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Prosecutors Demand ‘Substantial Prison Term’ for Michael Cohen


Prosecutors turned in their sentencing memos in the case of Michael Cohen, the former “fixer” of President Donald Trump. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) had a deadline of until 5 p.m. ET.

In their filing, SDNY prosecutors demand a “substantial prison term” for Cohen. Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Cohen changed his not guilty plea to guilty on August 21 in a New York court, admitting to several financial crimes, including making false statements to a bank, and evasion of assessment of income tax liability. Most notably, he claimed to have been “directed” by Trump to commit campaign finance violations in buying the silence of two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. Those women were porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. This implicated the president in alleged campaign finance violations.

The attorney’s personal liability became even messier on November 29. He pleaded guilty again, this time for lying to Congress about his communications with the Russian government regarding a possible Trump Tower deal (“The Moscow Project”) in Moscow. He previously said these efforts stopped in January 2016. In reality, these continued to June 2016, he said.

Cohen didn’t sign a cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is using that against him. Though they acknowledge he gave some information to Mueller’s office, they argue the credit shouldn’t be similar to that given to a traditional cooperating witness. They point to the sentencing guidelines as being between 51 and 63 months, and said it “reflects Cohen’s extensive, deliberate, and serious criminal conduct.”

“For these reasons, the Office respectfully requests that this Court impose a substantial term of imprisonment, one that reflects a modest downward variance from the applicable Guidelines range,” prosecutors said.

Even so, Mueller’s team voiced appreciation for help provided by Cohen.

“The defendant has met with the SCO for seven proffer sessions, many of them lengthy, and continues to make himself available to investigators,” Mueller’s office wrote in their sentencing memo. “His statements beginning with the second meeting with the SCO have been credible, and he has taken care not to overstate his knowledge or the role of others in the conduct under investigation.”

Cohen’s relationship with his former client is done. Trump, in a bid to distance himself from the man former known as his “fixer,” has denied all wrongdoing, and publicly disowned him.

You can read the SDNY’s full sentencing memo here:

Michael Cohen sentencing memo SDNY by Law&Crime on Scribd

[Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

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