Papadopoulos被判刑, Cohen入狱三年, Manafort获刑7.5年、Gates, Flynn, Patten认罪, Roger Stone被判有罪

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    Washington (CNN) House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler on Sunday said Robert Mueller's report presents "very substantial evidence" that President Donald Trump is "guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors" -- an impeachable offense.

    "We have to ... let Mueller present those facts to the American people, and then see where we go from there, because the administration must be held accountable," Nadler, whose committee would lead impeachment proceedings, said on "Fox News Sunday."

    Mueller, the former special counsel for the Department of Justice and former director of the FBI, will testify before Congress on July 24 after House Democrats issued a subpoena for his appearance. Earlier this year, Mueller concluded a nearly two-year-long investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
    Democrats are deeply divided on whether to pursue an impeachment inquiry, and Mueller's public testimony may provide an opportunity for the party to unify and decide whether impeachment proceedings should go forward or not. More than 80 House Democrats have called for starting an impeachment inquiry into the President -- the first step in a lengthy process, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Nadler have so far resisted the pressure to open an inquiry. Behind the scenes, Nadler has lobbied Pelosi to open an inquiry.

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Sunday most Americans haven't read the dense 448-page Mueller report.

    Schiff said on CBS "Face The Nation" that the report contains "a pretty damning set of facts," and said, "Who better to bring them to life than the man who did the investigation himself."

    "We want the people to hear it directly from him," Schiff said.

    Mueller said in a rare and remarkable public statement in May his investigation could not clear Trump of obstruction of justice, and that charging the President was not an option his office could consider.

    "If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so," Mueller said. "We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime."

    The former special counsel's probe, which also investigated possible collusion, found that members of the Trump campaign knew they would benefit from Russia's illegal actions to influence the election, but did not take criminal steps to help.

    Mueller delivered a road map of how the investigation played out and the possible role that Congress could play in holding Trump accountable. He highlighted how the "Constitution requires a process other than" the criminal justice system to hold officeholders accountable, a clear signal his obstruction investigation into Trump could be carried on by Congress.

    The impeachment clause in Article II of the US Constitution outlines the process of removing a president, which begins with a vote in the House of Representatives. Offenses that could prompt impeachment are treason, bribery or other "high crimes and misdemeanors."
     

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    Topline: A federal jury on Friday found Roger Stone guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering in relation to his work on President Trump’s 2016 campaign, which means the longtime Republican operative joins the roster of former Trump associates who ran afoul of the law as a result of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference.
    • Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, was sentenced in December 2018 to three years of prison for lying to Congress, campaign finance violations and tax evasion, and separately received an additional two months of prison time for lying to Congress about a Moscow Trump Tower deal.
    • George Papadopoulos, a former Trump foreign policy advisor, was sentenced in September 2018 to 14 days in prison (with a year of supervised release) after pleading guilty to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russian intermediaries during the 2016 campaign; he filed in October to run for Katie Hill’s vacant California Congressional seat.
    • Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was found guilty by a Virginia court of tax and bank fraud in August 2018, and in November 2018 voided his plea deal (by lying to investigators) in separate federal charges brought by Mueller; he’s currently serving a combined seven and a half years in prison from both cases.
    • Rick Gates, a former deputy to Manafort during the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty in February 2018 to charges of conspiracy against the United States and making false statements; despite a plea bargain, he faces between four to six years in prison, but his sentencing date has yet to happen⁠—partially because he testified against Stone.
    • Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI but nearly two years later has yet to be sentenced; his sentencing has been scheduled for early December, but could be upended by a new claim of innocence filed in federal court.

    What to watch for: Stone’s February 6 sentencing date. He could face a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison, based on his charges. But the Washington Post reported that Stone, as a first-time offender, will likely serve less time according to federal sentencing guidelines.

    Chief critic: Trump, who has long claimed the Russia investigation was a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.” He tweeted shortly after Stone’s sentencing asking if Hillary Clinton and James Comey were liars⁠—along with a list of former and current federal officials he’s also attacked⁠—and suggested a “double standard” was to blame.

