Robert Mueller’s final Russian Federation probe report may never be made public

Cohen, who was one of Trump's closest advisers for more than a decade, was motivated by greed and "repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends", they said in a court filing.

Prosecutors said the court's Probation Department estimated that federal sentencing guidelines call for Cohen to serve at least four years in prison.

Cohen also discussed a Moscow real estate deal that could have netted Trump's business hundreds of millions of dollars and conversations with a Russian intermediary who proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as offering synergy with the campaign, prosecutors said.

The filings say Cohen made illegal hush money payments to two women - Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal - ahead of the 2016 election to keep them quiet about their sexual encounters with Trump. And no, these aren't charges coming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigations.

Mueller said that discussions about the potential Moscow development were relevant to the investigation because they occurred "at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the USA presidential election".

So Cohen actually saying he was doing it at Trump's request isn't new.

Mueller's office has been tasked with investigating whether anyone in Trump's campaign conspired with the Russians who were waging those "active measures" against the United States and the West. Trump is identified in this and other filings by USA attorneys as "Individual-1", who "was elected President".

Also Friday, Mueller filed a report that said former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort lied to prosecutors about his contacts with the White House and a pal with ties to Russian intelligence while under investigation.

The White House similarly dismissed that filing, arguing it "says absolutely nothing about the President".

Manafort, who has pleaded guilty to several counts, violated his plea agreement by telling "multiple discernible lies" to prosecutors, they said.

The meeting didn't take place.

Cohen and Manafort are among five former Trump associates whom prosecutors have accused of lying either to federal investigators or to Congress.

"Cohen did provide information to law enforcement, including information that assisted the Special Counsel's Office", they said. Though he has portrayed himself as cooperative, "his description of those efforts is overstated in some respects and incomplete in others", prosecutors said.

The payments are technically unrelated to the Russian Federation probe, but prosecutors painted a damning picture of the "extensive, deliberate, and serious criminal conduct" of Cohen - once a member of Trump's inner circle of trusted aides.

Manhattan prosecutors said in their sentencing filing that Cohen committed campaign-finance crimes "in coordination with and at the direction of Individual 1".

"After cheating the IRS for years, lying to banks and to Congress, and seeking to criminally influence the presidential election, Cohen's decision to plead guilty - rather than seek a pardon for his manifold crimes - does not make him a hero", they wrote.

  • Joey Payne