United States prosecutors have revealed that a Russian offered cooperation to Donald Trump's campaign as early as 2015, declaring that the president's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen had provided "relevant" and "substantial" help to the Russia investigation.
"With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election", the prosecutors in NY said.
"In total, the prosecutors seem to be saying the president was more aware than he has claimed to be", former federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin said.
The documents reveal a previously unreported contact from a Russian to Trump's inner circle during the campaign.
In hours of meetings with prosecutors, Cohen detailed his intimate involvement in an array of episodes, including some that directly touch the president, that are at the center of investigations into campaign finance violations and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
In the 40-page document Khuzami drew a direct link between Cohen's illegal behavior and Trump. Prosecutors in NY, where Cohen pleaded guilty in August in connection with those payments, said the lawyer "acted in coordination and at the direction" of Trump.
Court filings from prosecutors in NY and special counsel Robert Mueller's office Friday laid out previously undisclosed contacts between Trump associates and Russian intermediaries and suggested the Kremlin aimed early on to influence Trump and his campaign by playing to both his political aspirations and his personal business interests.
"Cohen did provide information to law enforcement, including information that assisted the Special Counsel's Office", they said.
The Russian "repeatedly proposed a meeting between Individual 1 and the president of Russia", Mueller said in the court papers.
In what appeared to be a new disclosure, Mueller said that around November 2015, Cohen spoke with a Russian national who could offer the campaign "political synergy" and "synergy on a government level".
But Cohen didn't follow up. In recent weeks, he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about efforts during the 2016 presidential campaign to get a Trump-branded tower built in Moscow.
Considering that cooperation, Mueller suggested the sentence for lying to Congress run concurrently with the sentence in the NY case.
Trump denied the claims and called both Mueller's team and the federal prosecutors liars.
Yesterday, Mueller said Cohen's false statements to Congress had "obscured the fact" that the skyscraper project held the potential to reap "hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources" for the Trump Organization.
"The government's filings in Mr. Cohen's case tell us nothing of value that wasn't already known", Sanders said.
Cohen had been hoping prosecutors would make a similar recommendation in his case.
"Already 87 pages done, but obviously can not complete until we see the final Witch Hunt Report", he said.
"It has been incorrectly reported that Rudy Giuliani and others will not be doing a counter to the Mueller Report".
For House Democrat John Garamendi, these may be "the opening days of an impeachment". He told CNN that there is enough to start impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.
Trump on Friday announced his intention to nominate William Barr as his new attorney general - succeeding Jeff Sessions, whom he sacked last month.
He has a record of endorsing strong executive powers, which could come into play if Mueller sought to compel Trump to testify. The special counsel also will detail the lies prosecutors say former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort told that led to his plea deal falling apart.
The White House similarly dismissed that filing, arguing it "says absolutely nothing about the President".