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    Surprising fact: Stone was the last person indicted by Mueller as part of the Russia investigation. He was arrested in a pre-dawn FBI raid at his Florida home on January 24.

    Big number: 34. That’s how many people Mueller ended up convicting or indicting.

    Key background: Stone worked for Trump’s campaign as an adviser. He officially left the campaign in 2015 but remained a consultant through its conclusion. Stone was accused of working to obtain emails that were hacked by Russia from a Democratic National Committee (DNC) server and released through Wikileaks. According to prosecutors, Stone contacted Trump just hours after the DNC said it was hacked by Russia. Stone’s political career began with a stint working for Richard Nixon, and he sports a tattoo of the late president on his back.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2019/11/15/roger-stone-becomes-6th-trump-associate-convicted-under-mueller-probe/#7f2fe2f75f64
     

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    Roger Stone is just the latest associate of U.S. President Donald Trump to face legal consequences. Stone, a longtime friend and ally of the president, was found guilty of witness tampering and lying to Congress about his pursuit of Russian-hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential bid.
    But other former advisers of the president have also been found guilty of various charges, which have included lying to Congress or the FBI, bank and tax fraud, and failing to register as a foreign agent for lobbying purposes.

    Here's a roundup:


    Paul Manafort


    Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, was sentenced to a total of 7½ years years in prison in March. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

    The former Trump campaign chairman was sentenced last March to a total of 7½ years in prison.

    The sentence includes nearly 3½ years in prison on charges that he misled the U.S. government about his foreign lobbying work and encouraged witnesses to lie on his behalf.

    And in a Virginia court, Manafort was convicted on eight felonies related to tax- and bank-fraud charges for hiding foreign income from his work in Ukraine from the IRS, and later inflating his income on bank-loan applications. For those crimes, he was sentenced to 47 months in prison.

    New York prosecutors have also indicted Manafort on 16 other charges, including residential mortgage fraud, alleging Manafort and others falsified business records to illegally obtain millions of dollars.

    Michael Flynn


    Former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn was among the first people in Trump's inner circle to be charged by special counsel Robert Mueller for lying to investigators. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

    Trump's former national security adviser was among the first people in the president's inner circle to be charged by special counsel Robert Mueller, who was investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

    Flynn lied to investigators about his conversations in December 2016 with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's then-ambassador in Washington, about U.S. sanctions that had been imposed on Moscow by Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.
    He later pleaded guilty and agreed to co-operate in the hopes of receiving a more lenient sentence. As part of that plea agreement, Flynn also admitted to submitting false statements to the government regarding his lobbying work with Bijan Rafiekian, also known as Bijan Kian, on behalf of Turkey. His sentencing has been delayed.

    Michael Cohen


    Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes including campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

    Trump's former lawyer was sentenced in December 2018 to three years in prison for crimes including campaign finance violations and lying to Congress.

    He had pleaded guilty to making false statements in 2017 to the Senate intelligence committee about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. He had also pleaded guilty in August to eight separate counts, including campaign finance violations that he said he carried out at the direction of Trump.
    At that time, Cohen said he secretly used shell companies to make payments of $150,000 US and $130,000, respectively, to silence former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actor Stormy Daniels for the purpose of preventing scandals during Trump's 2016 campaign. The women have claimed they had affairs with Trump after the real estate mogul married his third wife, Melania.

    George Papadopoulos


    Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last year to making a 'materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement' to investigators during the FBI's probe of Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

    Trump's former foreign policy adviser was sentenced in September 2018 to 14 days in prison for lying to FBI agents about his interactions with Russian intermediaries during the 2016 presidential campaign.
    Papadopoulos had been a central figure in the Russia investigation dating back before Mueller's appointment as special counsel in May 2017. He was the first to plead guilty in Mueller's probe and was the first Trump campaign adviser to be sentenced.

