Lawyers say ex-Trump lawyer Cohen deserves no prison


Cohen admitted that he made the misstatements about the "Moscow Project" - the Trump Organization's efforts to "pursue a branded property in Moscow" in an August 2017 letter to the House and Senate intelligence committees, which were conducting inquiries into alleged collusion and Russian interference, according to court documents. "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 [Trump] apprised of these communications", his attorneys wrote, adding, "He and [Trump] also discussed possible travel to Russian Federation in the summer of 2016, and Michael took steps to clear dates for such travel".

The memo refers to "Woman-1", who appears to be Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who was paid by The National Enquirer for her story.

"He and [Trump] also discussed possible travel to Russian Federation in the summer of 2016, and Michael took steps to clear dates for such travel", they continued, adding, that Cohen states he kept Trump "apprised" of his contacts with Russian Federation during the campaign.

In his earlier plea deal with federal prosecutors in NY for two campaign finance violations and six counts related to his personal finances, the guidelines call for 46 to 63 months in prison and up to $1 million in fines.

In a sentencing memo filed by Cohen's legal team, the disgraced attorney promised to continue cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose probe Trump has dismissed as a "witch hunt".

Cohen faces between 46 and 63 months in prison, along with financial penalties.

Petrillo and Lester argued Cohen's tax evasion was unsophisticated. This likely indicates that they feel his cooperation is very valuable to investigators.

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"Michael participated in seven voluntary interview meetings with the Special Counsel's Office of the Department of Justice", they also wrote.

Cohen, unlike most defendants, did not enter into a traditional cooperation agreement so his sentencing would not be delayed, though he nonetheless met - and expected he would continue to meet - with law enforcement agencies that wanted to talk to him, his lawyers wrote.

Cohen's lawyers said that instead of keeping quiet and risking prison in the hope he'd get a presidential pardon, their client chose to work with prosecutors. The bureau reportedly seized the tapes when it raided Cohen's office earlier this year.

Cohen's false statements to Congress and his assistance to Trump with the hush-money payments arose out of his "fierce loyalty" to Trump, the lawyers wrote. The filing does not provide further details. In that plea, Cohen implicated Trump in hush-money payments to two women during the 2016 campaign to hide affairs they said they had with Trump. At the time, Cohen's then attorney had a joint defense agreement with Trump's legal team.

Cohen on Thursday pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about an effort to establish a Trump hotel in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. "In each case, the conduct was meant to benefit [Trump], in accordance with [Trump]'s directives", they wrote.

In a personal, reflective sentencing memo filed late Friday night, attorneys for Cohen sought leniency from Judge William Pauley of New York's Southern District, citing the "gargantuan cost" the case has already taken on him and his family.