Former Trump lawyer Cohen asks for no prison time
- Author: Jon Douglas Dec 03, 2018,
Dec 03, 2018, 9:51
"Seeking to stay in line with this message, Michael told Congress that his communications and efforts to finalize a building project in Moscow on behalf of the Trump Organization, which he began pursuing in 2015, had come to an end in January 2016, when a general inquiry he made to the Kremlin went unanswered", Cohen's lawyers Guy Petrillo and Amy Lester stated in their filing.
They cited the fact he met with Mueller's team in "seven voluntary interview meetings" that began even before he pleaded guilty on August 21 to campaign finance and bank frauds, among other charges, and continued through late November.
"Michael's decision to cooperate and take full responsibility for his own conduct well reflects his personal resolve, notwithstanding past errors, to re-point his internal compass true north toward a productive, ethical and thoroughly law abiding life", Cohen's lawyers wrote in the memorandum, noting that he'd "participated in seven voluntary interviews with the Special Counsel's Office" so far.
In addition to admitting he lied to Congress, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges brought on by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY in August, including tax fraud, making false statements to a bank and campaign finance violations relating to hush-money payments made to women alleging affairs with Trump.
"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.
Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov claims only two emails and a phone call took place between Cohen and Russian officials about the planned project.
"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.
"When it comes to the kids, Ivanka and Don Jr., I think there are a couple of real danger areas, because we heard that Michael Cohen lied to Congress about, among other things, keeping the kids - keeping Donald Trump's kids informed about what was going on in this potential deal with Russia", Kirshner told Witt.
Cohen a year ago acknowledged sending the emails to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in January 2016, but said he killed the proposal after talking to Peskov's office.
"That determination has not been made yet", Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said at a federal court hearing in Washington.
Peskov, who is with Putin at an global summit in Argentina, said Saturday, "We told them that the presidential administration isn't involved in construction projects, and if they are interested in making investments we will be glad to see them at St. Petersburg's economic forum".
According to Cohen's sentencing submission, federal sentencing guidelines in just the first case call for him to spend as many as five years and three months in jail.
In another, a woman wrote that her husband, who is Syrian, had been friends with Cohen since 1984.
Cohen also said he talked with Trump, referred to as "Client-1" in the filing, about traveling to Russian Federation to pursue the project deep into the 2016 presidential campaign.