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Ex-Trump attorney Cohen hands over new documents to Congress

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Ex-Trump attorney Cohen hands over new documents to Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen provided the U.S. House Intelligence Committee with new documents and may hand over more, the panel’s chairman said after a day-long hearing behind closed doors.

Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of U.S. President Donald Trump, talks to reporters as he departs after testifying before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young


Democratic Representative Adam Schiff told reporters that Cohen was cooperative and the eight-hour hearing was “very productive.” He did not say what the new documents related to and declined to comment on the substance of Cohen’s testimony.

“We had requested documents of Mr. Cohen. He has provided additional documents to the committee. There may be additional documents that he still has to offer and his cooperation with our committee continues,” Schiff said.

Cohen, who in public testimony last week before a different House committee, called Trump a “racist,” “conman” and “cheat,” arrived for his testimony before Schiff’s committee carrying a brown file folder and wheeling a black suitcase.

Two congressional sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Cohen was due to face questions from lawmakers on the issue of a pardon from his former boss. The sources added that Trump’s representatives maintain that Cohen’s team first raised the issue of receiving a pardon while the former lawyer’s representatives have said the opposite.

Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, said in a statement that Cohen has now spent 16 hours testifying before the intelligence committee.

“Mr. Cohen responded to all questions truthfully and has agreed at the request of chairman Schiff to provide additional information in the future, if needed. He also offered to answer additional questions from Republican members. He remains committed to telling the truth and cooperating with authorities,” Davis added.

The sources said Cohen also likely would be questioned about the extent of Trump’s personal involvement in pursuing a tower project in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump at the time had denied any links to Russia but has since defended the proposed tower project, which never materialized.

CNN and the New York Times reported that Cohen shared documents with the committee showing edits made to written testimony he provided to Congress in 2017, saying that the Moscow projected ended in January 2016.

Cohen subsequently pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in the testimony. He has since said pursuit of the Moscow project continued until June 2016, after Trump had clinched the Republican presidential nomination.

During testimony last week, Cohen said Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s lawyers, was among those who edited the 2017 document. Sekulow has called Cohen’s assertion “completely false.”

Patrick Boland, a spokesman for Schiff, declined to comment on the reports.

Cohen’s testimony on Wednesday was the latest in a series of appearances before congressional panels, most of them private. His televised Feb. 27 testimony before the House Oversight Committee was followed by a rapid expansion of Democratic investigations focusing on Trump.

Intelligence panel members also were expected to question Cohen on Wednesday about Trump’s discussions with advisers in 2017 about how to respond when news reports first surfaced revealing that senior campaign figures including his son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign chairman Paul Manafort met in June 2016 with Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, one of the sources said.

Slideshow (6 Images)

Trump’s son arranged the meeting after being promised “dirt” on Trump’s Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. When news of the meeting broke, Trump Jr. issued a statement saying it was set up to discuss adoption policy, not politics. He later admitted he had been expecting intelligence on Clinton.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is completing an investigation into whether Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia and whether the president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe. Trump has denied collusion and obstruction, Russia has denied election interference.

Cohen is due to report to prison on May 6 to begin a three-year sentence after pleading guilty in a separate case last year to criminal charges including tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball; editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, Will Dunham and Lisa Shumaker

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Bernie Sanders’ hiring of non-American campaign advisers may violate federal election laws, complaint says

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New spokeswoman for Bernie Sanders won't be able to vote for him in 2020 -- she's an illegal immigrant

Bernie Sanders was hit a complaint this week, claiming his presidential campaign violated federal election laws by employing non-Americans in advisery positions.

A new complaint by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) notes that three members of the Sanders campaign are foreign nationals, which appears to be a violation of federal election laws that prohibit foreign interference.

NEW SPOKESWOMAN FOR BERNIE SANDERS WON’T BE ABLE TO VOTE FOR HIM IN 2020 — SHE’S AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

Maria Belén Sisa, Sanders’ deputy national press secretary who joined the campaign last month, was among the staffers named in the complaint, as first reported by the Washington Free Beacon. Sisa claims to be an illegal immigrant whose residency is protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program for assisting illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Sisa recently caused an uproar after invoking an anti-Semitic “dual allegiance” trope of Jewish Americans while defending Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and questioning whether American Jews, including Sanders, were loyal to the United States.

