Special Counsel Recommends ‘Substantial’ but Fair Sentence for Cohen
Memo said president's former lawyer should get a sentence that reflects his lies but also his cooperation
President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen should get a sentence that reflects his lies, “a substantial term of imprisonment” — but one that also reflects his efforts to remediate his misconduct, federal investigators said Friday.
Cohen is facing a sentencing hearing in federal court December 12. The special counsel team filed a memo to the court recommending that his sentence reflect his cooperation with the investigation.
The memo said “the range of imprisonment for Cohen and his crimes is 51 to 63 months,” as Fox News also noted. It said the court’s Probation Department had recommended a sentence of 42 months, “albeit for different reasons.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller has been leading an investigation into accusations the president or his associates colluded with Russians to sway the presidential election of 2016. Cohen became a person of interest early on, given his close connection to the president and business contacts in Russia.
Cohen would eventually turn himself in and has since cooperated in the ongoing investigation.
“The sentence imposed should reflect the fact that lying to federal investigators has real consequences,” prosecutors said in their court filing, which was obtained by Vox.
“However, the defendant has made substantial and significant efforts to remediate his misconduct, accept responsibility for his actions, and assist the … investigation.”
The memo also stressed that lies about critical facts in an investigation of national importance were of particular concern.
Cohen drew particular attention for his involvement in a project to build a Trump hotel in Moscow. He had previously claimed the talks about the Moscow project had ended prior to the election season ramping up in 2016.
“The Government respectfully submits that the Court should give due consideration to the defendant’s efforts set forth above and that it would be appropriate to allow the defendant to serve any sentence imposed in this case concurrently with any sentence imposed in United State v. Cohen,” the court filing added.
Cohen surrendered to the special counsel’s team back on August 21. He pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges that afternoon. The criminal charges dealt with his business dealings and his payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had an affair with the president (which the president has denied).
Cohen accepted additional charges as part of the plea deal he reached with the special counsel.
He admitted in federal court last week to lying about how much he discussed the proposed Moscow project with the president. Trump responded to the plea deal shortly afterward by calling his former lawyer “weak” and saying that he was just looking for reduced time.
Cohen faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison based on the charges to which he pleaded guilty.
That also includes a maximum fine of $250,000 and supervised release of not more than three years. The criminal charges included five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate.
Check out this video: