NY Federal Prosecutors Seek Prison for Former Trump Lawyer Cohen

NY Federal Prosecutors Seek Prison for Former Trump Lawyer Cohen

Court filings Friday from prosecutors in NY and special counsel Robert Mueller laid out why Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, and Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, deserve prison time. "Thank you!" Trump tweeted cryptically as television networks were consumed by the Cohen documents - which the White House dismissed as revealing "nothing of value".

NY prosecutors, however, were far harsher in their assessment of Cohen's character, saying he should get only a modest reduction in an expected prison sentence of about five years.

It was the first time the feds directly linked Trump to hush- money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal - a fact noted by former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. And no, these aren't charges coming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigations.

The documents released by Mueller's team Friday indicate prosecutors are in fact continuing to look into the Trump campaign's connections to Russian Federation, including a real estate project in Moscow that Cohen was allegedly discussing with Trump "well into" the 2016 race.

Trump also has focused his criticism specifically on Cohen, calling him a liar who is making up stories to convince the government to ease his sentence in the New York City crimes to which he's also pleaded guilty.

Cohen had asked for a sentence of no prison time, citing his cooperation.

He had provided information about contacts with Russian interests during the campaign, attempts by Russians to reach the campaign and about contacts with "persons connected to the White House" in 2017-2018, the filing added.

"With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election".




"In total, the prosecutors seem to be saying the president was more aware than he has claimed to be", former federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin said.

Among other things, those documents indicated that prosecutors believe Trump ordered Cohen to pay hush money to two women he'd had affairs with to protect his presidential run.

That was a reference to a proposed Moscow real estate deal that prosecutors say could have netted Trump's business hundreds of millions of dollars.

One defendant, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, provided so much information to prosecutors that Mueller this week said he shouldn't serve any prison time.

A heavily redacted court filing said that Manafort's "lies" included untruths about his dealings with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate who United States officials suspect is a Russian intelligence operative, and about his contacts with Trump administration officials after striking a plea agreement. Though Cohen had previously implicated Trump in the payments, the prosecutors now are linking Trump to the scheme and backing up Cohen's allegations.

The White House similarly dismissed that filing, arguing it "says absolutely nothing about the President". It never took place.

Manhattan prosecutors said in their sentencing filing that Cohen committed campaign-finance crimes "in coordination with and at the direction of Individual 1".

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