    Rick Gates


    Rick Gates, a former top adviser to Trump's election campaign, pleaded guilty in February 2018 to federal charges including conspiracy and making false statements. (Joes Luis Magana/Associated Press)

    Gates, a former top adviser to Trump's election campaign, pleaded guilty in February 2018 to federal charges including conspiracy and making false statements.
    As part of the plea bargain, Gates agreed to testify against Manafort, his mentor. As the government's star witness in Manafort's financial fraud trial, he testified how, at the behest of his longtime boss, he helped conceal millions of dollars in foreign income and submitted fake mortgage and tax documents.

    He also testified for the government in Stone's trial. Gates has not yet been sentenced.
     

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    Roger Stone is just the latest associate of U.S. President Donald Trump to face legal consequences. Stone, a longtime friend and ally of the president, was found guilty of witness tampering and lying to Congress about his pursuit of Russian-hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential bid.
    But other former advisers of the president have also been found guilty of various charges, which have included lying to Congress or the FBI, bank and tax fraud, and failing to register as a foreign agent for lobbying purposes.

    Here's a roundup:


    Paul Manafort


    Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, was sentenced to a total of 7½ years years in prison in March. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

    The former Trump campaign chairman was sentenced last March to a total of 7½ years in prison.

    The sentence includes nearly 3½ years in prison on charges that he misled the U.S. government about his foreign lobbying work and encouraged witnesses to lie on his behalf.

    And in a Virginia court, Manafort was convicted on eight felonies related to tax- and bank-fraud charges for hiding foreign income from his work in Ukraine from the IRS, and later inflating his income on bank-loan applications. For those crimes, he was sentenced to 47 months in prison.

    New York prosecutors have also indicted Manafort on 16 other charges, including residential mortgage fraud, alleging Manafort and others falsified business records to illegally obtain millions of dollars.

    Michael Flynn


    Former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn was among the first people in Trump's inner circle to be charged by special counsel Robert Mueller for lying to investigators. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

    Trump's former national security adviser was among the first people in the president's inner circle to be charged by special counsel Robert Mueller, who was investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

    Flynn lied to investigators about his conversations in December 2016 with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's then-ambassador in Washington, about U.S. sanctions that had been imposed on Moscow by Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.
    He later pleaded guilty and agreed to co-operate in the hopes of receiving a more lenient sentence. As part of that plea agreement, Flynn also admitted to submitting false statements to the government regarding his lobbying work with Bijan Rafiekian, also known as Bijan Kian, on behalf of Turkey. His sentencing has been delayed.

    Michael Cohen


    Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes including campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

    Trump's former lawyer was sentenced in December 2018 to three years in prison for crimes including campaign finance violations and lying to Congress.

    He had pleaded guilty to making false statements in 2017 to the Senate intelligence committee about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. He had also pleaded guilty in August to eight separate counts, including campaign finance violations that he said he carried out at the direction of Trump.
    At that time, Cohen said he secretly used shell companies to make payments of $150,000 US and $130,000, respectively, to silence former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actor Stormy Daniels for the purpose of preventing scandals during Trump's 2016 campaign. The women have claimed they had affairs with Trump after the real estate mogul married his third wife, Melania.

    George Papadopoulos


    Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last year to making a 'materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement' to investigators during the FBI's probe of Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

    Trump's former foreign policy adviser was sentenced in September 2018 to 14 days in prison for lying to FBI agents about his interactions with Russian intermediaries during the 2016 presidential campaign.
    Papadopoulos had been a central figure in the Russia investigation dating back before Mueller's appointment as special counsel in May 2017. He was the first to plead guilty in Mueller's probe and was the first Trump campaign adviser to be sentenced.

    Rick Gates


    Rick Gates, a former top adviser to Trump's election campaign, pleaded guilty in February 2018 to federal charges including conspiracy and making false statements. (Joes Luis Magana/Associated Press)

    Gates, a former top adviser to Trump's election campaign, pleaded guilty in February 2018 to federal charges including conspiracy and making false statements.
    As part of the plea bargain, Gates agreed to testify against Manafort, his mentor. As the government's star witness in Manafort's financial fraud trial, he testified how, at the behest of his longtime boss, he helped conceal millions of dollars in foreign income and submitted fake mortgage and tax documents.

