A legal memo has revealed that President Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen acted at the direction of the President when he committed two election-related crimes during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Cohen’s help is detailed in the memo from Robert Mueller on Friday, who is heading the probe into alleged Russian collusion with the Trump team.
The memo is mainly to guide sentencing for crimes Cohen has admitted.
A second Mueller memo sets out the case against ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort for breaching a plea bargain deal.
Cohen and Manafort are among a number of Trump aides being investigated in Special Counsel Mueller’s probe.
Both have been co-operating with his team but Mueller now accuses Manafort of lying.
In a separate court filing on Friday, prosecutors in New York made their case for the length of Cohen’s sentence when it is delivered on Wednesday.
They say he should serve a “substantial” jail term after admitting violating campaign finance laws, committing tax evasion and lying to Congress.
President Trump has repeatedly denied there was any collusion with Russian officials, calling the investigation a “witch hunt”.
The White House said Friday’s memos offered nothing new or damaging about the president.
Trump tweeted: “Totally clears the President. Thank you!” although it was unclear to what he was referring.