Michael Cohen's lawyers ask for no prison time

Marsha Scott
December 3, 2018

The thrust of Cohen's argument for leniency is his extensive cooperation in the "unique" circumstances in which the special counsel's investigation is operating.

On Saturday, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that Cohen had reached out to him about the hotel project-which never materialized.

"In fact, Michael had a lengthy substantive conversation with the personal assistant to a Kremlin official following his outreach in January 2016, engaged in additional communications concerning the project as late as June 2016, and kept Client-1 apprised of these communications", the lawyers wrote.

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".

On Friday morning, Trump defended his business dealings in a tweet, saying his dealings during the campaign were "very legal and very cool".

Cohen, 52, is scheduled to be sentenced December 12 in Manhattan federal court after pleading guilty to lying to Congress and to campaign finance law violations involving alleged hush money payments to two women.

In a court filing submitted Friday, Cohen's lawyers reveal new details about his cooperation with Mueller.

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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.

Petrillo and Lester argued Cohen's tax evasion was unsophisticated. They also argue Cohen is cooperating even though Trump reportedly suggested in private he is willing to pardon associates ensnared in the special counsel's probe.

Peskov - who said he never talked to Cohen personally - was also asked to respond to those that struggle to believe a contact with Cohen - then a lawyer for a US presidential candidate - would come to nothing, as he suggested. The bureau reportedly seized the tapes when it raided Cohen's office earlier this year.

Cohen's lawyers sought to address speculation over why their client has not entered into a formal cooperation agreement with prosecutors, saying Cohen was concerned that such a deal would delay his sentencing. He said he lied to minimize ties with Russian Federation during Trump's campaign. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. At the time, Cohen's then attorney had a joint defense agreement with Trump's legal team. "In each case, the conduct was meant to benefit [Trump], in accordance with [Trump]'s directives", they wrote.

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. "But, following the execution of search warrants in this case, almost every professional and commercial relationship that he enjoyed, and a number of long-standing friendships, have vanished".

They added that he "could have fought the government and continued to hold to the party line, positioning himself perhaps for a pardon".

"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.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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