    He also testified for the government in Stone's trial. Gates has not yet been sentenced.

    猛虎斗不过群狼。
    川普完了。
    习近平千万不要再跟他签协议,那会是废纸。
     

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    Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., the congressman who was once the first to stand up and endorse then-candidate Trump during the 2016 election, was sentenced to two years and two months in federal prison on Friday.

    Having pleaded guilty to charges related to securities fraud conspiracy and making false statements, and resigning from his post last year, Collins is just the latest in a series of close allies and associates of President Trump to face the stain of a criminal record. In all, 14 Trump aides, donors and advisers have been indicted or imprisoned since the days when the first-time candidate promised that he would only hire "the best people."

    Presidents are surrounded by tens of thousands of supporters and hire hundreds of aides into various jobs – so it may be inevitable that some tiny fraction of them will run afoul of the law. But experts say Trump is amassing a record unusual for an American president – in that so many senior advisers have come under legal scrutiny.

    The count includes senior members of Trump’s campaign staff, including former campaign chair Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates – both snared on financial misdeeds in special counsel Robert Mueller investigation. Trump’s first national security adviser – Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn – pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI – though he has recently moved to retract his plea. His personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is under criminal investigation for his business relationship with two men arrested in an alleged campaign finance scheme, according to sources. Both Giuliani associates have pleaded not guilty.

    White House did not respond to ABC News' request for comment and the Trump campaign declined to comment.

    Collins is one of the two earliest Trump supporters in Congress – and both have recently been convicted in federal prosecutions. Former Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who had the distinction of being the second congressman to endorse Trump, stepped down from his seat earlier this week, after pleading guilty last month to conspiring to misuse $250,000 of campaign funds for his personal expenses. The California Republican is slated to be sentenced in March.



    Rep. Chris Collins walks out of a New York court house after being charged with insider trading on August 8, 2018 in New York City.


    At the time of Collins and Hunters' indictments in 2018, Trump responded in a tweet blaming then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department for bringing investigations of "two very popular Republican Congressmen" to a "well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms."

    "Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time," He added.

    And Trump has seen some of his donors ensnared in criminal probes.

    Washington-based lobbyist Sam Patten pleaded guilty to illegally funneling foreign money into Trump's inaugural committee as well and was sentenced to three years of probation, a $5,000 fine and 500 hours of community service. As the president's personal lawyer, Giuliani at that time downplayed Patten's association with Trump, saying "Trump has no idea who these contributors are."

    New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, a close personal friend of Trump's, a Mar-a-Lago member who gave $1 million to the inaugural committee, is currently fighting misdemeanor charges in Florida related to alleged solicitation of prostitution. Kraft has pleaded not guilty.

    George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman and lobbyist with ties to the Trump world and a key witness in the Mueller investigation, recently pleaded guilty to charges related to child sex trafficking and child pornography possession. He was also charged last month in connection to an alleged scheme to funnel millions of illegal campaign contributions to political entities supporting Clinton during the 2016 election.

    California-based Imaaz Zuberi, who gave $900,000 to the Trump inaugural committee, was indicted last October for allegedly making illegal foreign straw donation, violating foreign lobbying laws and evading taxes. Last week, federal prosecutors added obstruction of justice to Zuberi's indictment, accusing him of taking "numerous steps" to thwart the federal criminal investigations upon learning of the investigation. Zuberi has pleaded guilty. Zuberi was also a major donor for Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.

    Trump is by no means the only president who has been associated with convicted criminals. The Watergate burglary, which led to Richard Nixon’s downfall, resulted in a number of Nixon’s associates, including his campaign operative G. Gordon Liddy, being convicted. Bill Clinton pardoned his brother, Roger, who was convicted of cocaine possession in the 1980s. And on his last day in office, Clinton made the controversial decision to pardon financier and major Democratic donor Marc Rich, who had fled overseas to escape indictment for alleged financial crimes. In 2009, a top donor to Democrats John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama -- New York financier Hassan Nemazee –– was sent to prison after being convicted of financial crimes.

