Mueller: Russia sought 'synergy' with Trump campaign in 2015

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But none of those lies point to Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

Manafort, who maintains he has been truthful with Mueller, managed Trump's campaign for three months in 2016.

Mueller said on Friday that Cohen repeated his false statements about the project in his first meeting with Mueller's office, admitting the truth only in a later meeting in September after he had pleaded guilty to the separate NY charges.

Last week, Cohen admitted to lying to congressional investigators in an attempt to minimize his efforts to secure the Kremlin's help for a Trump skyscraper in Moscow.

The explosive revelation came a week after Mueller said that Cohen had detailed to the Russian Federation collusion investigation ongoing contacts with a top aide to Putin on the real estate deal throughout the first half of 2016, even after Trump had secured the Republican presidential nomination.

Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about negotiations between Trump's business and powerful Russians about a prospective Trump Tower in Moscow, a building that ultimately was never built.

Mueller said Cohen's untruthfullness about the project "was material" to its ongoing investigations "particularly because it occurred at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the USA presidential election".

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The filing was made to demonstrate to the federal district court why sentencing Manafort on financial fraud and witness tampering charges should be moved up to as early as this month rather than next year, as Manafort's original cooperation deal envisaged.

A high-placed Russian offered Donald Trump's presidential campaign "synergy on a government level" in November 2015, well before previous reported contacts between the two sides, Special Counsel Robert Mueller said in a court filing Friday.

Trump also has focused his criticism specifically on Cohen, calling him a liar who is making up stories to convince the government to ease his sentence in the New York City crimes to which he's also pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors working for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY based in Manhattan asked a judge to impose a sentence that reflects a "modest downward variance" from the potential maximum of 63 months in prison that Cohen faces.

They said Cohen should receive some credit for cooperating with Mueller but noted he had not entered into a similar agreement with their office.

The Mueller probe has infuriated Trump, who has regularly issued tweets criticizing the special counsel and his team.

Representatives for the U.S. Justice Department and Mueller's office declined to comment on Trump's tweets.

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