Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Prosecutors Recommend 'Substantial' Prison Time for Michael Cohen Despite His Assistance

Prosecutors Recommend 'Substantial' Prison Time for Michael Cohen Despite His Assistance

One defendant, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, provided so much information to prosecutors that Mueller this week said he shouldn't serve any prison time. But prosecutors say they recovered "electronic documents" showing contacts with multiple administration officials not identified in the filings.

The meeting didn't take place. "Thank you!" he tweeted shortly after the report's release.

Among other things, those documents indicated that prosecutors believe Trump ordered Cohen to pay hush money to two women he'd had affairs with to protect his presidential run.

In what appeared to be a new disclosure, Mueller said that around November 2015, Cohen spoke with a Russian national who could offer the campaign "political synergy" and "synergy on a government level".

Cohen and Manafort are among five former Trump associates who prosecutors have accused of lying either to federal investigators or to Congress.

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.

Cohen also said he discussed the project with Trump during the presidential campaign, undercutting the then-Republican presidential candidate's statements that he didn't have any deals in Russian Federation.

Cohen's crimes "were more serious than his submission allows and were marked by a pattern of deception that permeated his professional life", they said.

"While the office agrees that Cohen should receive credit for his assistance in the [special counsel] investigation, that credit should not approximate the credit a traditional cooperating witness would receive, given, among other reasons, Cohen's affirmative decision not to become one", they wrote. Last month Mueller voided Manafort's plea agreement because, they said, he was not telling the truth.

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It said Cohen made the payments in "coordination with and the direction of" Trump.

The payments are technically unrelated to the Russian Federation probe, but prosecutors painted a damning picture of the "extensive, deliberate, and serious criminal conduct" of Cohen - once a member of Trump's inner circle of trusted aides.

The feds argued that Cohen's cooperation after his extensive crimes should not make him a hero.

In August, 52-year-old Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance law in connection with the payments.

Both the NY sentencing memo and Mueller's memo can be read here.

The court documents disclosed that Trump hired Cohen in 2007 for $500,000 a year after he ousted the board of a condo that was trying to remove Trump's name from its building.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan on Friday asked a judge to sentence Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, to a "substantial term of imprisonment" for paying an adult film star hush money on Trump's behalf and evading taxes.

Court filings from prosecutors in NY and special counsel Robert Mueller's office Friday laid out previously undisclosed contacts between Trump associates and Russian intermediaries and suggested the Kremlin aimed early on to influence Trump and his campaign by playing to both his political aspirations and his personal business interests. Mueller's memo says Cohen has met with the special counsel's office in seven different sessions to provide valuable information.

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