The New York Times:
Federal prosecutors said on Friday that President Trump directed illegal payments to ward off a potential sex scandal that threatened his chances of winning the White House in 2016, putting the weight of the Justice Department behind accusations previously made by his former lawyer.
The lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, had said that as the election neared, Mr. Trump directed payments to two women who claimed they had affairs with Mr. Trump. But in a new memo arguing for a prison term for Mr. Cohen, prosecutors in Manhattan said he “acted in coordination and at the direction of” an unnamed individual, clearly referring to Mr. Trump.
In another filing, prosecutors for the special counsel investigating Russia’s 2016 election interference said an unnamed Russian offered Mr. Cohen “government level” synergy between Russia and Mr. Trump’s campaign in November 2015. That was months earlier than other approaches detailed in indictments secured by prosecutors.
And in a separate case on Friday, the special counsel accused Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman, of lying about his contacts with an individual they accuse of having ties to Russian intelligence, and about his interactions with Trump administration officials after he was indicted on criminal charges.
Together, the filings laid bare the most direct evidence to date linking Mr. Trump to potentially criminal conduct, and added to an already substantial case that Russia was seeking to sway the 2016 election in his favor.
In a column for the Washington Post, Marcy Wheeler makes that case the Mueller is laying out his report “one indictment at a time”.
But Mueller has already been submitting his report, piece by piece, in indictments and other charging documents. He has hidden it in plain sight in the court dockets of individuals and organizations he has prosecuted. Many of those court papers have included far more detail than necessary to prove the culpability of defendants who have agreed to plead guilty. This isn’t just legal overkill on Mueller’s part — it’s the outlines of a sweeping narrative about the 2016 election.