Court filings present Trump as key figure in multiple federal investigations

WASHINGTON — In court documents filed Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller for the first time cites President Trump’s time in the White House as relevant in the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

It’s the same time frame in which Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, says he prepared and circulated a statement to congressional investigators that was false.

The revelations were two of four areas in which the special counsel says Cohen provided “useful” assistance in the Russia investigation over the course of seven meetings with investigators.

The Mueller filing and a separate one also filed Friday by federal prosecutors in New York essentially place the president as a key figure in multiple federal investigations.

Yet Trump wrote on Twitter about an hour after the filings became public: “Totally clears the President. Thank you!”

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Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Michael Cohen, personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives to appear before Senate Intelligence Committee staff as the panel investigates alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen drives after leaving his hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Attorney Michael Cohen arrives at Trump Tower for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump on December 16, 2016 in New York.

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Cohen, personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, talks to reporters as he departs after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff as the panel investigates alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for National Security Advisor, Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald Trump, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry talk with each other in the lobby at Trump Tower, December 12, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 19: Michael Cohen, center, a personal attorney for President Trump, leaves Hart Building after his meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election was postponed on September 19, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Attorney Michael Cohen arrives to Trump Tower for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump on December 16, 2016 in New York.

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney arrives with his attorney, Stephen M. Ryan to speak with reporters after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, White House national security adviser-designate, from left, Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald Trump, and Rick Perry, former governor of Texas, speak in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he had the ‘highest confidence’ in the intelligence community, in sharp contrast to President-elect Donald Trump’s attack on the CIA after reports it found that the Russian government tried to help him win the presidency.

(Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Bloomberg)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, looks on as his attorney (not pictured) delivers a statement to reporters after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Attorney Michael Cohen arrives to Trump Tower for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump on December 16, 2016 in New York.

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 19: Michael Cohen, center, a personal attorney for President Trump, leaves Hart Building after his meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election was postponed on September 19, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is pictured leaving a restaurant in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Levy

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, arrives with his attorney, Stephen M. Ryan, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is pictured arriving at his hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Levy

Michael Cohen, personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, departs after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff as the panel investigates alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the “filings in Mr. Cohen’s case tell us nothing of value that wasn’t already known.”

“Mr. Cohen has repeatedly lied and as the prosecution has pointed out to the court, Mr. Cohen is no hero,” Sanders said.

New York prosecutors state in their 40-page document that Cohen admits that during the campaign he violated campaign finance laws by arranging payments to silence women alleging affairs with Trump “in coordination with and at the direction of” the president.

Separately, Cohen’s contacts with people connected to the White House while Trump was in office, as well as the “circumstances of preparing and circulating his response to the congressional inquiries” were two of the four key topics on which Mueller says he cooperated with the Russia investigation.

Part of Mueller’s probe into Russia’s election interference, and whether any Trump associates colluded with Moscow on the effort, includes whether the president has tried to obstruct the investigation.

In Mueller’s court filing to recommend sentencing for Cohen, the special counsel writes that the president’s personal lawyer provided valuable information “concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House during the 2017-2018 time period.”

Both the Mueller and New York documents were filed to recommend sentencing for Cohen. The New York prosecutors said Cohen’s cooperation has been minimal, meeting with them just one time, according to the special counsel’s document.

“Cohen provided relevant and useful information” on communications that took place during the president’s first year in office,” that document states.

NBC News has reported that Mueller has examined aspects of Trump’s transition, as well as his time in the White House.

Mueller also writes in Friday’s filing that in November 2015, Cohen, acting as Trump’s personal lawyer and a senior executive in his company, was in communication with a well-connected Russian national seeking political and business “synergy” with the Trump campaign.

A previous court filing revealed that Trump and members of his family knew more about Cohen’s efforts to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow than was previously known, and that those discussions went on longer into 2016 than he had told Congress they had.

Trump insisted throughout the campaign he had no business connections with Russia.

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