    To Trump’s critics, though, the charges being brought against his advisers has been viewed as a symptom of something concerning. Watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's policy director Jennifer Ahearn said she worries about the “tone from the top.”
    “Would he issue pardons to help these very people avoid the consequences of their actions?” she asked. “Would he interfere in Justice Department or other enforcement actions against them? These could be additional serious ethics problems on top of all the troubling conduct we've already seen."But supporters of the president say he has been the target of unprecedented scrutiny – a phenomenon epitomized by the Mueller probe.




    In this June 27, 2019, file photo, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort exits the courtroom after his arraignment in New York Supreme Court in New York.Eduardo Munoz/Reuters, FILE


    Larry Schweikart, an American historian and retired history professor at the University of Dayton who wrote a book called “48 Liberal Lies About American History,” said he viewed the Mueller indictments were a product of "asymmetrical" prosecution.

    String of Trump associates indicted in the Mueller probe

    Special counsel Mueller's 22-month-long investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, resulted in at least six convicted felons in the president's close orbit.

    Manafort was found guilty on a slew of financial crime charges related to his lobbying work in Ukraine and is currently serving an 81-month prison sentence. Meanwhile, Gates, who had struck a plea deal early on in the case, was recently sentenced to 36 months probation and 45 days in jail after cooperating with the government as a key witness for nearly two years.

    The president's former longtime fixer and personal attorney Michael Cohen is also serving three years in prison, after pleading guilty to making false statements to Congress in a case brought by Mueller's team as well as a separate campaign finance and and tax crime case brought by federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

    Most recently, veteran GOP operative and longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone was found guilty on all seven counts related to his false statements to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering, and is now awaiting sentencing.

    And Gen. Flynn, who was among the first individuals to strike a plea deal with Mueller's team after being charged with making false statements to investigators, is now awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 28. Flynn is now looking to withdraw his guilty plea.

    The Trump campaign's former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, convicted of lying to investigators, spent two weeks in prison.




    Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 24, 2019 in Washington, D.C.Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images, FILE


    With several investigations actively targeting Trump associates, the trendlines for his administration show no signs of abating.

    Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York indicted two associates of Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani -- Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman – accusing them of circumventing election laws that prohibit straw donations and foreign contributions to federal political campaigns, including a super PAC supporting President Trump's re-election campaign. Both men have pleaded not guilty in the case.

    Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are also investigating whether there was any criminality in the business relationship between Giuliani and the two Florida men, who are also embroiled in the congressional impeachment inquiry as key players in Giuliani's efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden in Ukraine, sources told ABC News. Parnas has been complying with at least some of House investigators' requests by submitting documents and data, while Fruman has yet to answer House investigators.





    Lawyer for President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, center, and Soviet born businessman who served as Giuliani's fixer in Ukraine, Lev Parnas, left, arrive for the funeral of former president George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington on Dec. 5, 2018.Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images, FILE


    Last year, the president’s inaugural committee was hit with sweeping requests for documents from federal prosecutors in New York and the New Jersey attorney general’s office, and the status of that investigation remains unknown. In November, a lobbyist with close ties to Trump saw his firm hit with subpoenas for records.

    Professor Nancy Kassop, of the political science department at the State University of New York at New Paltz and a researcher with the White House Transition Project, told ABC News she believes Trump is finding "such a large number of" criminally charged associates or compromised administration officials that have been forced to resign amid scandals most likely can be attributed to "exceptionally poor vetting, if any, during the hiring process."

    Critics have called into question Trump team's vetting process for top officials during the early state of the administration, and last year leaked Trump transition vetting documents showed a host of top officials with problematic issues in their background that raised "red flags," according to Axios.

    Some other experts, on the contrary, say recent past administrations have faced fewer criminal charges than Trump because prosecutors were not as aggressive.

    "I don't think Trump is a particularly virtuous individual -- I just don't see him as being worse than some of his predecessors," said Paul Gottfried, an American historian and the editor-in-chief of Chronicles magazine.

     
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