Lawyers for former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen asks for no prison time

Trump aides caught in web of deception over Russia contacts

He faces a possible sentence of up to five years in prison on the false statement charge and a potential $200,000 fine, but sentencing guidelines in the plea deal ranged from zero to six months.

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 [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.

Further, they said that he has cooperated despite the president regularly denouncing the investigation as a "witch hunt".

The special counsel investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 USA presidential election may file additional charges against Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman. The government is also expected to file a sentencing memo. Two women had alleged extramarital affairs with Trump, which the president denies.

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.

It revealed that he had also met twice with federal prosecutors in Manhattan - and would continue to do so if needed - responding to their questions concerning "an ongoing investigation", which the memo did not describe.

Included in the defense submission were over three dozen letters from Cohen's friends and family.




"I pray and beg, beg and pray that you won't take my oxygen away from me", the elder Cohen wrote.

Russian spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claimed in an interview with NBC News that communication between former Trump fixer Michael Cohen and Russian officials on Trump Tower Moscow did indeed happen, but that after a few attempts at conversation it all came to nothing.

Petrillo and Lester argued Cohen's tax evasion was unsophisticated.

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.

In the Friday night memo, Cohen's attorneys wrote that "in the weeks during which his then-counsel prepared his written response to the Congressional Committees, Michael remained in close and regular contact with White-House based staff and legal counsel to [Trump, ]" suggesting that Cohen's testimony may have reflected a coordinated effort meant to protect Trump, though the memo stops short of making a direct allegation that Cohen was encouraged to lie.

Cohen on Thursday pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about an effort to establish a Trump hotel in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"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.

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