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Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, has turned over useful information to prosecutors investigating possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign, but should still be sentenced to substantial prison time. That’s according to a just-released Friday filing from prosecutors in a New York federal court. The document, issued in advance of Cohen’s scheduled Wednesday sentencing, offers a window into the cooperation that the embattled Trump confidant has offered Mueller’s team. It has not been enough to grant him significant leniency.
Citing his limited cooperation, prosecutors recommended that Cohen receive a “substantial” prison sentence that represents only a “modest” reduction from the 51 and 63 months federal guidelines recommend, as well as a fine and the forfeiture of $500,000 of Cohen’s assets. They added that “Cohen repeatedly declined to provide full information” to prosecutors and to the special counsel “about the scope of any additional criminal conduct in which he may have engaged or had knowledge.”
Cohen first signaled he was interested in cooperating with Mueller’s team in July. The next month he pleaded guilty to making illegal six-figure payments to two different women during the 2016 campaign, to prevent them from speaking out about their affairs with then-candidate Trump. As part of a deal with New York prosecutors, Cohen plead guilty to two campaign finance law violations tied to the hush-payments, as well as six counts related to tax and bank fraud tied to his personal finances.
In a separate agreement with Mueller’s team, Cohen pleaded guilty last month to lying to Congress about a proposed Moscow Trump Tower project. Cohen admitted to making false statements to the House and Senate intelligence committees to cover up the fact that a major Trump business venture was ongoing during the 2016 presidential election. (Trump vowed during the campaign that he had no business interests in Russia.) This revelation marked the first time that Trump’s business dealings with Russia were discussed in open court as part of Mueller’s probe—yet another signal that the special counsel may be closing in on President Trump and his inner circle.
This is a breaking news story. We will update this as more information becomes available.
You can read the full filing below: