Michael Cohen deserves substantial prison time, prosecutors say

Court Deadlines Set Stage for More Russia Probe Details

Prosecutors Recommend Prison for Cohen, Say He Paid off Women on Trump's Behalf

For that reason, prosecutors said, he should be sentenced to "substantial" prison time, possibly 31/2 years.

Prosecutors urged Pauley to hit Cohen with a $500,000 fine and forfeit his assets in addition to the prison sentence.

US prosecutors said yesterday President Donald Trump directed his personal lawyer to make illegal hush payments to two women ahead of the 2016 election, and also detailed a previously unknown attempt by a Russian to help the Trump campaign.

In one of the filings, Mueller details how Cohen spoke to a Russian who "claimed to be a "trusted person" in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign "political synergy" and 'synergy on a government level'".

"In his interviews with the Special Counsel's Office and the FBI, Manafort told multiple discernible lies - these were not instances of mere memory lapses", Mueller's office said in the filing. Last month Mueller voided Manafort's plea agreement because, they said, he was not telling the truth. Cohen has pleaded guilty to false statements minimizing the involvement of then candidate Trump on the Trump Organization's "Moscow Project" and the timing of its abandonment.

But also, significantly, the memo documents Cohen's claims that he was operating at the behest of Trump when he paid off two women Trump allegedly had affairs with to keep them from going to the press during the 2016 presidential campaign.

It said Cohen made the payments in "coordination with and the direction of" Trump.

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"Totally clears the President".

Later, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in two statements that the Manafort filing "says absolutely nothing about the President" and the Cohen filings "tell us nothing of value that wasn't already known".

Attorneys from the Southern District of NY state explicitly in the court filing that Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1" in handling payments to two women who claimed to have an affair with Trump long before the election. And no, these aren't charges coming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigations. Cohen was paid for this work through some money laundering methods to hide the political purposes behind the payments.

Cohen wanted to obscure from Congress and the public that if the project had been completed, Trump's company "could have received hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues", prosecutors wrote.

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to violating campaign finance law when he arranged payments to an adult-film star during the 2016 election.

However, in the crimes to which he pleaded guilty in August, he was motivated "by personal greed and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends".

Prosecutors working for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY based in Manhattan asked a judge to impose a sentence that reflects a "modest downward variance" from the potential maximum of 63 months in prison that Cohen faces. Mueller's office gave him some credit for his assistance, saying that while his crime was "serious", he had "taken significant steps to mitigate his criminal conduct".

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