Trump calls for end to Mueller probe
President Donald Trump said Saturday that court filings in the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen cases showed no collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.
“We’re very happy with what we’re reading because there was no collusion whatsoever,” Trump told reporters Saturday at the White House before boarding Marine One for the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia.
Trump told reporters he has not read the court filings, which detail alleged lies Cohen and Manafort told publicly and to investigators.
In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes after being charged by Manhattan federal prosecutors. Those included tax fraud, making false statements to a bank and campaign-finance violations tied to his work for Trump, including payments Cohen made or helped orchestrate that were designed to silence women who claimed affairs with the then-presidential candidate.
On Friday, prosecutors from the Manhattan US attorney’s office wrote: “In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1.” Individual-1 is the term prosecutors have been using to refer to the President.
Trump has denied those claims. Asked Saturday if he directed Cohen to commit election-related crimes, Trump firmly said, “No.”
Trump called special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation a “very one-sided situation.”
The President also argued that the “last thing I wanted is help from Russia on the campaign” and pivoted to attacking Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. He pointed to the role the law firm working for Clinton’s campaign played in funding Fusion GPS for opposition research on him. Fusion GPS is the research firm that hired the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who compiled the Russian dossier on Trump, as a subcontractor.
Trump tweeted earlier Saturday morning that it was “time for the Witch Hunt to END,” referring to Mueller’s investigation.
He also quoted Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera, saying “this is collusion illusion” and “there is nothing impeachable here.”
Rivera, who made the comments Saturday morning on Fox News, has called Trump a friend and appeared on his hit reality TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Earlier Saturday, Trump tweeted, “AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!”
The President’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani echoed Trump on Saturday, arguing that “Mueller’s late Friday dump demonstrates yet again no evidence connected to President.”
“It also indicates SDNY is asking that Cohen receive a 4 year prison sentence, longest so far, because as we have said he’s still lying,” Giuliani wrote on Twitter, referring to the US attorney for the Southern District of New York.
In a heavily redacted document, Mueller said Friday that former Trump campaign chairman Manafort lied about five major issues, including his “contact with administration officials,” after agreeing to cooperate with federal prosecutors.
Prosecutors said Cohen should receive a “substantial” prison sentence of roughly four years for tax fraud and campaign finance crimes.
In a separate filing, prosecutors from Mueller’s office accused Cohen of lying to them about his contacts with Russia.
Despite the revelations in the filings, Trump tweeted after their release on Friday, “Totally clears the President. Thank you!”