The complaint notes that Sisa not only got a salary from Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, she also contributed money to it and is now serving in “an advisory position” in the 2020 campaign – all of which are “direct and serious violations” of federal election laws.

“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations,” the complaint reads.

“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations.”

— The complaint

BERNIE SANDERS AIDE DEFENDS OMAR WITH TERM SEEN AS ANTI-SEMITIC, APOLOGIZES

According to the FEC rules, foreign nationals, who aren’t lawfully admitted permanent residents, cannot directly or indirectly participate in political campaigns. Such individuals are also barred from making political contributions.

The complaint also names two other foreign nationals on the Sanders’ 2016 campaign, immigration activists Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas, who worked as the campaign’s national Latino outreach strategist and press secretary for Latino outreach, respectively.

“Due to the high profile of Cesar Vargas, Erika Andiola, and Maria Belén Sisa as leading activists in the undocumented community, there is reason to believe that respondents are ‘foreign nationals’ within the meaning of 52 U.S.C. § 301219b)(2), and in violation of 11 C.F.R. § 110.20 (i) and A.O. 2004-26, directly or indirectly participated in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2016,” the complaint continued.

“There is reason to believe, having previously employed Ms. Sisa, that Bernie 2020 is currently, and knowingly, permitting a ‘foreign national’ … to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2020.”

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The complaint calls on the FEC to investigate both the 2016 and the current presidential campaigns and take action to curb the violations.

“The Commission should determine and impose appropriate sanctions for any and all violations,” the complaint read. “Further, the Commission should enjoin respondents from any future violations and impose any necessary and appropriate remedies to ensure respondents’ future compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act.”

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Democrats vow to keep investigating Trump despite Mueller's conclusions, no new indictments

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Congressional Democrats vowed Friday to keep investigating President Trump, his family, and associates despite Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrapping up his Russia investigation with no new indictments.

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‘There needs to be a reckoning’ for those who spread Russia collusion narrative: Mollie Hemingway

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MSNBC’s Chris Matthews livid over Mueller report: ‘How could they let Trump off the hook?’

Those who spent the last two years pushing the narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election need to be held accountable, the Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway argued Friday.

Earlier in the day, the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed in its report on the Russia investigation to the Department of Justice and it was announced that no new indictments would be forthcoming.

During Friday’s All-Star panel segment on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier,” Hemingway — along with Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti and Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason — weighed in on the breaking news that reverberated throughout Washington.

MUELLER SUBMITS LONG-AWAITED RUSSIA PROBE REPORT TO JUSTICE DEPARTMENT

Hemingway began by noting that the “Russia narrative” predates the Mueller probe, having begun circulating during the 2016 election after the creation of the infamous Clinton campaign-funded Steele dossier, which pushed the theory that then-Republican candidate Donald Trump was a “Russian agent.”

“We have, for the last three years … frequently [witnessed] hysteria about treasonous collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election,” Hemingway told the panel. “The fact [is] that there are no more indictments coming and the fact [is] that all of the indictments that we’ve seen thus far have been for process crimes or things unrelated to what we were told by so many people in the media was ‘treasonous collusion’ to steal the 2016 election.”

“If there is nothing there that matches what we’ve heard from the media for many years, there needs to be a reckoning and the people who spread this theory both inside and outside the government who were not critical and who did not behave appropriately need to be held accountable,” she added.

“The people who spread this theory both inside and outside the government … and who did not behave appropriately need to be held accountable.”

— Mollie Hemingway, senior editor, the Federalist

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Mason told the panel that there’s likely “some relief” in the White House, particularly from Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and top adviser. And while he insisted it was “too early” to draw major conclusions, he later added that those who attacked Mueller’s credibility throughout his investigation will have to walk back their hostility if he concludes that there was no collusion, including President Trump.

Meanwhile, Continetti suggested that the Mueller report could be the “greatest anticlimax in American history,” and that the entire investigation could be “for nothing” because it was “an investigation without a crime.” He did, however, insist that the “battle will continue” as the White House will fight Congress on transparency of the Mueller findings.

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