Mueller to detail ex-NSA Flynn's cooperation in Russian Federation probe

Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to financial crimes in August in New York and to a separate charge of lying to Congress in a case disclosed by Mueller last week. — Reuters pic

Mueller to detail ex-NSA Flynn's cooperation in Russian Federation probe

This week, Trump lashed out at his former legal fixer, Michael Cohen, saying he is making up "stories" to get a reduced prison sentence after his latest guilty plea to lying to Congress detailed conversations he had with the then-Republican presidential candidate.

President Trump is responding to former campaign adviser Roger Stone's vow not to testify against him.

"You mean he can do all of the bad, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term?" he said.

US President Donald Trump called yesterday for a long jail term for his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen, who admitted lying to Congress about pursuing a real estate deal with Russian Federation on Trump's behalf during the 2016 election campaign. Flynn had denied that he'd asked the Russian ambassador not to retaliate over USA sanctions the Obama administration imposed in December 2016 in response to Russia's interference in the US presidential election.

The filing recommends that Flynn's sentence, which he will receive for pleading guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, can be substantially shortened because of his extensive cooperation with the probe.

They also said Cohen was "in close and regular contact" with Trump's lawyers and White House staffers while he was drafting false testimony to give to Congress previous year about his involvement in the Trump Organisation's effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the election.

Several lawyers said Trump's tweet amounted to witness tampering.

Memos are also expected to be released later this week regarding former Trump confidants Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, both of whom have been found guilty of multiple federal crimes as a result of the Mueller probe.

It is unusual for a president or any senior government official to comment on court proceedings.

Flynn was sacked from the White House in February 2017 after the Trump administration said he misled administration officials, including Vice President Pence, about his contacts with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States at the time.

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. In his court statement, Cohen said that he lied "out of loyalty" to the president.

George Conway, who is married to senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, retweeted Trump's tweet with a reference to a USA statute on witness tampering and obstruction of justice: "File under '18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1512'".

If you refer to yourself in quotation marks on your own Twitter feed, does it get you out of witness tampering charges?

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