A court filing also reveals that Cohen told prosecutors he and Trump discussed a potential meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in 2015, shortly after Trump announced his candidacy for president.
Prosecutors, who said Flynn's assistance was "substantial" and merited no prison time, disclosed that he had cooperated not only with the Russian Federation investigation but also with at least one other undisclosed criminal probe. But the NY prosecutors were unsparing in their descriptions of his conduct, saying he was motivated by "personal greed" and that he "repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends". "Totally clears the president. Thank you!" Trump tweeted cryptically as television networks were consumed by the Cohen documents - which the White House dismissed as revealing "nothing of value".
In hours of meetings with prosecutors, Cohen detailed his intimate involvement in an array of episodes, including some that directly touch the president, that are at the center of investigations into campaign finance violations and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Though Cohen had previously implicated Trump in the payments, the prosecutors now are linking Trump to the scheme and backing up Cohen's allegations.
But he admitted to prosecutors "that his account was false and that he had in fact conferred with Individual 1", which is how Trump is identified in court papers.
Filings by prosecutors from both NY and the Trump-Russia special counsel's office laid out for the first time details of the cooperation of Cohen, a vital witness who once said he'd "take a bullet" for the president but who in recent months has become a prime antagonist and pledged to come clean with the government.
They said Cohen should receive some credit for cooperating with Mueller but noted he had not entered into a similar agreement with their office.
The special counsel also will detail the lies prosecutors say former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort told that led to his plea deal falling apart. Cohen admitted last week to lying to Congress by saying discussions about a Trump Tower in Moscow ended in January 2016 when in fact they stretched into that June, well into the US campaign.
Due to his help, Mueller declined to recommend additional jail time for Cohen for lying to Congress.
In Friday's court filing, the Justice Department threw its weight behind Cohen's claim he was acting on Trump's orders, claiming the payments were made in "coordination with and the direction of" Trump, named in the documents as "individual 1".
They also suggest Trump and his family were in the loop on discussions with Russians on a Moscow project, even after the real estate tycoon secured the Republican nomination in mid-2016.
Trump also has focused his criticism specifically on Cohen, calling him a liar who is making up stories to convince the government to ease his sentence in the New York City crimes to which he's also pleaded guilty.
The filings say Cohen made illegal hush money payments to two women - Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal - ahead of the 2016 election to keep them quiet about their sexual encounters with Trump.
Trump repeated his criticism again on Friday and said on Twitter that his attorneys have already begun work on a rebuttal to Mueller in case the special counsel's report is damaging to Trump and becomes public.
For House Democrat John Garamendi, these may be "the opening days of an impeachment". Rosenstein oversaw the probe until last month.
Barr - a former attorney general under the late George H.W. Bush - is considered something of a consensus candidate for the sensitive post.
A heavily redacted court filing said that Manafort's "lies" included untruths about his dealings with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate who U.S. officials suspect is a Russian intelligence operative, and about his contacts with Trump administration officials after striking a plea agreement. Cohen did not follow up on the offer, the filing says.