Sunday, 21 July, 2019


Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen does not deserve prison, judge told

Michael Cohen walks out of federal court on Thursday in New York. Cohen admitted he lied to Congress about Donald Trump's real estate negotiations in Moscow View Slideshow
Bennie Garza | 03 December, 2018, 04:53

In his guilty plea, Cohen confessed that he lied to Congress past year about a Moscow real estate deal he pursued on Trump's behalf well into the 2016 presidential campaign and at a time when investigators believe Russians were meddling in the election to help his candidacy.

In a late-night court filing, lawyers for the onetime Trump loyalist wrote that their client was a changed man who was eager to share his knowledge with law enforcement and mindful that he would have to "begin his life virtually anew".

Cohen has been cooperating with Robert Mueller's investigation into the ties between Trump and Russian Federation, and his lawyers argued that his cooperation should earn him a sentence of "time-served" as opposed to the potential sentence of five years and three months recommended by federal sentencing guidelines.

"In the context of this raw, full-bore attack by the most powerful person in the United States, Michael, formerly a confidante and adviser to Mr. Trump, resolved to cooperate", his attorneys wrote.

Friday's filing in no uncertain terms connected Cohen's wrongdoing to Trump.

Speaking to MSNBC's Alex Witt on Saturday, Glenn Kirshner warned that Trump's children are now potentially facing criminal liability following the president's ex-lawyer Cohen's guilty plea last week.

Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced on December 12 after pleading guilty to tax evasion, making false statements to a bank, campaign finance violations, and lying to Congress. The government is also expected to file a sentencing memo.

The filing doesn't go so far as to say there was coordination between Trump's legal team and Cohen on what Cohen would tell Congress, but it says the campaign finance and false statement allegations are addressed together "because both arose from Michael's fierce loyalty to Client-1".

The Cohen memo offered no new revelations about alleged misconduct involving the president, but it shed new light on Cohen's role in the various investigations being conducted into Trump and his inner circle.

"He and Client-1 also discussed possible travel to Russian Federation in the summer of 2016, and Michael took steps to clear dates for such travel", Cohen's lawyers said in the filing. But they wrote that Cohen did so because he knew Trump wanted to "dismiss and minimize the merit" of the special counsel's inquiry, and that he and his aides "were seeking to portray contact with Russian representatives in any form by Client-1, the campaign or the Trump Organization as having effectively terminated before the Iowa caucuses of February 1, 2016".

The memo details Cohen's role in the agreements made with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, his lies to Congress and the other counts to which he pleaded guilty. CNN has previously reported that Cohen met with representatives of these offices.

Prosecutors have not yet filed a pre-sentence submission but have agreed to note Cohen cooperation to the sentencing judge. In fact, lawyers for Cohen alleged that he and Trump discussed the possibility of Trump traveling to Russian Federation in the summer of 2016.

"Michael regrets that his vigor in promoting [Trump]'s interests in the heat of political battle led him to abandon good judgment and cross legal lines", the lawyers wrote.

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