump aides. He will be sentenced in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on December 18.

Despite the number of criminally charged lies he admitted to and his high rank in the Trump administration, Flynn earned the most lenient recommendation before his sentencing from the special counsel's office so far.

On Friday Cohen, who had already admitted multiple counts of tax evasion, financial fraud and campaign finance violations, asked the NY federal court for a "time served" sentence.

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Federal sentencing guidelines recommend between zero and six months in prison, and Mueller's office said Flynn's cooperation merits no prison time.

Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, has given Mueller's office "firsthand information" about communications between the Trump campaign and a former Russian ambassador to the United States.

Cohen, once one of the president's closest allies and a top executive at The Trump Organization, last week admitted lying in testimony about contacts with powerful Moscow figures over building a Trump Tower in Moscow.

David Berger, a partner with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, said Mueller was sending an important message to Cohen and other cooperators by supporting Flynn and coming down hard on Manafort, who could now face the rest of his life in prison. He was with the transition team, he was part of the campaign, and yet there's no mention of collusion. But court observers say if Flynn satisfactorily cooperated with the special counsel, he could avoid prison time.

"I will never forget you", he added.

Supreme court lawyer Neal Katyal said few prosecutors would make a congressional referral based on tweets alone, but the posts could act as evidence as to whether Mr Trump's intent was "corrupt" and to show a pattern to interfere with law enforcement for personal gain.

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The papers, which said he participated in 19 interviews with prosecutors, were filed two weeks ahead of Flynn's sentencing for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about conversations with the Russian ambassador on Mr Trump's behalf.

Legal experts said Trump was empowering the obstruction of justice case against him by using the power of his position to influence witnesses.

Mueller has identified numerous contacts, including efforts by Trump aides during 2016 to set up a meeting between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Cohen plea along with past indictments and guilty pleas have bolstered the credibility of the Russian Federation probe, even though the president continues to dismiss it as a witch hunt.

"Nice to know that some people still have 'guts!' " Trump wrote.

Trump's attacks on the judiciary have included swipes at the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which has ruled against his administration on immigration cases.

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Corsi told CNN that Mueller had asked about his interactions with Stone around the time of the tape's release.