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Mueller: Russia sought ‘synergy’ with Trump campaign in 2015

Published: Updated:

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.

The unidentified Russian made the offer to Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, proposing a meeting between then-Republican candidate Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the Mueller filing said.

“The person told Cohen that such a meeting could have a ‘phenomenal’ impact ‘not only in political but in a business dimension as well,’“ the filing said.

In one of the filings, Mueller details how Cohen spoke to a Russian who “claimed to be a ‘trusted person’ in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign ‘political synergy’ and ‘synergy on a government level.’“

The filing says the meeting never happened.

Cohen also discussed a Moscow real estate deal that could have netted Trump’s business hundreds of millions of dollars and conversations with a Russian intermediary who proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as offering synergy with the campaign, prosecutors said.

In meetings with Mueller’s team, Cohen “provided information about his own contacts with Russian interests during the campaign and discussions with others in the course of making those contacts,” the court documents said.

Cohen provided prosecutors with a “detailed account” of his involvement, along with the involvement of others, in efforts during the 2016 presidential campaign to complete a deal to build a Trump Tower Moscow, the documents said. He also provided information about attempts by Russian nationals to reach Trump’s campaign, they said.

However, in the crimes to which he pleaded guilty in August, he was motivated “by personal greed and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends.”

Federal prosecutors said Friday that Cohen deserves a substantial prison sentence despite his cooperation with investigators. He is to be sentenced next week, and may face several years in prison.